Long-time Idyllwild resident Teri Hardy also went to high school here, at the Desert Sun School, class of ’63. AstroCamp now occupies the site in Saunders Meadow. She remembers that students at the boarding school were close. Graduating classes numbered in the 20s.
Among the school’s graduates is Frank Sinatra Jr., class of ’61. Sinatra, son of the iconic crooner, is himself a singer, bandleader, arranger and songwriter.
From Thursday, Oct. 20 through Sunday. Oct. 23, members of the classes of 1961, ’62 and ’63 gathered in Lake Tahoe for a reunion, with much of the time spent in Sinatra’s suite at Harrah’s where he was performing.
Hardy, who just retired as a registered nurse and ended a 30-year daily commute to Loma Linda, thought the event highlighted everything about her years at Desert Sun — the camaraderie, the closeness, the fun, and the beauty of an outdoor setting similar to where they had gone to school.
She and the other attendees had the pleasure of attending Sinatra’s concert at Harrah’s and hanging out together just as they had in high school. “He [Sinatra] hosted everything other than our transportation and rooms,” she noted. “We kind of kicked back in his suite for the three nights, gathered on the beach, and, in general, had a great time.”
Desert Sun School was a full-time boarding school for grades eight through 12 in Idyllwild from 1946 until it evolved into the Elliott-Pope Preparatory School in 1983. The school closed in 1990 because of financial difficulties. The campus now hosts Astrocamp.