As mentioned earlier, I had my share of fights in elementary school and a couple in junior high, but the one I really remember, occurred when I was in the 9th grade and late for school. As I walked on the sidewalk (Hilltop Dr) in front Gompers Jr. High (Gompers Preparatory Academy today), there were five older boys walking towards me from 47th street. As they approached closer, this feeling of dread overcame me as I thought that I would be jumped on. As I passed them, one of them hit me in the chest. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, my father said “don’t you ever start a fight, but if you find yourself in one, I expect you to finish it.” Well, I couldn’t stand up to five older boys pummeling me. I threw down my books and ran to my first class, which was Mr. Avery Wold’s 9th grade science class. He took one look at me and asked what happened. I explained to him the situation and off to see Mr. Rodriquez, the Vice Principal I went.
Mr. Rodriquez called the police, I went with them to the school (Wright Brothers, today known as Millennial Tech Middle School) where these five boys attended and pointed them out. Off to Juvi those students went.
Because of the above incident, my parents felt that it would be best for me to not attend the high school in my district. My mother successfully appealed to the school district psychologist to have me transfer from Lincoln High School to Crawford High School. But there was a caveat, there would be no transportation for me—I would have to find my own way to attend that high school. During the summer of 1964, I saved my money from odd jobs and allowances and bought a new 10-speed bicycle for $50.00—adjusted for inflation, that is $495.20 in 2023 dollars. Thus, I started my three-year journey riding my bike every day for what I thought was a 10 mile round trip to school. But today Google Maps shows my route to be a 6-7 mile round trip.
Gompers Jr High School Yearbook(6 Slides) Click here