Another Discovery……………#29 (the 50’s)

Oakland storm drainage tunnel.

Always one in the pursuit of discovery,  rather than be discovered,  Gary was being summoned to Mrs. Jory’s counseling office,  Mrs. Hazel Jory was also Gary’s english teacher as well as the Low- 7th grade Counselor.   He instinctively concluded that something must be forthcoming about his lack of academic achievement in english, having difficulty with the grammar structure aspect.   Never to be judgmental, but known to render an observation,  the seventh grader wondered what he had done to warrant a bidding from this austere iconic looking monument of discipline.   She bore a remarkable  resemblance to Nelda Rehfuss another epitome of chastisement he endured in the 5th grade.   Braving the unknown he stood at her doorway expecting a discipline expression and a commanding oratory,  but instead he received a smile and an  invitation to be seated.

Once seated the interview began, Mrs. Jory explaining the reason for his presence was his academic future,  that this was an initial interview for students concerning their course of scholastic endeavor.  Students could select from three alternative studies,  vocational, business or college preparatory.    The Counselor explaining that  this assessment was preliminary in determining the student’s future course of study.   The farthest thought from the seventh graders mind was choosing class subject,  especially  knowing that in all probability electives would not be a prerogative until  the eighth  grade, but having already come to a decision that college was his objective.  He was aware that before graduating from high school he would have to attain at least two years of a foreign language, chemistry, physic and subsequently four years of higher math, starting with Algebra thru Calculus.   He did bring it to Mrs Jory Attention that he was interested in taking a half semester of each of the vocational shops as an elective in the 8th and 9th grade.   With the interview concluding his train of thought returned to what was really on his mind that day, something he had planned to do when school let out.

Key System – Public and School transportation

After school Hank and Don almost always walked up Foothill Blvd to Seminary Ave. to board the bus for the journey home.   Gary sometimes joining  them, but finding the first bus was always crowded and on many occasion you would have to stand with no empty seats, which was inconvenient with an arm full of books.   Some days he preferred to amble along the path behind the school above a storm drainage canal running diagonally between Brann St. and 62nd Ave and 60th and Camden, then wait for the second bus at the Camden stop on Seminary Ave but on this day his normal  routine would differ.

The light at the end of the tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel

Leaving the school grounds,  taking his time he crossed 62nd and Brann St. to the path above drainage canal but this time stopping at the open storm drain canals source,  a large cement entrance opening going under Camden St.   Climbing down the embankment, the canal having a small amount of flowing water, the opening edifice showing signs at one time of being gated.  This was not just a large storm sewer pipe  but more like a tunnel and from the chalked markings on the entrance walls he deciphered that many others had entered into this chasm of darkness.  He stared into the black void,  judging that there must be a turn in the darken tunnel otherwise daylight would be visible at the other end.  Making  a decision to access the passage, assuring himself that this wasn’t much different from his entering the darkened sulphur mines on Leona Creek.  Entering, discovering signs of others before him,  empty bottles, cardboard boxes frequented the passage, there being no heavy rain to clear the spewed debris.   Touching the wall and looking back at the entrance opening behind him as a way to maintain a bearing, knowing as long as you can see a lighted opening even if its located  behind you, gives one a sense of reckoning.   It was decision time after progressing deeper into the catechism, giving thought to reversing his direction when the aperture made a subtle turn and he could see the glow of daylight now in front of him.   Continuing  towards the light, finally stepping out into the bright daylight his destination accomplished, gazing about searching for some familiar landmark.  It wasn’t very difficult to find a benchmark, he was across the street  from the entrance gate to Mills College on MacArthur Blvd.   Later upon further investigations discovering the weathered drainage canal originated at lake Alviso, known as Green Lake,  located on the college campus and whose water source was no other than another exploratory that he had experienced,  Leona Creek.

The enlighten seventh grader would share his experience with others,  learning that he wasn’t solitary in his discovery.  Still he felt an embracing perception of nostalgia from acquainting a familiar cohort with this new discovery, now knowing the  disposition of Leona Creek,  it’s inauguration and its final destination.



2 Responses to “Another Discovery……………#29 (the 50’s)”

  1. hoodia Says:

    I can’t say I completely agree regarding certain thoughts, but you certainly have an interesting point of view. Anyway, I like the quality you add to the blogosphere and that this isn’t just another abandoned, made-for-adsense site! Take care…

    • gwillson7 Says:

      Thank you for your comment. I enjoy sharing my life and thoughts, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

      Take Care………………Gary

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