Elementary School in San Diego – Grade 6 Part (5)

For me and my brother, there was no change in our school when we moved from Guymon street in the Glenncliff subdivision to the Roswell St in the Emerald Hills area of San Diego. Instead of the family living on the west side of Horton Elementary we were now on the east side of the school.

I really enjoyed 6th grade and my favorite activity of all times in elementary school was 6th grade camp. We in San Diego had the opportunity to attend camp for a week in the mountains—the cost was $45.00 ($466.76 in 2023 dollars.) My class attended Camp Marston. If my memory serves me correctly, those camps were former CCC camps. We lived in cabins, did craftwork, hiked at night, studied nature, cut trails to name some of the activities. By the way, each cabin was assigned specific duties on a rotating basis to keep the camp, kitchen, and dining room clean.

Now that I was in 6th grade, I was finally old enough to join the Boy Scout.  I was so excited about joining Scouts, that I passed the Tenderfoot test the night I joined.  My parents had purchased the manual before I joined so thatI could pass the required examination that night.

Let me digress for just a minute and write about two of my Boy Scout experiences. We would travel to ourcamps in the bed of a pickup truck, which you can’t do today, but it was such fun traveling down the highway with the wind blowing through one’s hair. My first camping experience was at Green Valley Falls in the Cuyamaca Mountains of Eastern San Diego County. Well, our first day was exhausting and that night I fell quickly to sleep.

Daniel in his Boy Scout Uniform. Notice the Tenderfoot badge sewn unto the left pocket.
One of the great advantage of being in the scouts during those days, we would head to the mountains in the bed of a pick-up truck – that was soooo much fun. Unfortunately that can’t be done today. And there’s that black & yellow 58 Mercury

To my surprise, the next morning I found myself tied to the center of my pup tent. I must have been really exhausted to not been awake during that episode.

My second experience was the Boy Scout Fair, held on the football field of San Diego State College stadium.  Back in those days we were not very concerned about not being supervised by Scout leaders.  So at the end of our fair day on that Friday night, all the Scout leaders had gone home leaving three eleven year olds on our on to clean up and be ready for the next day.

There were no cell phones, heck there were no telephone booths to call our parents to come get us.  So the three of us started walking home – it is midnight and the walk would be 4-5 miles back to Horton Elementary and then the walk home.  Do you think this would be allowed today, not a chance.  Today parents would probably be arrested for child neglect.

We had walked as far as maybe 100 yards before coming to University Ave on 54th street, when this guy in a convertible pulled up next to us and offered to give us a ride back to school.  All I could think about was my parents’ warnings to never accept a ride from a stranger.  But my friends kept insisting that we accept, after all we still had about three miles of walking to get to school and it was past midnight.  I relented, but never could get out of my mind the kidnapping of a young girl name Mary Lou who lived not too far from Gompers Jr. High.  She was never found. 

I think I remember the name because of Marilou street off of Federal Blvd and 47th street; she was about my age. However we all made it home safely and at about 1:00 – 1:30 am in the morning I unlocked the front door to my home and went to bed.  I don’t think our parents ever discovered we were left on our own at midnight.

One last writing about living in Glenncliff – actually two.  At the entrance to the Glennclifd subdivision, there was a duplex at the corner of Guymon and 47th street (left side).  That duplex housed the rental office and the lawn care rental shop.  Lawnmowers were the push rotary type.  The cost to rent was $1.00.  To make money for my little incidentals, I would rent a lawnmower on Saturday mornings and walk the neighborhood offering to cut lawns for $1.00.    On a good Saturday I could make about $10.00.  On a not so good Saturday only a couple of bucks – barely enough to cover my expenses.The other way I earned an income was to sell the Sunday paper. 

The other way I earned an income was to sell the Sunday paper.  I had approached the guy who was in charge of dropping off the newspaper to the kids about standing on the corner of Market and 47th to sell the Sunday paper, but that corner was already taken, and besides I was too young.  So I made a deal with him -drop off maybe 10-15 newspapers on Sunday and I’ll walk door-door offering to sell them that way.  The newspaper cost $ 0.25 and I would earn $0.05 / paper sold.  That doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but heck, sell 15 papers and I earned $0.75 ($7.78  2023 spending value).  That was a lot of money for a 10-11 year old kid to spend on suckers, comic books, gifts for my parents, models, etc.  Unfortunately when we moved I had to give that all up.  Also, I sold Christmas cards door-door during the holiday season, enough to earn a tou car racing track set.  Those were fun times.

Horton, Elementary School on the left. The subdivision on the right was being built when I lived in the Glenncliff subdivision. During the construction of that subdivision, us neighborhood kids would go through the area collecting discarded soda bottles. This bottles would be returned for the 40.03 we for get for each one. One last note about this photo. A good friend of mine at the time was Michael who lived in the house on the corner next to the telephone pole – my father told me, Michael was selected to serve on jury for the O.J. Simpson trial.

One last note before moving on to junior high, I had to make-up my bed everyday including Saturdays and Sundays.








Continue on to Part 6: Jr High and Beyond

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