Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reflections on Reading the 1977 Davis Senior High School Yearbook (13)

Recently, a 1977 Davis High yearbook was auctioned on E-Bay. I collect DHS yearbooks and, not having that year, I bid on it and won.

I find it helpful to peruse the senior class pictures of these books in terms of who is later seen in Davis public life.

My impression, from looking through many such yearbooks, is that virtually no DHS graduates remain in Davis. Or, if they do, they are not part of Davis public life so that I would know about them.

Instead, I am guessing that  a major Davis export product is the DHS graduate.

The irony of this is that these graduates have especially solid educations, attend the more influential colleges in high percentages, and therefore become involved in cosmopolitan occupations that take them far from Davis in affluent careers.

Some stay and become part of the public life of Davis, of course.

In looking over the pictures of the 350 or so members of the DHS class of 1977, I spotted four who are evident participants in Davis (or larger) public life: Jim Belinis, John Brinley, Tony Natsoulos, Cathy Speck. (Their names are given here as they appear in the 1977 DHS yearbook.)

I am sure there are more.  But even if there are a hundred more than I have identified, this is still massive out-migration.

This year-after-year exodus raises interesting questions of implications for community functioning.  Since at least the 1960s, almost no members of the political and economic elites of Davis were born and raised in Davis. What difference, if any, does that make?

Consider the political area, in particular. So far as I can determine, only one graduate of Davis High School has ever been elected to the Davis City Council.*  Is that odd? Or not?

* Davis history trivia question: What is the name of that graduate?