Arilee Hanson ’40

Arilee Hanson, Class of 1940

We lived in Rockridge so I went to Claremont Middle School and then Oakland Tech. I graduated in 1940 and so did my husband.

Some of my best memories about Tech include the student newspaper, The Scribe. Seems like we all worked for The Scribe. I was the girl’s sports editor. Every Tuesday after class, 4 or 5 of us went to McClymonds where there was a linotype machine. We got to put the press together there. It was sure fun to get out of class. We also got to get out of class to deliver the paper! When you wrote for the newspaper, you made a roll of all your inches. They always talked about the inches! I didn’t have that much so I never belonged to the Oakland Press Association (OPA). I was always disappointed. The people who wrote columns and stories acquired the most inches. Even so, people on the newspaper became lifelong friends. I went to visit Lois Tomsevic who was one of my fellow Scribe staff members in South Carolina. Bud Mooer and Graham Mc Call were also editors. Over the years we stayed close friends.

When I started Tech, we played 9 court basketball. I was a cheerleader for the girls and the boys were yell leaders. Boys got to yell in front of football team while the girls cheered for girls sports. That was just the way it was. Cheerleaders wore regular clothes. There were no pom poms. I always had a voice. I really don’t remember any of the cheers but I do remember there were 3 or 4 of us. Heidi Fink was a cheerleader.

I went to San Jose State for 3 years and then moved up to San Francisco State after I started to date Jim so I could live at home and take the train to see Jim who was in the Coast Guard. He went 2 yrs to Stanford and then 3 years in the Coast Guard. We spend 1 year in Alameda and 1 year in Hawaii. Jim played basketball in the Coast Guard and won a number of tournaments. Jim was always such a good athlete!

I do remember getting ready for school. I would go to bed with curlers in my hair. In the morning, I would put my scarf on and head to school early so that I could take my hair down and also see what was going on in the halls. I usually got there around 7am. I took history, math and the other college prep classes. Luckily since I wrote for the newspaper, I got out of English. This was good because I wasn’t a great English student. I didn’t take typing or homemaking classes. But I tell you one thing, I did make sure that my kids did so that they could learn to type. My mother used to type my papers for school.

We were so proud to be Tech High School Bulldogs! We had lots of spirt. We yelled at games and had a good time. You went to high school to have fun and see everyone. We loved the dances. They weren’t fancy but they were fun. And the girls at Tech wore middies and skirts in those days, everyday except Monday. I remember it was hard to get those pleats in the skirts. A middie is a blouse that zips up the front and they are either blue or white and you can wear a sweater over them. They had a square collar and it was the uniform for school. I don’t think the boys had a uniforms. They just wore jeans. When Jim was in high school he had 2 pairs of pants. One was for church and one was for school. Kids didn’t have much in those days. That was a long time ago. I am 90 years old now.

I have some words of wisdom for high school kids today. Be persistent to get what you want in life. Don’t ever give up. If one way doesn’t work, well then try something else.