When Hollywood High School Alumni Day honors graduates on Friday, they will recognize the oldest known living Sheik, Carl Johnson, Class of 1932.
At the age of 97, Johnson will not only be attending the Alumni Day celebration but will also attend the Homecoming game. In a recent phone interview, he said he is looking forward in visiting Hollywood High for the second time.
He said he had many fond memories that he will never forget. “The music program was very strong when I was there, I played the trumpet for three years in the orchestra…The athletic department was good too,there was a pole vaulter and a baseball player who became famous after high school,”said Johnson.
Like many students today, Johnson walked to school. “I remember having to walk a mile everyday back and forth in order to get to school, back then my parents didn’t have a car so I had to walk,” he said.
On the day of his graduation, he was informed that he was accepted into the prestigious California Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, he could not attend the school known for its rocket science. His parents could not afford to send him, but that did not stop him. He worked for a year as an engineer at a salary of 44 cents an hour, and was finally able to attend the school he wanted. He received his degree in two years and after graduating he created his own engineering companies; those companies are still alive today in Riverside and Orange County.
So look out Sheiks for we will be in the presence of a man that went through so much but never gave up. A man who will be honored at the Alumni Day Sheik Fiesta.