Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Margaret Riley Davis ’60
I love the spirit of the people I met when I entered Tech High: a spirit of care, fun, support, camaraderie, and friendship. As a sophomore entering Tech, I had challenges as a polio survivor since the 8th grade at Westlake Jr. High. Even though I had progressed from two crutches down to one, when I started in my new school, my doctor insisted that I should use two crutches again, because the kids were not familiar with me and my limitations and I might get injured.
So there I was, my first year in high school and back on two crutches. There were no Paratransit vehicles at that time and the only means of disabled transportation to school was by taxicab. I wanted so badly to walk home with the other kids.
After some time passed, I would occasionally and increasingly tell the driver not to pick me up after school. My brother, Charles, and several other kids would walk with me, needless to say, at a very slow pace, from 45th and Broadway to 52nd and Shattuck (15 or more blocks). They carried my books, my purse, sometimes my coat or sweater, and my gym bag. No one complained. They were always patient, encouraging, and helpful throughout my first year in high school. I finally made it back to one crutch before the end of the first semester and finally, no crutch for the rest high school. To date, I am still in touch with some of those friends.