Before there was a Driftwood/Perry

(This information was originally included in a private email exchange with June (Allison) Bain, host of the '65/'66/'67/'68/'69 site, and she suggested I post it for the edification of all, even though I believe it applies solely to the Class of '64.)

I don't know if you know the evolution of McArthur/Perry/Driftwood, but in 1958/59 McArthur had grades 7 through 11—no Perry; no Driftwood. There was no senior year until 1959/60 (you probably knew that). I am given to understand that the school was actually in operation a year earlier, 1957/58, and presumably serving grades 7 through 10. I welcome the input of folks who know.

So, '64 folks (those who were in the area) actually went to 7th grade at McArthur. The following year ('59/60), portable schools for Perry and Driftwood were set up, and 7th (Class of '65) and 8th grades were conducted there, with McArthur having 9th through 12th (and the first graduating class).

I don't know when the permanent Driftwood facility was completed, but the Perry body moved into their brand new plant with a full 7th through 9th complement beginning the next year, '60/61 (in its current location—the portables school was several blocks away, on the other side of the Turnpike and the other side of Hallandale Boulevard—it's now Sunshine Elementary).

Then finally, in 1961/62, we '64s (including the Driftwood faction) were reunited at McArthur for 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Consequently, so far as I know, the '64s were the only class who went to McArthur twice, and attended four different schools from 7th through 12th (Perry being in two locations as was Driftwood—that other junior high).

To put a finer point on it, many of our fellow '64s didn't even move to the West Hollywood area until 9th, 10th, or even 11th grade, thus, of the graduating class, there is only a fraction who were at McArthur in 7th grade. I think of us as an elite few.

The significance of the experience didn't dawn on me at the time—it wasn't until the 21st Century that I even thought about it. Others, smarter than me (a large body), probably ciphered it out much earlier, but for me, living it contemporaneously, it was just business as usual. And when you put it all together, there are quite a few of us who have known each other for more than half a century. Did you ever think you'd live to see the day?

There—more than you wanted to know.

Since I put up this site, I've been informed by more than one classmate that there are some '64 friends of even older vintage. Several (I won't try to name any for fear of misstating or leaving someone out) of our half century brethren were together in sixth grade as well, across the street at West Hollywood Elementary. I welcome notes from anyone with a claim to having known a fellow '64 the longest.

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Last updated: 28 January 2009