How many high school alumni associations can you name that hold annual gatherings for former students regardless of the year of graduation? Of those gatherings, how many draw hundreds of alumni annually for a school that became extinct over 35 years ago?
San Francisco’s Polytechnic High tops my list of one. The Polytechnic Athletic Association organizes an annual luncheon and has done so for many years. In recent years, the event has been held at The Patio Español Hall in San Francisco. The gathering was on September 18, this time around, with the oldest attendee (age 100) from the Class of 1929. Wow! To see photos, go to http://www.laurelannehill.com and click on the blog button.
I attended Poly from early 1957 to early 1961. Poly teachers provided the encouragement and support I needed to discover my own road to success. I still remain in touch with a number of my former classmates. An ache forms in the pit of my stomach when I worry about friends who don’t write, email or return for gatherings. Biological attrition may be a fact of life, but I don’t have to like it.
By the way, the 50th reunion of the Class of 1961 has been scheduled for September 17, 2011. I hope my former classmates are marking their calendars. If you are unable to attend, at least send a message.
Regarding a very brief history of Poly:
According to entries in the 1915 and 1947 school journals, (http://www.sfgenealogy.com/sf/schools/poly.htm) , San Francisco’s Polytechnic High started as the “Commercial School” downtown. Academic and technical subjects were added to the curriculum by approximately 1885 and the school name changed to Polytechnic. [The Perennial Parrot Newsletter (http://www.perennialparrot.com/links/links.htm) lists 1884 as Poly's official first year.]
Poly moved to Frederick Street in 1908, using shacks that had housed the homeless after the 1906 earthquake and fire. The new structure was built in 1914 and closed in 1972. San Francisco demolished Polytechnic High in the mid-1980’s and souvenir bricks were distributed at the Poly High Farewell Party on November 7, 1987. One of those bricks has a home in my living room bookcase. Every once in a while I give the brick a hug.
Hail Polytechnic! I’m loyal to you.
Laurel Anne Hill (Author of “Heroes Arise,” http://www.laurelannehill.com)
Causes Laurel Hill Supports
Winter Nights Shelter and Shelter, Inc.