Hairy Class of 1944
Submitted by
Raynor Gimbal

Did you know that the esteemed class of 1944 (when KAPAs were legal) had some impressive Kapa grads?


Here are some thoughts of the good old days of Hairys back in 1944.

Ahhh, the Kapa Class of '44! Sure we all are pushing seventy, but most of us are really going strong. Mostly retired now, but we made it through. Some became lawyers, some Scouters, some in industry and some in business.

Yes, in '44 Piedmont had not lost a football game in 36 straight outings. Our hairy lawn was the area just behind the big teal vase in the park, now where the kiddies playground resides. The new library was being constructed and opened while we were in high school. Yes, it is the same one that was saved from the wrecking ball a few years ago.

The Hairy lawn that you know today was then the #10 streetcar line right-of-way. Remember, it terminated at Crocker and Hampton, across from the King Lawn. In returning it wove its way across upper Wildwood, Sheridan, across what is now the Hairy Lawn. Then it ran along where the parking area is for the Community Center, crossed Highland, behind the stores and again on to Highland to Park Way. It then slipped down the hill next to Park Way on its own right- of-way. Crossing Blair, Monticello and then Grand Ave to Piedmont Ave. It was then a ten cent ride (or a seven cent token) and they even gave transfers.

The stores! Then they had steps down to the street all along the front of them. There was The Sweet Shop (ice cream cone five cents), Springman's Pharmacy ( a great selection of comic books), and Hamby's Market. At lunch I would get a great sandwich there. Next to the market was the bank (American Trust Co., now Wells Fargo). In grammar school every Tuesday was bank day. A teller would come to the grammar schools and we would line up with our bank books and put a nickel or dime into our savings account. By the time we were through grammar school, we had totaled up a nice little sum that we received 3% interest on for those six years. Wow!

But I digress. Behind the store we had a barber shop and then came the Standard Oil station. Can't remember exactly when Safeway put in a store, but it was on Highland at Vista. First was an Associated Oil gas station, then Safeway. What a blow to old Hamby's Market. COMPETITION!

Around the back of the stores was an alley. It was used by the draymen to unload at the rear of the stores, and I'm sure some other more personal stuff. Also, Hamby's would give free delivery to all Piedmont residences. Just call up your favorite grocerman, Andy, and give him your order. Even talk directly with Sabin, the butcher. The delivery truck would bring the groceries around to your back door a few hours later. Of course, same with Mr. Springman. He would deliver your prescription right to your front door.

We still had that steep hill to go down for boys' P.E. Brick Johnson (a legend) and Mr. Jimmy Hole would be there to greet us and give us our 45-minute workout. In those days we also had a fellow by the name of Major Overton. He was a leftover from WW1 and just a little weird. He would conduct us in the fine art of marching and the manual of arms. He got his jollies from putting us through all the stuff and giving us hell when we goofed. WW2 was still on, and we all were getting ready to go into some branch of the military, so it ended up serving us well.

Brother Raynor Gimbal
aka "Badger"
PHS Class of 1944
Honorable Kapa

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