I stopped in on Saturday to attend the open house in honor of Frankford High’s (Oxford Avenue and Wakeling Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124) 100th birthday. I was never a student there but how often can you go to any high school’s 100th birthday. Not many get to that age. You can read the Inquirer take on the event here.
The doors opened at 10AM but I waited till 10:30 for the official program in the auditorium before I got there. I took the video camera but really didn’t think there would be much to see. Speeches make lousy video. Two hours later, I had too much video and was tired from walking the halls and bumping shoulders with the throngs of alumni.
The program in the auditorium included comments from Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent of public schools, Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Philadelphia City Councilwoman, Jorge Santana, Chief of Staff for Tony Payton, State representative and Thomas Mills, President of the Frankford High Alumni Association. Principal Reginald Fisher kept the program moving along.
The program opened with the striking of the colors and singing of the National Anthem accompanied by the school’s pipe organ. the speeches followed and then there was entertainment. Following the entertainment Mr. Fisher asked alumni from various class eras to stand up. The earliest class represented was a gentleman from the class on 1932. (that would put him in his 90’s) He was the only attendee from the 30s. All the other decades were well represented.
After the program I walked the halls watching people. There were some great displays in the library that everyone seemed to enjoy. Lunch in the cafeteria must have felt like going back in time for many of these folks. I had a quick look at the kitchen and dining room that was remade by Rachael Ray. And then I was off to another assignment.
The Frankford High school building is a gem in the rough. The details that you will never find in a contemporary school are worth a tour any day; stained glass windows, murals, high ceilings, beautiful woodwork. The pipe organ is one of Frankford’s hidden treasures. It should be open for community concerts.
The video follows below. It is 10 minutes long.