What is a Piedmont High School Hairy?
I'd like to first welcome you to the PiedmontHigh.com HairyNet ... As the exalted ruler of the "Hairy Lawn Brotherhood," I am as qualified as anyone to pass on the folklore which describes the origin of the Hairy Lawn and thus, the term, "Hairys."
Back in the early 1960s, probably when the term "high school harry" was made popular in literature of the day, we, at Piedmont High began to refer to PHS grads who hung around town at the lawn (the Hairy lawn) where the Chinese bus stop is at the very top of Wildwood and Sheridan, as "Hairys."
The way I heard it, from Pete Horner, one of 1970s' most famous grads, who heard it from one of the Tyler's, who heard it from Al Howard, who heard it from Denny Pierpont,was like this ...
"they (hairys) don't shave, they have long hair (it was the beginning of the end of the hippy revolution), and they are not going to college, or were matriculating (Waxdeck's most used word on the Johnny Carson Show while promoting the bird-calling contest) at Laney or Merrit juinor college... that's a hairy.
If you were Jane Witter, Jean Rowe, or Verona Mhoon, (3 of the many very desirable female grads of 1970) and you brought a hairy home for dinner, ... your mom might say, "you're not planning on marrying this high school hairy are you?"
So there you have it, ... the living history of the origin of the PHS hairy. I'm sure you still have a place where grads who don't leave hang out in town .. a place where the police know it's just a bunch of the local rich kids hanging out and they'd leave them alone to get into mischief.
The Hairy Lawn was very popular on holidays when returning grads, back from college, would meet up other returnees and their less fortunate pals still stuck in Piedmont and very easy to find at the Hairy Lawn.... At that time in history we would all go down to Confucius Bar on Lakeshore Ave., where minors from Piedmont were served courteously and promptly by Bing and the bartender, Joe, or we'd go to the "Surf Club" on Telegraph and 40th in Oakland and watch "Creative Timmy" dance and order cocktails from "Burt" .... and we'd reminisce over our glory-days-of-high-school stories.... and in the true spirit of hairyhood ... share rumors and innuendo of other high school hairy's, desperately hoping to hear and revel in some ghastly news about some poor slob of a hairy who had made a fool of him or herself since graduating.
Suffice to say ... a thin-skinned hairy didn't last long. They would be hazed into a personality crisis, if possible, just as we had done in our high school daze. ... Truly, The Hairy Lawn Brotherhood ultimately came from a long-standing tradition of Highlander snobbery and condescension on ANYONE who did not fit the mold... and let me assure you there were many who collapsed under the scrutiny and many, like myself who did not, and many others who did not know, or care, because they were drunk or stoned, or simply needed to get away from the Piedmont High experience as fast as possible in hopes of establishing some sort of self-esteem and a sense of belonging. ... But I digress, hairys are a bunch of grads from Piedmont High who could dish it out as well as they could take it and all became friends over time..........
Piedmont High School Hairy - Class of 1970
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