Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Jeanette Brock ’50
Jeanette Brock and Julia Fahmie have been friends since Claremont Junior High School. They had a great time at Tech in the late 1940s. This was the Big Band era where everyone danced the Jitterbug and the Swing. For the boys having a car was a mark of prestige. Not all the boys had a car, so it was common to double date with someone who did. Most guys had at least a motor scooter to get around. The girlfriends would ride on the back of the scooter (no helmets)! A big thrill was to ride motor scooters through the old tunnel which exists above the current Caldecott Tunnel. One hang out spot was “the Flats” in the Berkeley Hills where couples would go to park with a view of San Francisco. Other favorite outings were drives to Orinda to eat apple pie at the drive-in, Walnut Creek for ice cream at the Creamery, and the Moraga Barn. They remember their parents always reminding the girls to take ten cents with them on dates in case they needed to call for a ride home (pay phones)! They would wear penny loafers with 10 cents tucked inside.
The hot spot at Tech for lunch was a restaurant across Broadway. They would go with about twenty of their girlfriends every day to hang out and were known as the “Backroom Belles.” Brock and Fahmie were best friends then– and now– with two other women, Jackie Lange and Joyce Perata. Together they were known as the “4J’s” at Tech. They all married local men. Jeanette married Bill McClean (Tech, 1947), now deceased. Julia married Dale Dryer (Berkeley High, owner of Hank’s and Frank’s Bike Stores), now deceased. Joyce married Dave McCaulou (Tech), her high school sweetheart, of McCaulou’s Department Stores. They have traveled, celebrated life, and shared losses together for over 60 years. Sadly, there are now only three left as Jackie passed away a couple of years ago. The most important life lessons they learned while at Tech were influenced by World War II, including the importance of loyalty and friendship.