Germantown High School * Philadelphia, PA. * Class of 1957


George E. Palmer

Life After & Memories of GHS

---January of 1957 was not a thrilling time for me. At graduation from Germantown High School, I had no prospects and could only look forward to joining the work force. Senior year at GHS was wonderful! I felt that I knew everybody and was known well enough to have some positive status around school. So, when it was over, it was almost like a kid being kicked out of the candy store for me. I wept.

---Soon after though, things began to look up. The Physical Education award I received at Germantown must have caught somebody’s eye because I received scholarship offers from Howard and Temple Universities. I enrolled at Temple in the fall and finally graduated in January of 1963 with a degree in Business. While at Temple, I played freshman football and basketball, made varsity and lettered in basketball and track. As a senior I shared Most Valuable in track with Teddy Morris.

---I went to work for the internal Revenue Service in 1961 and joined the Naval Air Reserve. Home base was at Willow Grove, just down the road from the amusement park. In March of 1963 I was called to active duty and spent several months aboard the aircraft carrier Constellation CVA-64 which was patrolling off of Japan. To my surprise, I was admitted to the Naval Officer Training School at Newport Rhode Island. The surprise was heightened when I learned that I was one of three black candidates in a class of more than eight hundred. I graduated on the same day that President Kennedy was killed, November 22, 1963. I served aboard the USS Stormes DD-780 for three years and saw some duty in the South China Sea.

---After service and having married, I took up residence in Indiana and attended Indiana University School of Law at night while working as an accountant for Blue Cross-Blue Shield during the day. I received a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1972 and spent eight years as an assistant U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. I spent another nine years as an attorney with the UAW Legal Services Plan. In 1992 I went into the private practice of law.

---As of 1999, I have been “semi-retired” just doing enough work to keep the lights on and traveling around the country visiting friends and relatives. I have had two successful marriages. One of 15 years and another of 10 years and I am presently single. Three sons are the product of the unions and all grown in age, but I am still awaiting their maturity.

---I have one recollection of Germantown that turned out to be kind of comical. It took place after freshman football practice. We were waiting for the varsity to finish up so we could ride the bus back to school. Bill Cosby was on the varsity at the time and had run a play differently than coach Bernardo had called for. Coach Bernardo was a pretty tough mentor and he berated “Coz” loudly with something like, “Cosby, you’re so dumb you’ll never be nothing!” Well the rest is history.

I have always felt that I was privileged to have attended Germantown High School when I did. The school, teachers and students were top notch and the experience prepared me for the good life that I’ve enjoyed. I thank you all.

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Special Thanks to Lois Addison for Scanning Yearbook Photos &
Special Thanks to Katherina Kripl Bonner for sending Lois Her Copy of the June 1957 Yearbook
& to George Palmer for sending Lois His Copy of the January 1957 Yearbook.

This Page Updated 08/28/04 gwf