|Lash's Place- Downey High News!|
Dream Team "The Golden
Kingdom" "...how it was"
THIS PAGE SHALL BE DEVOTED TO "QUICKIE" MEMORIES OF OUR TOWN AND OUR SCHOOL IN 1949-52, AS GLEANED FROM THE MEMORIES OF OUR CLASSMATES.
ALL RIGHT, HERE GOES: DO YOU REMEMBER...
Darlene Paulson and Cecil McCown, clicking those castanets and dancing for our enjoyment in school assemblies?
Art Weiss, playing the part of a tough guy from Back East in his trenchcoat and pork-pie hat?
Mel Fertig (Class of '51), introducing Joanne Strang in a Talent Show with the memorable line that she was "fresh off a triumphant engagement at Taco Hut"...?
Joan LeBraun, in our senior year, cruising around with her girlfriends in a NEW Ford convertible?
The dreaded "Hall Monitors"...? The tragic auto-accident death of Reed Horsley?
Ronnie Wendt, changing the oil in his car for the first time, carefully funneling five quarts of oil into the dipstick hole?
Joe Adranga, our "local supplier" of booze pilfered from his dad's liquor store?
Remember when there were far more Orange Trees than People in our town?
Billy Overmyer (as we knew him in those days) and Bob Fruehe, always "at the ready" with their cameras?
Larry Nelson and Al Buehlman, always looking for recruits for their flying club?
Friday night softball games at the Old River School field? Bart Horn, in his debut as an amateur boxer at the South Gate Arena?
The football-coaching triumvirate of William H. Smitheran, Jack Montgomery, and "Cactus Jack" O'Brien?
The highly successful Swimming Severa Brothers?
David Rodriguez, beating most opponents by a full lap or more in the mile run?
Student Body President Jim Ball, on his way to becoming a world class track star at UCLA?
Girls sitting in class, knitting argyle sox for their favorite guys?
Inept rookie teacher J.L. Banks, allowing his class to be overrun by school bullies?
Decorating the high school gym for school dances?
Remember how, when we were sophomores, kids two years ahead of us (seniors) seemed so worldly and sophisticated‹while those two years behind (8th-graders) were mere children...?
The morning ritual (for most of us) of the hopeless task of covering up Pimples?
Remember when there were only two black families in Downey, and they were nice people, and their kids were Achievers?
Being allowed to watch the World Series in the Auditorium, on a "giant" 21-inch TV screen?
Being required to watch the farcical, cheaply made anti-drug film, Reefer Madness?
Grooving to the sounds of Dick Hansen's Dixieland Band?
Riding to school in lousy buses, while the rich kids rode in with their parents, or drove their own cars...?
The long drive through the beanfields and dairies of what is now Artesia, Hawaiian Gardens, Cypress, Cerritos, Rossmoor, Leisure World, and Westminster‹to get to the largely unpopulated Orange County beaches...?
Going to surreptitious Beach Parties on trashy, unsupervised "Tin Can Beach," between Seal Beach and Huntington Beach preferably at "Pecker's Point," the hilly area just north of Huntington?
Don Swick, wearing the same pair of "new" Levis every day of the school year, without once laundering them?
Cruising all the "hot spots" on Friday nights--Downey Avenue, Richie's Drive-In, Cook's Drive-In, The Clock, and Pacific Avenue in Huntington Park...?
Hey: If you remember even some of those things‹baby, you were there!
# William O'Neill, now retired, is a former amateur boxing champion, sportswriter, and President (in 1984) of the World Boxing Hall of Fame