By Kathie Weinstein
Recently, on a bright, sunny day, 12 Creedence Clearwater Revival fans from Belgium, Germany, Spain and Switzerland visited El Cerrito High School to learn more about some of our schools' distinguished alumni. They wore jackets and shirts with their musical heroes emblazoned on them.
(For those who aren't familiar with Creedence Clearwater Revival, here is a brief history. Brothers Tom and John Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford met while attending Portola Junior High School. They became friends; and, with their mutual love of music, formed The Blue Velvets. After a while they changed their names to The Golliwogs to be followed by Creedence Clearwater Revival.)
Joann Steck-Bayat, Kathie Weinstein, and David Bilyeu showed them around the Archiving Project museum, gave them a history of the original El Cerrito High School and a tour of the new school. After meeting with Principal David Luongo and seeing the theater, the group enjoyed seeing the music department's showcase and studios. They were amazed that the school had such a grand facility. A couple of people commented that in their countries, there were no facilities for students to take music until they went to the universities. While showing them pictures of the former school, Kathie was asked which was her favorite Creedence song, and the group gave an impromptu performance of "Proud Mary." (Creedence would have been proud!)
The group also had the opportunity to see the library and a display of every year book in ECHS history. (Several people said that they have some of our yearbooks, which they bought on eBay!) Proceeding along the second floor they saw the Career Center, James Morehouse Center (and, again were very impressed!), and the Tech Labs, where a teacher explained the curriculum. The group had the opportunity to see the various Archiving Projects showcases and students milling around and to peek into some of the classrooms. They were very impressed with the sports showcase near the gym, the Hall of Fame photos and the gyms.
After a visit to the cafeterias, it was time to say our goodbyes. They were going to spend the rest of their time seeing the homes where the boys lived, Fantasy Studios were they recorded, and the "El Cerrito's Music Scene" paver of Creedence on San Pablo Avenue at Columbia Street.
Before they left, they presented us with a box of Belgium chocolates and a scarf with John Fogerty on one side and Rockin' All Over the World on the other side. We will soon be adding the scarf to our school museum.
They were here in America to connect as much as possible with their music idols. We thank these special visitors for coming to see ECHS. They were all very appreciative of us for sharing our school and knowledge of Creedence. Come again, we enjoyed showing you around!
Kathie "Nemy" Weinstein is a member of the Class of 1958 from El Cerrito High School.
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