TCHS Alumni News
Temple City High School, California
Ram Logo
🏠 ⚙ 👤 TCHS Alumni News
Alumni News
Mourning Becomes Calligraphy
In the 1940s we learned to write in first grade with pencils first, and later (cannot remember which year) India ink. In those days Longden School still had the old fashioned desks in rows one behind the other, and there were actual inkwells—little bottles that rested in holes in the desktop approximately as shown in the adjacent graphic (created sparing no expense). The pens had wooden handles and a cork wrapper near the tip that improved our grip and recaptured errant ink.

The part near the student was hinged and our books went inside; another version just had a shelf underneath the writing surface. For writing class, we would go to the closet, get our little bottle of ink and a pen, which we would use very carefully to avoid getting the indelible ink on our clothes. This was no small trick, as the rubber stoppers would often commit suicide by leaping from the desktop to the floor, for which we were punished as accessories before the fact, since the India ink would stain the old wooden floors.

Suffice it to say that few of us became calligraphers, but all of us were thrilled at the advent of the ballpoint pen somewhere around fifth grade.

When the old 1920s Longden School was demolished in the early 70s, some of the old desks were still on site. One of them escaped going to the dump by accidentally falling into the trunk of a close relative's car and has been awaiting restoration in my garage ever since. It has cast iron legs that support one desk and the attached chair that originally accommodated the child nearer the teacher. The front-most position had no forward seat. Needs rust removal and some loving treatment of hinges and woodwork. At 80 I've given up on being that restorer. Any volunteers? It would make a great donation to the history museum.
—Rees Clark

PS: It will occur to the most observant readers that left-handed children had a high propensity for dragging their sleeves through their work while dipping their pens in the inkwell, which of course were placed at right as God intended.
Don't shoot; I am not black!
The recent Michael Brown affair in St. Louis has reminded me of a similar earlier event. In 1977 a high school classmate of mine named Ron Burkholder was shot and killed by an LA police officer after being confronted for bizarre behavior, namely running naked through the street and playing Don Quixote at the mill, tilting in this case at a phone booth. At least one witness said he had his hands up when the cop fired.

Ron was the classic high school intellectual. Quiet, speaking mainly only to the other bright boys. I cannot remember his non-academic interests. He earned a scholarship to Johns Hopkins. He walked away from his high school graduation over some petty nonsense with a petty administrator, his scholarship having obviated the need for a diploma.

He later graduated in chemistry according to online sources (I never saw him after HS). He had various research interests, apparently including the wonderful world of recreational chemistry, which perhaps contributed to his tragic end, given the testimony of his behavior that night.

The affair led to considerable public outcry, and the city police and many other agencies were forced to change their use of force policies as a result.

One Richard Cohen produced a documentary of the event in 1980. The excerpts are eerily evocative of the past month in MO; only the races are changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

It’s interesting how the news media, who are of course now made up of people younger than the event, have not made the connection. I asked around among people I know who knew him, and even some classmates are unaware of it.

If you're interested, a Google search on "ron burkholder lapd deadly force policy jerry brown william gates" will give you a good starting point.

Prospective alumni plan parade participation
The official court of this year's camellia parade was announced in early January. The "future alumni" include Emily Beyelia, Natalie Castro-Figueroa, Torrie Paulino and rear from rear left: Matthew Lopez, Noah Granger, and Adam Besaw. Photo credit SGV Tribune.

This year's parade is Feb. 21, and the festival runs from Feb. 20 through Feb. 22. The Calendar has more information.

Details in SGV Tribune

Health Note: Protect loved ones from stroke
Strokes are never good, but here's a way to mitigate damage by seeking help fast. Victims often know something is wrong but have trouble communicating verbally. Or you might see someone acting oddly or clumsily. Doing nothing or making a cute comment rarely helps; instead...

Click the adjacent image; when the larger version appears, right-click it and save to disk. Now print it, fold it (glue it together) and put it in the topmost plastic insert of your wallet or the wallet of a loved one. Train them and yourself that in the event communication is difficult a stroke is possibly the reason. You/they should show the message to ANY passerby (pride, vanity and embarrassment will not save your life; action might).
Brighten up your Computer Screen
Judy Million Pirrie '60 sent along this link to a useful computer maintenance tool. We find it achieves her intent perfectly.

Screen Cleaner

Carlin Proposes Rule for 2007
Comedian George Carlin wishes the 'net would " Stop giving me that pop-up ad for! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them!? Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days--mowing my lawn."

There's another reason: The real info about TCHS alumni is at This would be a good time to register, or if you are already registered, to update your contact information. We will be adding some new features this summer, and we don't want you to miss out.