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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Alums hold panel about life in Pleasanton during the 1950s

Alums+sharing+laughter+with+their+old+friends+in+the+same+way+that+they+did+decades+earlier.+
Zenil Koovejee
Alums sharing laughter with their old friends in the same way that they did decades earlier.

Following Saturday’s pancake breakfast, the Amador library saw an alum-led panel for Donna Camp McMillion’s history of Pleasanton, Cruising Down Memory Lane

“I have never missed a reunion. I have never missed anything going on with Amador, and I’m from Oklahoma City. They asked me to speak, [so] I spoke; I’m still here with friends I’ve known for a long time,” said Dennis Krause (‘58).  

Panelists took turns recounting their days at Amador in the ‘50s, sharing memories and laughter with an audience of alums, friends, and family.

“This was a very special time of remembrance for me. Reminders of people that I knew, and there were great stories from all of those different people,” said former German teacher Bettygail Hunt (‘70)

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  • Cruising Down Memory Lane author Donna Camp McMillion introducing the panel to the audience.

  • Audience members complimented the presentation with anecdotes of their own.

  • Alums raising their hands as panelists call out their respective graduating classes.

  • Panelist Dennis Krause (’58) sharing his experience at Amador after refusing to use a microphone.

  • Alums sharing laughter with their old friends in the same way that they did decades earlier.

  • McMillion holding a microphone for a panelist’s closing remarks.

Stories of the mid-20th century told of a much smaller agricultural town than today’s outgoing, Silicon Valley-oriented Pleasanton. 

“Amador was wonderful, very safe; you could just do anything you wanted to do, and you knew people around you were people that knew your families. Everyone felt safe and surrounded by the community because it was small,” said McMillion

Instead of working for large technology corporations, families ran their own farming businesses, providing and selling produce for the community. 

“The occupations in Pleasanton in the 50s [were] dairy farmers, ranchers, regular farmers, [and] there was the Moller Meat Company,” said McMillion

Visiting the same places on the same streets as Pleasanton residents always have, Amador students faced problems and concerns unrecognizably different from those of today.

“I rode my horse to Amador to go swimming on a summer day. I was gone for four hours, and the horse got out. It ran all the way home, and I live across Santa Rita down Mohr Avenue. I thought he had been lost, but he knew his way home,” said McMillion

Modern Amador is similarly unrecognizable for its alums, who were accustomed to the small school they graduated from when Pleasanton was still a small town. 

“The size of this school now is unbelievable; we had only 400 [students] when I was here. There are only two buildings left that I recognize. One is the old gym, and when I walked in there [on Friday], I saw that the bleachers were gone. A young student said, ‘you can’t put bleachers in this gym. It’s too small,’ [but] that’s what we did; we had bleachers in the gym,” said Krause

Despite 70 years of physical change and unprecedented growth, the community built by past alums lives on among current students. 

“When I encounter Amador kids it’s nice to recognize that traditions: that sense of belonging, that sense of pride, that sense of being a part of history, remain,” said Hunt.  

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About the Contributors
Parsa Hassanpour
Parsa Hassanpour, Former AVT Centennial Editor
Returning to AV Journalism for his junior year, Parsa Hassanpour spent much of his sophomore year writing news stories and occasionally dabbling in profiles and photo stories. This year, he’s looking to expand his horizons, adding regular opinion writing to his usual local and world news output, the result of his unhealthy obsession with politics. To Parsa, good journalism brings understanding and awareness to varying perspectives, and he’s excited to do just that with his stories this year. Outside of journalism, Parsa loves reading nonfiction and learning languages, but most of his time is spent researching and practicing for debate to further fuel his interest in world news and policymaking. He’s excited to both compete on the debate circuit this year and spread his love of the activity to a new wave of prospective novice debaters. With election season approaching, Parsa is planning to take action in the form of canvassing and volunteering for campaigns. 
Zenil Koovejee
Zenil Koovejee, AVT Editor-In-Chief
Meet Zenil Koovejee (‘24), the dynamo of the AV Journalism Team! With three years under his belt, he's like the journalistic Yoda around here, but without the pointy ears. As the Head Honcho, aka Editor-In-Chief, of AmadorValleyToday, Zenil's on a mission to make our newsroom the coolest spot in town. He's all about creating news that's juicier than a watermelon on a summer day and crafting ideas so spicy they'll have your taste buds dancing the tango. No wands needed, just his trusty keyboard and a sprinkle of fairy dust. But wait, there's more! When he's not busy whipping words into shape, you can find Zenil breaking boards in karate (watch out, Mr. Miyagi!), tickling the ivories on the piano (Beethoven, who?), and charming everyone with his "I-can-do-it" attitude. Now, don't let his serious title fool you – this guy's a movie buff too. From side-splitting comedies to heartwarming Bollywood flicks, Zenil's got a cinematic radar that's always on point. And as for music? Well, let's just say Whitney Houston's notes have met their match in Zenil's shower concerts. So, brace yourselves, for Zenil's here to spread laughter, knowledge, and humility like confetti at a goblin dance party. He's not just writing the headlines; he's writing the story of camaraderie, growth, and maybe a friendly duel with a misplaced comma or two. Bow down to the whimsical wordsmith who's turning the pages of AmadorValleyToday into a magical realm of ink and imagination.
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