Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Albert Keshishian ’45
I graduated Oakland Technical High School in February, 1945. My parents moved to Oakland in 1923, I was born in Oakland in 1927. We lived on Boyd Avenue until 1953. I attended Oakland Tech after attending Rockridge Elementary and Claremont Junior High.
At the time I was ready for high school there were only two high schools in Oakland, Tech High and University. Since University was due to be closed the only choice really was Tech. Oakland Tech was an academic school but it also taught trades. For example, it had a metal shop, body shop, etc. This was important as many needed to have a trade upon graduation.
Tech was a good school for education, the teachers were strong scholastically and they took an interest in preparing one for the future. I was lucky to keep in touch with several of my teachers as they became future customers of my business Levant Rug Company on College Avenue. Howard O. Welty, the principal for many years, was a good friend and customer. My father attended Tech Night School to improve his English skills and take citizenship classes. My sister, Esther Wilson, also graduated from Tech High in 1943. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona and visits Oakland at least once every year.
I have attended many reunions in the past and keep correspondence with several members our classes, mostly by phone and letters, no email yet! Unfortunately, some are not lucky enough to still be here. It is always great to chat up good school memories. I was personally involved in the group that lobbied to keep the school building as it has been historically. I helped canvassing and made donations to support the preservation efforts. Had there been children in my life, I would not have hesitated sending them to Oakland Tech. I still remember the Bulldog Fight Song we used to sing at school rallies. “Ku, Man, ti. Ku, Man, ti. Growl wa.” I still don’t know what it means!