Fall 1957 at PHS

OK, now I can get some memories in here. The first days I spent on the PHS campus were in the fall of 1957. I was fresh from "the city," well, Lynwood, anyway.

I was 16 and the holder of a fresh driver's license that got its first real workout that summer. I had Driver's Ed. in Lynwood, but I learned how to drive in Palmdale.

The bus picked me up at the corner of 36th Street East and Avenue Q-6, right outside our front door, and took me to that raw new campus on Avenue R. I was devastated. Lynwood High had a rich set of traditions, ivy-covered walls, all that good stuff. Palmdale didn't. Heck, PHS didn't even have bells for the start and end of class. They honked a horn on a bus instead! How backward!

And they held classes on busses in the parking lot!

And classes in the gym! Makeshift "rooms" were made out of desk shipping boxes stacked two high. A chalkboard, a teacher's desk, student desks. That was it.

Barbara's right (see her comments) about missiles over the walls, not just airplanes, but wads of paper floated in over the walls. I was in Doug Davies class which met just inside the entrance, right under the south basket. Other students in nearby classes couldn't resist.

One of my favorite memories of those "cardboard halls," took place when Jimmy Hock was being his usual high-profile self. Mr. Davies was not very tall, but he was built like a lumberjack. Jimmy was somewhat taller and was built like an Antelope Valley hay-grower's son who'd flung his share of baled alfalfa. The height and weight advantages were on Jimmy's side.

I don't recall now what set the thing in motion, (Jimmy probably was not in his desk when Mr. Davies thought he should have been) but, suddenly, Jimmy was flying backward, through the cardboard wall and Mr. Davies was standing over him.

Jimmy was startled. We were all startled. Heck, I think Mr. Davies was startled.

Cardboard walls are very resilient. They can be rebuilt without the need for carpentry.

Outside, the lawns were growing. But no ivy.

Bill MacKenzie, 1959

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