Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Kenneth J. Gripp ’59
My family moved to Oakland during World War II. My dad worked in the shipyards. Until about 1952, we lived in the projects on 7th Street across from the Oakland Auditorium. During high school, we lived on Oak St. across from Lake Merritt. I went to Tech because we lived in that district.
Tech had great school spirit. It was a fun place to be. I remember the music program there. I had to be at orchestra practice at 7 AM! I was in the marching and the concert bands, the orchestra, and the dance band. We played at dances and assemblies. I remember the music teacher, Mr. Mortarotti (or “Mr. Mort”). I had him for orchestra and dance band. Dr. Kime was the band teacher. They were really great teachers. Music was my life at Tech. I was proud to wear the Tech band uniform with a bulldog on it.
After Tech, I attended Oakland Junior College (Oakland City College) for two years.
Most of my relationships were at my church. Most of those kids went to Oakland High, Fremont, or San Leandro.
At Tech, I learned to be dependable and to be on time. I learned how to get along with a diverse group of fellow students.
To today’s Tech students, I would say, learn and use the “Golden Rule” (treat others the way you want to be treated), be honest, and study hard.