Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Marilyn Gripp Duarte ’49
I grew up near Chinatown next to the Oakland Auditorium. Most of us went to Lincoln Junior High and then to Tech. It was a challenge to travel that far on the bus and streetcar. The friends I went to Lincoln with are still my friends to this day. We have lunch regularly and I love getting together with them!
At Tech, modern dance was my favorite activity and the dance teacher, Mrs. Ewing, was my favorite teacher. I also remember Mr. Paulson, the mechanical engineering teacher; Tura Hawk, the science teacher (not my favorite, but memorable!); and Mrs. Martin, the sewing and homecraft teacher. The school dances were really fun, especially the Senior Ball. I went with Clint Eastwood! Memorable! He had a hotrod car that had no top and you had to jump over the door to get into. He loved that car! He had no fear. His mom allowed us to go to Hambone Kelly’s (a jazz club in Oakland) once to dance. She advised us to order one drink and said we could dance all evening. The summer after we graduated, Clint moved to Seattle and his family invited me to dinner at the Lake Merritt Hotel before they left. He was the nicest boy I ever dated. He was so polite. His mother was so nice. He wrote a whole page in my yearbook. Senior year was the most enjoyable year!
Tech prepared me for my life afterwards, but I can’t really say how as I got married (to my old boyfriend) the August after I graduated. I have 6 daughters, 4 sons, and 54 grand and great-grandchildren. The sewing classes, homecraft, and cooking classes came in very handy!
My years at Tech taught me that life is all about learning and growing and connecting with people.
Time doesn’t stand still! I can’t believe Tech is 100 years old!
To current Tech students, I say, learn all you can while you have the opportunity and enjoy this time because it goes by fast!