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Poly High’s Class of 1927 had many big names from Riverside area

Every few years, a class of high-school students comes along that is known for having a greater-than-average number of notable members, and oftentimes is also a very close class – meaning that the members were great friends and kept in touch throughout the years.
Poly High School’s Class of 1927 was one such class.
Whereas most high school classes are lucky to have reunions every 10 (or more) years, the Riverside school’s class of ’27 reunited every year – by 1997, when it was time for their 70th reunion, it was noted that they had gotten together for 65 of those 70 years.
The “Orange and Green” Poly High School yearbook from 1927. Poly’s class of ’27 was a notable and close class. (Photo by Steve Lech, contributing photographer)
So who was in Poly’s class of ’27?  Among the notables were:
John Gabbert: Longtime member of the local legal profession in Riverside and a judge from 1949 to 1974.  Gabbert told me the story of how his freshman year was the last one that Poly was segregated, with the boys going to one school and the girls to another. All the boys purposefully wore dirty and tattered clothes as a sign of rebellion during that 1923-24 school year, upsetting the teachers and administrators.  However, when girls arrived the next year, all of them had changed their tune and were dressed in pressed slacks, shined shoes and a shirt and tie!
Sumi Harada: Daughter of George Harada, whose legal challenge to the Alien Land Law led to a historic reversal of that discriminatory law.  Sumi Harada helped returning Japanese internees after World War II, did much to make people aware of the plight of Japanese internees and was active in many Riverside organizations.
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Bobbi Estudillo: A longtime and well-loved music teacher in Riverside.
Alfred Fulmor: An osteopathic physician in Riverside who many Riverside residents credit with being the one who brought them into this world through his medical practice in town. His father, Alexander Fulmor, was the longtime surveyor for Riverside County.
Ken Maxwell: Maxwell family scion, who owned and farmed hundreds of acres in what is today Moreno Valley (Poly’s attendance boundaries in the 1920s reached into Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley, and what is today the Woodcrest area).
Ida Parks Condit: Descendant of one of the original families to settle in Jurupa Valley.  She was something of a local historian, and penned the book “Jurupa- Peace and Friendship.”
If you have an idea for a future Back in the Day column about a local historic person, place or event, contact Steve Lech and Kim Jarrell Johnson at backinthedaype@gmail.com .

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