Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Alfred Musante ’41
Alfred John Musante’s graduation was held in the Tech Auditorium. His brother and sister attended but not his parents. Musante speculates that his parents may not have come because they might not have felt “qualified” enough to attend. Musante was not in the ROTC but he had 2-3 friends, including Larry Bettencourt and Jack Perocel, who were and went to war. Musante said, “There were lots of casualties.” His friend, Harry Simon, went to war and survived. After graduation, Musante went into the service after graduation (in Europe.)
Musante worked for the Internal Revenue Service in Oakland. Every time the IRS wanted to transfer him to an office outside of Oakland, Musante threatened to resign. Thus, he was never transferred out of Oakland. ) He also ran an office cleaning company for years and was quite successful.
Mustante remembers his favorite classes included Italian and French, Yes, he too both languages. He also liked mathematics. He had Mrs. Hass for French. He recalls that she was from France and returned to France every summer.
Favorite classes included Italian and French [yes, he took both] and mathematics [I saw report cards for Algebra, Geometry, Trig., but there might have been more.]
Musante received very good grades except for a “D” in typing. Later, his typing teacher took pity on him and gave him a “C” instead.
Musante did not participate in extra-curricular activities, though he played some baseball and basketball, but was not on the school team. He studied a lot but also had a lot of work he did around the house as both of his parents were working outside the home. He did not attend his senior prom, which was held on campus, because he was shy.
He recalls one time when the algebra teacher questioned the answer that 5-6 of them got on their homework and she told them to come back after school to try to prove they were correct. As it turns out, the students were correct. So she changed their grade.
Musante lived on the same block as a boy named Henry LaGorio. Henry’s older sister used to work downtown at OUSD headquarters. She would give them a ride to school and drop them off in her Packard.
His same friend, Henry LaGorio, taught him how to study effectively and this ended up instilling a lot of confidence in Musante. He discovered that if he studied hard enough he could do well.
Other memorable friendships are:
Leo Croce. Croce went on to become the Superintendent of Schools in Livermore.
Musante’s thoughts on Tech turning 100, “My God!” “Beautiful School.” “Does not look much different.” “Still does a great job.”
Musante’s advice for Technites today, “Study hard and you will receive your reward.”