I think the more outgoing a young person is, the easier it usually goes for him or her. Those of us who are quiet usually needed longer to adjust, make friends, and feel comfortable. I liked Sunny Hills 1,000 times more, and felt that much more comfortable up one the hill. I found far more people who shared my interests and were like me. That’s not a knock on Nicolas. Many of us felt the other way around, and liked Nicolas more.
My class, ’61-’63, was there at the time major change in Fullerton, Nicholas Avenue was renamed Euclid, Sunny Hills High School had just opened, The underpasses on Euclid and Harbor (formerly Spadra) were under construction. 6,000 new people poured into California every day, many headed to Orange County, It was the heyday of the Sputnik influence on American education, emphasizing math and science much more. Most of that change is still going on.
A profound change in the arts and culture was beginning, The British Invasion in rock music was not long off. The Birth Control Pill had just been invented. The Civil Rights Movement had reached maturity, The John Birch Society has been founded 3 years earlier, and it was stronger nowhere more than Fullerton. The period of student unrest and protest was beginning, and expanded greatly the next year at UC Berkeley, were so many ’62 Lancers were witnesses and even participants. Television had completely saturated the American home. This phase of mass instantaneous communications was complete.
The pace of life in the United States had accelerated during the Second Warld War, and gained speed throughout the 1950s. By the 1960s, it exploded, and has never slowed down since, faster and more stressful every day.
We were just kids at Nicolas, or the new high school on the hill. Diagramming sentences, learning to give speeches, learning to dance in the cafeteria, playing flag football and yes, kissing and hugging and even more, for some.
A long journey, friends. Or have we really changed much?