Homecoming parade features alumni from the class of 1959
By Rem O'Donnelley
Locals gathered downtown Friday evening as San Rafael High School celebrated their 125th anniversary during their annual homecoming parade.
To help celebrate that milestone, alumni from the class of 1959 also took part in the parade that started at San Rafael City Hall and traveled on Fourth Street where it ended at San Rafael High School.
Emily Busch organizes student activities at the school. She turned up with the school's mascot Sophia, a bulldog who was wearing a San Rafael High School Bulldogs shirt. “A lot of people don't realize that San Rafael High School is the oldest school in Marin County. It is a great way to honor the community,” she said.
There were a variety of 1950s convertibles carrying current homecoming princes and princesses as well as alumni from 1959. One alum riding in a convertible was Knut Dale who came from Pasadena in Southern California to attend both the 1959 reunion and his 50th class reunion at University of California Berkeley.
Watching the parade on Fourth Street were three friends Kelly Banfield, Kathleen Whittemore-Castro and Jeanni Clancy who graduated from San Rafael High School in 1980. Whittemore-Castro was a homecoming princesses then. “It was great memories, I sat on the back of a little convertible and waved to all my family and friends,” she said.
Some of the classic cars driven in the parade were also used in the 1973 movie American Graffiti which was directed by current San Rafael resident George Lucas.
Having those cars in the parade travel down Fourth Street and past the Rafael Theater was appropriate since that is where some of the movie took place.
At an after party at a San Rafael restaurant were alumni Joanne Cattaneo and Joanna Hinkle. They've been friends since fifth grade and talk to each other daily.
“We had some football parades that we were in. We went with guys who had cars so we would go up and down Fourth Street,” Cattaneo said.
Hinkle also spoke of her high school days in San Rafael. “I did a lot of cruising up and down the (Fourth) Street,” she said.
If the class of 2013 get to participate in a high school homecoming parade of the future will the classic cars include a Toyota Prius, a Smart car, a Tesla sports car or might they be in Range Rovers, Porsches and Mercedes instead?
One can only wonder what school memories the class of 2013 will recall in 50 years. Hopefully they will involve hanging out in San Rafael, sports and YouTube cat videos but not selfies or twerking.