Family

High school friends reunite every 5 years to recreate photo

Over three decades of the same photo

Five friends recreate photo for three...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Five high school buddies have been getting together every five years for 35 years to take the same photo, in the same place.

In all of the pictures, the Santa Barbara High School Class of 1981 graduates sit in the same order, from left to right: John "Wedge" Wardlaw, Mark Rumer-Cleary, Dallas Burney, John Molony and John Dickson.

It all started in 1982 during a vacation to Copco Lake in California.

"It was just us guys, no parents, enjoying time by ourselves," said Wardlaw.

The five friends decided to take a picture together on the deck overlooking the lake.

"We all got up there and made the horrible expressions we're making, and took the picture and the rest is history," Wardlaw said.

They returned in 1987 and recreated the picture every five years thereafter.

In every photo, Malony holds a jar which has its own detailed backstory.

"One of these guys caught a cockroach and somebody else decided they were going to make a cockroach a pet, and so they put it in a jar. Then somebody said, 'Well, wait a minute, if we are going to keep it as a pet we have to give it food.'" Malony said. "So they gave it a Jolly Rancher for food. Then somebody else said, 'Well if we are going to give it food, we have to give it company.' So somebody cut out a picture of Robert Young and we put a picture of Robert Young to keep it company," said Molony. "So that's the story behind the jar."

The story of their friendship went viral in 2012.

"We do it with a high degree of commitment, and spend a lot of time trying to figure out what fits everybody's schedule and I think that touches a lot of people," said Rumer-Cleary.

The eighth installment in their photo series was snapped just a few days ago.

All of the guys said they plan to continue this tradition for the rest of their lives.

"I'm committed until the end. I'm going to go until we are all gone," said Dickson.

Four of the five friends have moved away from Santa Barbara, only Dickson remains.

So they appreciate every moment spent together.

"If you really care about your friends, try to keep your friendship going because we really appreciate that we've managed to keep this together. I think a lot of people regret losing touch with their best friends and you just have to try," Wardlaw said.

Dallas Burney was not available to do the joint interview. He had to leave the Copco trip early for his honeymoon.

 



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