Catamount March 3, 1967 

I just got Volume 11, No. 10 up on the website. I'm trying to put some useful text into the "headlines" page I do for each edition to make things show up in search engines... (so in case someone googles around looking for information about something related, they will hopefully find my content). It's kind of hard to read all the articles and summarize, though. Still experimenting with this.

There is what appears to be a rather dumb mistake regarding an exchange student on page 3 - the headline reads "Americans Amaze German Exchanger"... and in the article, it says "...Carlo Putz, Cubberley's AFS exchange student from Reckange, *Luxembourg*. I remember Carlo slightly - to the best of my recollection, I thought he was from Germany myself. Undoubtedly he was German-speaking which probably confused things to people not familiar with European geography.

This reminds me of something that happened to me later in life. I made a visit with a mission-board representative to Liberia in West Africa. When meeting with one of the national Christian leaders over there, he asked us the question... "What did your friends say when you said you were coming to Liberia?". I had one that sent him into one of the biggest laughs I've ever heard - someone had told me I had better "watch out for Gaddafi". (One of my friends didn't know the difference between Libya and Liberia).

There's a photo of Neil Howe reading a journalism book. I made the connection to what Neil does today from an HP Labs seminar he gave several years ago, where he mentioned that he went through the Palo Alto schools.

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Catamount - February 3, 1967 

I'm missing Volume 11, #8 which must have come out about 2 weeks after the New Years holiday. If anyone will send me a scan of it (or anything else related), I'll try to post it...

I DID get Volume 11, #9 up on the website yesterday.

I don't remember the Indian science teacher at all.

I DO remember Mr. Chad Osborne singing protest and folk songs. He really had some talent - he would sing in a sort of a raspy Barry McGuire style. Scott LeGear's photo is excellent.

There's a thread through this issue and the last about "granny dresses". Apparently Tani Barlow had been wearing one of these, and it looked too much like sleepwear, so she got in trouble. I didn't know Tani, she must have been older than me. I knew her younger sister, Gayne (I'll have to check that spelling) - the Barlows gave interesting names to all their girls.

Gotta mention more about their dad though. Mr. Barlow was a teacher at the Junior High (Wilbur Junior High, now Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School). He was my seventh-grade science teacher, and has got to be one of the most interesting people I ever knew, and helped me develop my interest in science and computers. I know that he did experiments in class where he didn't know for sure what would happen. I remember he was using those little plastic water rockets to help us learn how to collect and graph data... some sort of spring balance arrangement measured the peak thrust, and he would vary the amount of water and the number of "pumps" on the little air pump that came with them. Much to the delight of our class, one of the rockets escaped the apparatus and shattered a light bulb in a ceiling fixture. I remember that he had slightly wild hair (sort of like the professor in "Back to the Future", but not quite so extreme). He wore a stained white lab coat and smoked a pipe (after school, not during class). You really felt like you were 'doing' science in his room. It was always fun and informative. Back before the PC was even a concept, he had his students coding ecological information onto Hollerith cards and was trying to have us trace cause and effect of varying populations on the overall ecosystem. I don't think we ever got any 'results', but we certainly thought about how things could interact, and learned quite a bit about computers in the process.

Doug Monica (his mom was good friends with my mom) wrote a very thoughtful piece in this edition about the similarities and relationships between the "toughs" and the "long hairs".

Page 4 has a lengthy article about the 'Executors' Car club... plus a column by Bob Warford (who was part of the 'tough' crowd, and one of the Executors). Bob's column was always fun - he would pick up on funny stuff that happened around the school. I know he got censored more than once (in particular about a certain faculty member's hairpiece that somehow ended up in the sawdust in the wood shop). This article mentions that they had a newsletter "The Executor" - if anyone has any of these they would like to scan and send me I'll put 'em on the website.

Page 5 has a piece about one of my best friends at Cubberley, Terry Smith, who, after a $5 "introductory" flying lesson, decided to work toward his pilot's license even before he could drive. I remember going over to the baylands (on bicycles) and watching him do 'touch landings' at the Palo Alto airport. It doesn't come out in the article, but Terry was one of the funniest people I ever knew and also a wonderful friend. When he needed lunch money he would say something like "Hello old buddy, old pal, old GENEROUS friend". I would always happily loan him some lunch money if I had it, and he meticulously paid it back. He also got himself messed up once in Junior high when he was animatedly talking by his locker about the "Fuller Brush Lady", referring to our English teacher, Mrs. Forbush. I remember she overheard him once (or he *thought* she did), and we got lots of chuckles out of that over the next few years. Terry and I used to do 'experiments' with our bikes at Mitchell Park - we would start at the top of the hill following a particular route to see how far we could go just on a coast, and then later with a certain number of "pedal pushes". Then we went back with 3-in-one oil and lubricated everything in sight to see if we could make it go further. Gee, Mr. Barlow could've used *that* to have us graph data too(!)

There is another great Scott LeGear photo on the back page of the wrestling team. I remember that the mother of one of the wrestlers (Tom Tamplin) worked with my dad at Lockheed. My dad had asked me if I could get some photos of him wrestling for his mom, so I opted for some sports assignments with the wrestling team. In the process, I learned an appreciation for the sport and all the work the guys put into it.

In this edition there was also an obituary for a teacher, Miss Shirley Woodcox, who died an untimely death at age 40. When we were in High School 40 seemed so *old*.

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Catamount December 16, 1966 

I just got another PDF of the Catamount set up. From December 16, 1966.

Here's another example of amazing musicians at a dance at Cubberley. "Chocolate Watchband" played at the Christmas Formal. You could get in for $3.50 with a student body card.

The next year, the Christmas dance featured the "Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band" with female vocalist Stevie Nicks.

There's a serious enigma in one hand-drawn image in this edition. I don't get it. It's a hand-drawn christmas tree that looks like it maybe got burned from the middle up. There's a handwritten caption "REUFGPRHDCF". I googled that, nothing. It's probably initials ("Really Easy User Fees for General Purpose Really Heavy Drink Committee Festival" or something like that). There's a second caption "Merry Christmas Carol Doda!" (with a line through "Doda"). I'll let *you* google Carol Doda if you want - I don't see the connection. but I can be dense. If you figure it out, email me.

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Digression - loss of a friend 

Nothing to do with Cubberley, but this IS a blog, and in writing about my move to Palo Alto, it reminds me of some sad things that happened just prior to our move.
I had lost my best friend, Ricky Kieschnick, to a brain tumor just before we moved to California, which, in some ways, made it easier to move, but it meant that California was even a bigger change than I had ever thought possible. I think Ricky's name was "William Richard", but I'm not sure if I'm remembering that right. His dad went by "Bill".

It occurs to me that probably not too many people remember Ricky, and my becoming friends with him is an unusual story - I'm surprised that I remember as much as I do. Reaching WAY back into pre-kindergarten days, we attended the same nursery school (as 4 year olds) at some church (Baptist, I think) in the Letot area of Dallas, Texas. Rickey and I couldn't stand each other... he always struck me as pretty aggressive and noisy. The next year we were not in Kindergarten together, which I took at a Methodist Church in Dallas - (there was none in the public schools in Texas then).

Anyway, much to my initial chagrin, we ended up in the same class in first grade at "FP Caillet" school. It was an accelerated class, and all the kids were pretty smart. I was (and still am) a total athletic klutz, and I didn't really understand how many of the games worked. But I remember being totally clueless about how softball worked (why do we need so many bases?)... and much to my surprise, Rickey, instead of hassling me about it, as he would have certainly been *able* to, invited me over to his house, where he sat me down at the kitchen table, drew me a picture of a baseball diamond, and explained the whole game. I don't know why they didn't do that at school.

The important thing here for me is that the kid who I didn't get along with initially actually had a very kind character that came out as we got a bit older. His kindness still reminds me of our good times together. We were both interested in science as we soon found out, especially chemistry... and we became fast friends. His father took us through some of the chemistry labs at the Atlantic Refinery (later ARCO) facility in Dallas, and I also saw my first computer there (it was being fixed the day we were there - they had a burned out tube or something - I remember big green cabinets full of vacuum tubes, (probably a Burroughs machine) and there was a lady in a white coat with a tube tester in there trying to fix it).

Ricky and I (and our dads) were in "Y" Indian Guides together ("Pals Forever" was the theme song). Our "tribe" was called "AZTEC", and I think Ricky and his dad came up with that name. Each "brave" and his father had to make a wooden cube, about 9" on a side, with one letter of the name of the "tribe" on it, and we stacked them up as a "totem pole" when we got together for a meeting. You had to deliver invitations personally (dad and son) to the other braves when a meeting was going to be at your house.

I remember once when I "ditched" my carpool and walked with Ricky to his house after school - I got in a *lot* of trouble about that - but he wanted to show me a place in a field on the way to his house - basically a ruin of an old cement building that he and the kids over there called "the shack", which was razed during the building of Sparkman Club Estates. It was mysterious and had some legends about people having been killed there - I remember one kid saying he "found some girl bones" there... I hadn't seen it before, and there *was* a red stain there that might've been blood. So... I ditched the carpool - got in trouble - but it was worth it to have the memory today.

I don't know what all was going on with Ricky's health, but he started going to a special doctor of some sort, I believe about some perception issues. He told me that she didn't give him medicine or anything, that they "just talked". Shortly after that he was rather suddenly hospitalized "for some tests", and died rather suddenly during a surgery, which I believe was exploratory. A malignancy was found, and he died on the table. I was told that if he had survived the surgery, he would have most likely been in a lot of pain, and with the cancer being malignant... it may have been better for him that he passed on quickly rather than have to suffer.

I remember that their family, and ours, were devastated, but life goes on, and through some interesting circumstances, I knew a few things about the rest of the family in future years.

I don't have but one photo with Ricky in it, he's on the left (the sweater was sky blue) - then me, then my brother on the right.

I didn't have much contact with the family for several years after we moved to California. I think my parents exchanged Christmas cards with them. After I was in College, Ricky's his younger brother Michael came out to Stanford when we were living in Palo Alto, and when he came out as a Freshman, I went and got him at the airport, and got him situated in his dorm. I remember calling some dean over at Stanford to try to figure out how to find the particular dorm he was in, so I wouldn't get lost taking him over to campus. After that, the parents and younger sister (Jane - now a doctor) came out several times, and we kind of got re-acquainted.

Interestingly, Rickey's dad went on to become president of ARCO, and last I knew he had retired from ARCO, was living in Napa growing wine grapes, and on the board of the local opera.

It just seemed like it would be a good idea to write something to remember this was a kind little soul - and was helpful to me in my early klutziness in sports. I never got very good at any sport, in baseball, I still usually got to "play outfield" which meant I chased the balls that went the farthest, but at least I knew about strikes, balls, and outs, and knew when to go in to bat, etc.

I don't know if anyone else would even remember him, but just in case someone decides to "google", from an old memory or whatever, it seemed appropriate to mention the kindness.

But this is supposed to be a Catamount website, and this predates my high school years by about 6... so I should probably get some more scanned material online. Onward.

I could scan an old Caillet PTA book my mom kept - boy we were packrats!
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String on Palo Alto Weekly Website - early experiences at Cubberley 

I think I was "googling" one of the merchants in an old Catamount and came across this "Growing Up in Palo Alto" nostalgia string on the PA Weekly website. I recognize some of the names of the folks there, and share many of the same memories.

This link may be no good in a few months, but it looks like the thread has lasted several months at least... it's at ... amp;t=551.

When I moved to Palo Alto in the early 60s (from Texas, which was also a great place to grow up, but in different ways) I knew I had landed someplace special. The kids at Ohlones (with an "s") were friendly, ougtoing, incredibly smart, and easy to get to know. As a 4th grader with a bicycle, I was all over Fairmeadow, Greenmeadow, Wilbur, Cubberley, Ohlones, Charleston Center, and even as far away as Wright's Petland on El Camino. Nobody thought of there being an issue of safety, except with traffic, so we were careful crossing the streets. Within the first week I had discovered Peninsula Scientific - and I thought that HP and Varian looked like incredible places to work (HP had Oscilloscope waveforms in the bricks up on the hill, and Varian had an Oscilloscope image in their green neon signs). I'm now retired from HP, but doing some consulting there.

I also found out I was a *LOT* healthier when I moved to Palo Alto. In Dallas, I had typically something like 20 absenses per year with various ailments (including Scarlet Fever). But in Palo Alto, I didn't miss a single day of school in 4th through 8th grade - I was out one day with a headache in 9th grade, and perhaps a few spotty times in High School. I attribute this to the several factors -

(1) I had probably developed pretty serious allergies to grasses in Dallas. (The tract where we lived from 1956 to 1960 was initially in the middle of former farmland, and full of weeds - it wasn't built-out until we moved).
(2) The California climate was better.
(3) As a result of (2), we kept the windows open more (and my parents were both heavy smokers - so in Texas I was trapped in a closed house with lots of smoke, but not in California). Also in California it was easier to be outside more of the time.

My first experience at Cubberley was when I was in 4th grade - my teacher (Mr. Richard K Empey) had us walk from Ohlones to Cubberley and back (about a half mile - nice walk on a warm Palo Alto afternoon) to work with some Monroe adding machines they had for business classes. These were not the 10-key type, but had ten keys for each column. The carriage portion would shift so you could do multiplication by shifting and cranking doing repeated ads. Division was possible, but you had to use the index register to count how many times you turned the crank before it went negative. (basically iterative long division by subtraction). Pretty cool.

The next time I was in a classroom there was (I think) in a night school class with my Dad (when I was in 7th grade) called "Introduction to Data Processing" or something of the sort. It was taught by William McKeeman who was then a PhD Candidate at Stanford. After the first session of the class, my dad came home and started talking to me about addresses, stored programs, instructions, data, and all that good stuff, and I was hooked on wanting to learn more about the stuff. The first program I ever worked on (it was a class project) was in machine code for a PDP-1. We put it in on the switch register on the unit at Pine Hall at Stanford. It took a character input from the typewriter, then took a second character, added the two and printed the sum.

So if you typed "11", it would type "2". If you typed "a1" it would type "b". I looked in the manual and discovered that if you could manage to get a particular sum, it would switch the color on the ribbon, and I believe we left the machine typing on the red ribbon rather than the black - leaving it as an exercise for some poor grad student to fix it - or just live with red.

This was also my first exposure to video games "spacewar" on the PDP-1 with telephone-buzzer style button boxes for each player (4 buttons, rotate left, rotate right, thruster, and fire weapons). The sun in the center of the screen exerted gravity. I have a later photo of a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) display (perhaps the same one?) that I took when I was in High School at the Stanford AI Lab (in the former DC Power Lab Building). But the first time I saw spacewar, it was on the PDP-1, and nobody had even thought about putting video games in an arcade.

Mr. Empey (the 4th grade teacher), and Bill McKeeman are two of the best teachers I've ever run into *anywhere*.

My third experience at Cubberley was when I was in junior high - I took a summer class there in how to type. That was in 1964 - the summer of the Republican Convention where Goldwater was nominated.

(But that reminds me of a story I gotta' tell)... I remember that because I took a day off from typing to actually GO to the convention and watch nominating speeches. Some friends from Texas (Jack and Wanda Eidson) were in the Republican organization down there, and got me a pass that read "Honorary Assistant Sargent-at-arms" or something like that. That got you into the convention hall, but no seat. Between myself and my mom, we had one real ticket (with a great view of the main platform), plus the "Sargent" pass. My mom got onto the floor with a 'borrowed' delegate pass, but I was too young to pass as a delegate, so I stayed up in the seats and in the surrounding areas. We also had access to a hospitality suite through the Texas delegation. When I got away on my own, I "visited" the anchor booths of some of the TV networks - you couldn't go inside, but they were enclosed in glass so you could see all the monitors, plus the video tape units (which were about the size of refrigerators in those days). These areas were separate from the "skybooth" style studios each network had (with Huntley, Brinkley, Cronkite, and friends). I couldn't get close to those.

Anyway, in spite of "playing hooky" one day during the summer class, I learned to type (fortunately - nobody could read my handwriting). There were two teachers, and they were trying an experiment to help us learn to type faster... they had several TV sets around the room, and a camera mounted vertically pointing at a keyboard. The teachers would type stuff on the screen, and we were supposed to look at the monitor ("eyes on the monitor, space") instead of down at the keys. I think it actually worked pretty well.

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