To kick off their 50th class reunion, members of the class of 1967 gathered at the CVHS football game on Sept. 15, where they reminisced about everything from McDonald’s to the Vietnam War.
Some of the alumni still live locally. However many are spread across the state, and even across the country. They talked about why they made the trip to revisit the place of their teenage years.
“I haven’t been here in 50 years. I wanted to see how the campus has changed,” said Robert Chung. Earlier that day leadership students had taken the class of 1967 on a tour of the school.
One of the most notable changes was the stadium.
“The stadium was here but there were wood benches. We didn’t have metal during the (Vietnam) war,” said Phil Mougey.
“We were the first school in the Bay Area to have lights. Everyone wanted to play here,” said Bill Kelly.
The group eventually moved beyond the school and began to talk about changes in the town. In the 60s, Castro Valley was an agriculture-based area, dominated by chicken ranches.
“My folks moved to Somerset Avenue in 1948. It was called Williams Road then. Everything to the north of Somerset was chicken coops,” said Mougey.
All shopping and dining had to be done in Hayward, so it was especially exciting to the then-teenagers when McDonald’s came to Castro Valley.
“That was so exciting! Hamburgers at McDonald’s were 13 cents,” said Charlotte Fernandez.
But the alumni did more than cheerfully reflect on their youth. They did not shy away from less positive memories about being young in the late 60s.
“How come girls didn’t get letter sweaters?” Shelly King-Davis asked rhetorically. King-Davis played on multiple sports teams, and expressed her frustration that she does not have a letterman jacket to commemorate them.
CVHS used to allow boys but not girls to leave campus at lunch, which was another complaint the former teenagers had from the “different times.”
After graduation from high school, some went to college, some went to work, and some went to war.
“When I got out of high school I went to Vietnam,” said Mougey.
“Our class only lost one person, Jerry Duffy,” said Charlotte Fernandez. The alumni had a small memorial planned for their fallen classmate the next day at the hotel where they were staying.
While the conversation had serious moments, it was generally a positive reflection on their youth and time at CVHS. Davis-King, along with her classmates, praised her teachers for preparing her for a career in archaeology.
“I would say that my teachers here at Castro Valley High School truly inspired me to become a professional,” said Davis-King.