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


Selma Spector

Memories of GHS

---What do I remember about Germantown High?

---I hated getting up so early to take the bus. I got very good grades, but felt like a fraud because if I were really smart, I would have gone to Girl's High. Compared to many of my classmates, I was intellectually uninspired, politacally naive and socially retarded. I was not a member of "The Club". I was somewhat in awe of the "fast" girls who wore sling-backs and pierced earrings, although I was a little too shy to do much performing

Life After GHS

---I went to Penn, living at home and thereby postponing growing up for four more years. At college I had no particular interest in anything, which is why when my friend Phyllis Shaffro (class of "56") moved to Berkley to go to Cal, I was easily persuaded to move west. I had a series of forgettable day jobs and worked nights in a couple of weird and sometimes wild bohemian bar/hangouts.

---Then the 60's happened and I joined up for the whole hippie/political thing. I wore paisley, worked for SNCC during Freedom Summer, got involved in the Free Speech and Anti-Vietnam movements, got stoned, got arrested, got married. We lived on the economic edge and enjoyed every minute of it. I spent several years on Venice Beach where I lived on the boardwalk. My daughter went to a Commie pre-school which raided Safeway dumpsters for edible discards to provide free-lunch for the kids while showing how much waste there is in a capitalist society. I think we were the original recyclers.

---I finally found my niche in the late 70's when I took a couple theater classes at a community college. I was hooked! I spent the next decade or so in the Plutonium Players Collective. We developed a show /street theater /fictitious organization called Ladies Against Women, which had a six-month run at the Spaghetti Factory in San Francisco and toured around the country and Canada. A highlight of those years was playing to a sold out house at Penn! My alter-ego, rich snob Mrs. T Bill Banks continues to perform whenever she sees a need for consciousness lowering.

---My years in theater prepared me well for my next adventure, the world of electoral politics. Life as a low-income tennant led to my involvement as a housing activist and in 1998 was elected to the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, and was re-elected in 2002 for another 4 year term. Our job is to oversee implementation of rent control in our city, a program constantly under attack by the greedy landlord industry. I got a chance to go to Cuba last year with a delegation of elected Berkeley officials visiting our sister city.

---On the home front, my daughter decided to go back to school after many years in retail and will be attending Cal in the fall. My marriage broke up about twenty years ago, but last year an unexpected turn of fate brought us back together. So here I am, back with my ex, with a daughter entering college. I feel like joining in the chorus of the Rocky Horror Picture Show "Let's do the time warp again!"

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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 07/07/04 gwf