Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Alice (Ying Lee) Peterson ’48
I am a Oakland Tech Hi graduate from the Class of June 1948, Alice Ying Lee. My parents arrived in this country from Canton, China in 1923. My mother was pregnant with her first child and he was born in Oakland in December of that year. We lived in Oakland’s Chinatown, first at 7th and Jackson and then at 6th and Webster. There were six children in the family. All but one of us graduated from Tech Hi. It was the closest high school to us at the time.
I remember my years at Tech Hi as very enjoyable. I made many new friends, one of whom I still keep in touch with, Phyllis Thompson Thomas. She married a fellow classmate, Delbert Thomas, soon after graduation and they live in Redlands, CA. I have sent them a copy of your letter and hope she responds also.
Many of my classmates at Tech were from the elementary school I attended, Lincoln, and growing up in Oakland Chinatown has given us a close relationship all these years. Most of us have left Oakland but are still in surrounding cities. I still get together with several of the girls for lunch and our junior high school class has a reunion annually.
I took a college preparatory course at Tech, but never attended college. I also took up shorthand and typing and that prepared me for my future career. I went to work directly after graduation for several federal government agencies, working myself up from typist, stenographer, and secretary to a purchasing agent. I eventually married at the age of 40 and retired to being a housewife.
After all these year, my memories of some of the activities of high school are vague, but I will always remember Tech Hi with fondness for the friendships I formed there. I have not been back to that area in Oakland in many years so realize that the new Tech Hi is nothing like the one I attended and, in some ways, that saddens me.