1955: Groundbreaking

Were you there?


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Dee (Owens) Benson '63 shared this picture with some of us a couple of years ago. Her brother, Chuck '59, found it in his keepsake drawer. I spent some time taking all the creases out of the original image.

This picture was taken at the ground breaking ceremonies for Palmdale High School. I think it was in the fall of 1955 while we were freshmen at AVJUHS (I wonder how many recall those initials?).

They put us on busses and took us down there. The AV band played as I recall and there was a color guard of the California Cadet Corps, or, as they were sometimes less kindly called, the "Kiwis". I remember it being very hot, so hot that some of the Cadets standing at attention passed out.

I imagine the folks with the shovels are members of the AVJUHS and JC District Board of Trustees.

The man in the center background facing to his right is Dr. Roy Knapp, then district superintendent.

Chuck Thompson dressed in white is looking right at the camera in the center of the picture.

Bill Smith is peeking over his shoulder.

Steve Patterson (in the dark shirt) is also looking at the camera from between shovelers at right.

Ernie Bakman is peeking over a shoulder, Chuck Owens is just to his left and Pat Hagan is on the far right of the picture.

I thought that the guy looking over the top of Chuck Owens might be Steve Langridge, but Steve wasn't that tall? (Pat Hagan has informed me that this tall guy was Warren Bennett and he added that Warren appeared in the 57 yearbook)

I also think that just over the right shoulder of Steve could be the left side of Kent Williams face? (Pat thinks that this is someone with the last name of Elliot. He added that while this guy appears in our AV freshmen yearbook he doesn't appear thereafter in any subsequent books.

Can anyone name the School Board?

Mike Gray, 1959