Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Puzzle of 44 Years of Davis High Senior Class Photos (248)

About a year ago, I contacted a Davis school district official about older color photographs of its facilities. As an incidental part of that conversation, I was told the District has in storage large-scale mounted photographs of the graduates of the first 44 graduating classes of the Davis High School. This would be, it seems, the classes of 1928 through 1972. Because they were not in color, I did not inquire further about them.

I did, though, mention a vague memory of that exhibit being the subject of Davis Enterprise stories some years ago. I was asked to give this official a copy of those stories. I could not recall where I saw them, so I did nothing further.

But, in the process of looking for something else a few days ago, I came across the stories. They are in the September 11 and 13, 1979 issues of the Enterprise. I reproduce them here.

Davis Enterprise, September 11, 1979
The photograph in the September 11th story appears to show the entire display of frames holding the 44 class pictures. It is a substantial but not overly large object.

And these two reports would seem to tell us that, at that time, the two major governmental entities of Davis did not care about this display being available for viewing by the public and did not want to deal with the matter. (Did someone at the outer edge of the crowd just cry out “misfeasance?”)

Thirty-six years later, the display seems to reside in a storage space somewhere in the Davis school district headquarters.

Does anyone care? Will anyone move to once more make it public? Or, like many another curious historical objects, will it siliently vanish?

Given that some have viewed it as an awkward object, the photos might be removed from their frames, placed in an ordinary archives box and donated to UC, Davis Special Collections, the Yolo County Archives, or the HW Museum of Davis. Appropriate temporary displays at various public locations might be arranged. Many other lines of action are, of course, also possible.