Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Kent Hughes ’75
My great-grandfather had a bar on Market Street in SF, which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. He moved in with a relative in Petaluma and learned chicken farming. He eventually bought a farm in what is now East Oakland by the Coliseum and raised chickens. During the Depression my great-grandfather built homes on his chicken farm and sold them off to survive.
Both my grandmother and my mother were born in Oakland. My father moved to Oakland at 2 yrs. All three went to Fremont High School
We lived in the Rockridge area of Oakland. I went to Tech because it was the local high school. My 4 older siblings went to Tech, and Skyline was too far away. Oakland Tech was a very diversified campus. I met all types of people. I felt fairly naive; that everyone else knew what they were doing. Little did I know that everyone was pretty much in the same boat.
Overall, it was a pretty exciting time. There were great people at Tech. OTHS had an “open campus” at the time and many restaurants close by. At breaks, we’d get burgers at Chris & John’s (across Broadway). I had coffee for the first time at Dave’s Coffee shop. Mid-seventies music was the best. At Tech, you’d hear so many different types of music. I still remember Spergeon Hunt singing Stevie Wonder in a history class.
I was jumped once coming in from a doctor’s appointment. I was in the very large hallways and someone from off campus started to throw punches at me. I don’t recall being hurt as much as scared. Also, during one break period, drinking coffee across the street at Chris & John’s with Stewart Washington and Michael Bennett, we noticed everyone pouring out of the school. Supposedly, someone fired a gun in the administration / counselor’s offices. Don’t really know what that was about.
I was on the soccer team my first year. I got to play in all the games and lettered. I was a student representative on a city commission on schools.
Some of the classes/teachers that stand out include: Mary Smith (Geometry), Coach Sherman (think he’s still there?), Mr. Preston – Piano, Mr. Eldredge. There are so many more, I will have to look at my yearbook.
I went on to Boston University and studied engineering and graduate school at MIT. I am still a practicing engineer in telecommunications. However, OTHS wasn’t really a technical school at the time.
I learned to get along with people. If you didn’t get along, listen to others, it was somewhat tough. Unfortunately, I lost contact with several good friends. I am still in contact with Stewart Washington, Spergeon Hunt, and many people through my sister. My older brother married my Sophomore Chemistry IWE, Mayumi (Margaret) Matson.
I learned to get along with people. If you didn’t get along, listen to others, it was somewhat tough. I am proud to be a Bulldog. I tell many of my children’s friends of my education through OUSD and graduating from Tech in ’75. They look bored with me.