Tuesday, March 31, 2009

North Oceanside Elementary School

When North Oceanside Elementary School was built in 1939, it was a state of the art school with everything every school is supposed to have. It was my first school I went there from September 1962 (Kindergarten) until May 1966 (third grade), when we moved to Colton (next city to San Bernardino, but not far from my birthplace, Riverside).

Let me interject a sidenote here: The day after we settled into the Mount Slover Trailer Village in Colton, my mother was curious and went to the offices of the Colton Joint Unified School District to ask when school started in September. But school was still running... it was still running in Oceanside, too. The administration knew that some schools outside California have school years that end sometime in May. So they promoted my sister and me four weeks before the school year was over. But when they knew we were public school students, sitting at home, doing nothing except watching Sheriff John, they told us to go to U.S. Grant Elementary School as soon as possible. We still had three more weeks of school left! Bummer...

For the students at North Oceanside School, this would be their last year. The school was to be demolished to put in a new freeway to bypass Mission Avenue (California State Route 76). They would go across the San Diego Freeway (I-5) to North Terrace Elementary School.

We didn't keep much in contact with old friends in Oceanside and soon forgot them. But we'd go to Oceanside on the weekends... they had a very decent beach with no charge access. Parking was under $1.00...

Strange, we often went by the old school and nothing happened! It was closed but all the buildings were still standing, something like a ghost town!

Time passed by... I graduated from Colton High School in 1975... I went to three different colleges before dropping out in 1978... Then I joined the Army in early 1979, and was honorably discharged seven years later... I graduated from college, moved away to Texas for graduate school and work... I came back... And we'd go to the beach in Oceanside and nothing happened to my old school... until...

1995, we saw some earth moving equipment on one of our beach trips. About a year after this, we saw what you see at the top of this posting. My old school is where you see the palm trees on the right side. I think one or two buildings are still there. And it really wasn't a freeway... It is the San Luis Rey River Expressway. It has intersections and not on/off ramps.

Just think, it only took thirty years!

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