A Monthly Newsletter of the
Galileo Alumni Association

VOL. II, No. 3                                                                ____                            March, 2004


Showtime!  The Galileo Associated Student Body is sponsoring a Magic Show at the school auditorium on Saturday, April 3rd at 8 pm (doors open at 7:30 pm).  A fundraiser for the Academy, it proves to be a fun evening for the entire family.  Advance tickets (contact Anthony Hailey at 415-749-3430, Ext. 3178) are $8.00 for adults, $10.00 at the door.  Children 12 and under are $4.00 and middle and high school students $5.00.  The auditorium cannot accommodate more than 1,000 people so buy your tickets early.  This is an exceptionally fine program featuring professional magicians and illusionists from the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.  See details below.



Ten former Galileo athletes will be honored by induction into the Galileo Sports Hall of Fame at a dinner on May 8th at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, 1630 Stockton Street, San Francisco.  No host cocktails are at 6:00 pm and the dinner is at 7:30 pm.  Tickets at $45 per person must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.  A sellout is expected for this very popular event.  A limited number of free parking spaces will be available at the St. Peter and Paul’s parking lot for early arrivals. 

The 2004 inductees are:  Hilary Byrde (1991), Edward DeMartini (1952), James Dresser (1951), Carla Fischer Harris (1952), Ralph Lomeli (1950), James McClanahan (1982), Joe Martino (1950), Al Mazzuco (1950), Lorin Scola (1951), and Bernard Valdez (1949). 

The Hall of Fame committee chaired by Ron Ertola has worked hard to bring the event to fruition and deserves much credit for restoring this tradition to the forefront of annual events. 


Romaine salad with tomato, ceci beans and Italian cold meats

Pasta with porcini mushrooms and tomato sauce

New York strip


Rosemary chicken breast

Roasted potatoes

Seasonal vegetables

One carafe each of red and white wine for every 10 guests


Coffee and tea   


Now is the time to nominate your choices for induction in 2005.  A nomination form with full details can be found at the end of this newsletter.  If you do not find it here, please go to, and you will find a downloadable copy there.  Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2005, but do not wait to the last minute to nominate; the committee needs time to go over all the nominations.  Remember, the committee itself does not nominate, it only selects from the nominated athletes, does the work necessary to verify achievements and awards, and comes to a decision.  


Flash!  Will Marchetti (Class of 1951) is appearing in the play, “All My Sons,” by Arthur Miller, a 1947 drama about war profiteering, at the Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.  It has been held over for a week and the last performance is this Sunday, April 4th.  Call 650-903-6000 for show times and tickets. 



Galileo has a sister school in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.  During Spring break and beginning on April 11th, Principal Margaret Chiu will lead a group of Galileo staff members and friends to visit Dong Hui Academy in Shanghai. The Dong Hui Academy teaches without paper and without chalk. The group will visit temples, towers, parks, a lake, a beach, the city and its nightlife.  There will be a celebration on becoming a sister school with an invitation of the Shanghai News Development Company to introduce them to the Shanghai educational system. It sounds like a grand trip, and we await the group’s report upon its return. 


The Following 3 Stories Are From The Pendulum:

Galileo Beefs Up Security

In Response to Student Misconduct

By Jean Lee

Pendulum Staff

Over the past few weeks, there have been an increasing number of fights around our school campus, especially during lunchtime. According to our dean, Mr. Robertson, three boys were arrested and sent to juvenile hall. The minimum consequence for being in a fight and inflicting no serious injury is suspension. “Kids usually get beat up when they are not where they are supposed to be,” said Roberston. 

Our school is working closely with many outside organizations to enforce school safety. Officer Nick Rainsford is now guarding Galileo’s gates five days in a row instead of four. “We are on high alert,” said Principal Chiu, “We’ve brought in more police [officers]”. Of course officials with uniforms don’t go unnoticed by Galileo students. “There [are] hecka cops coming by now,” said a senior student. In addition to bringing in more police officers, our school is getting closer to getting a security camera system installed in order to curb student misconduct on school grounds.

When and if you should witness any crimes, don’t hesitate to report it by calling the school hotline at (415) 487-4361. It’s 100% confidential. Your identity will not be revealed. Leave a message with the hotline, or if you don’t want your voice to be recorded, you can e-mail our campus police officer, Nick Rainsford at And if you are extremely paranoid, you can write a statement to the Dean’s office without adding your name to report these incidents. The identity of the person who wrote the statement will not be asked unlike when you make a report to the police station. “The paper is kept confidential,” said Robertson. 

How do students at Galileo respond to these events? Some are not worried about it, while others are not too “hyped” about coming to school because of this entire fiasco.  Junior Eric Compton said, “Gotta think twice before you come to school. It ain’t safe with all the people getting shot.”

“I need more pairs of eyes. [That’s why we] turn to you, the students for help,” quoted Ms. Chiu from the last Principal Cabinets Meeting. “You [might have seen] things that I did not see, that a lot of adults did not see.” There’s only so much the administration can do. This is our school and it’s up to us to make sure it’s safe for us. 


Chima Nwankwo

Pendulum Staff 

It is a popular belief that high school athletes, especially football and basketball players, get superior treatment from teachers, administrators and even fellow students than non-athletes do. Most people are of this opinion, but is this also the case here at Galileo?

According to a survey of 100 students sampled randomly from Galileo’s student body, 55 percent said athletes were indeed treated better, 33 percent said they were not treated any different from anyone else, and 4 percent of the sample said athletes were treated worse, and 8 percent had no opinion.

Most students who responded YES to the poll said that athletes were usually given more slack by teachers, especially when it came to deadlines for projects and assignments. A student who wished to remain anonymous said “Some teachers let them (athletes) turn in homework and stuff late. I understand they have less time, but I feel we should all be treated fairly.” On the other hand, students who said NO were generally of the attitude that athletes got treated the same by the teachers regardless of whether they were athletes or not. One student said,“Yeah, maybe in some schools and in movies and all that, but I don’t think that happens here at Gal though”.  

Something for the Sweet Tooth

Clara Dixon

Pendulum Staff

Who doesn’t like candy? The sweet taste of red and green skittles or the smooth milky taste of a peanut buttery Reeses pieces is enough to satisfy anyone’s craving. But where has all the candy at Galileo gone?

Due to the “New District Policy on Nutrition,” a state and nationwide movement to provide healthier foods in schools, everyone can now say farewell to candy bars and hello to Go-gurt. The sale of candy, foods and beverages below the SFUSD nutrition standards, are prohibited on all school campuses. Fundraising clubs and groups are also prohibited from selling such items. There may not be drastic changes in the goods sold at our school, but the ban on candy and soda has Galileo students talking. Alkah Heilem, an angry senior, remarked, “We need caffeine and snacks to help us function, we need them to pay attention!”

Roqua Montez from the SFUSD Office of Public Engagement and Information explained that SFUSD is the first in leading the new aggressive policy in California. Montez commented, “The new program is an effort to make student health more important.” But getting rid of the junk food is not an easy task. The main dilemma in prohibiting junk food is the lost of profits for fundraising groups. Clubs, sports teams, and parent-teacher associations will now have to raise money by not selling unhealthy snacks, which may be a difficult task. Loi La, a skeptical student, remarked, “The new rule isn’t solving health problems. People can always get the junk food elsewhere.”

Overall the district’s main goal in setting its standards is to combat obesity, poor nutrition habits and physical “un”fitness. All school districts are encouraged to promote student nutrition and regular physical activity. Montez concluded, “All we want is for students to be healthy.”



The First Principal of Galileo

Joseph P. Nourse was appointed Principal of Galileo High School on December 10, 1920. He was asked by the Board of Education to become Principal and organizer of the proposed Galileo High School. Galileo High School opened in 1921 and was housed in the temporary Red Cross Building in the Civic Center.

Prior to being appointed Principal of Galileo High School, Major Nourse taught Latin and Greek at Lowell High School. Next he was appointed Vice Principal at Commerce High School, followed by being appointed Principal of Polytechnic High School. Major Nourse was the main organizer of the JROTC program for the San Francisco School District. 

Students moved into Galileo on January 2, 1924. Major Nourse's most important instructions regarding the new school were: "Do not mar our school. Do not remain in the building after school hours; and don't pull up the surveyor's stakes in the adjoining lots or “You'll have a baseball diamond that looks like a pretzel!”  Soon after students and faculty moved into Galileo High School, Nourse was very active in working with the architect to plan the layout of the addition to Galileo, namely the Polk Street Building. 

Major Nourse believed in the value of shop training and it paid off well for him. One summer he journeyed down into the Central Valley. While there he called upon a certain young lady whom he thought was a little bit nicer than any other young lady he had met. During his visit the young lady's father was having trouble with an old fashioned clock. The father asked Joseph if he could fix the clock. Joseph fixed the clock, but went back home without the young lady. The following summer he visited the young lady and her father was most enthusiastic that the clock had kept perfect time all year. This time Joseph returned home with the young lady, who became his life long wife. Major Nourse encouraged all male students to take advantage of the shop classes. 

Major Nourse resided in San Francisco on Arquello Boulevard. While he was Principal of Galileo High School, he lost both of his parents. His mother passed away at the age of 73 on November 4, 1928. His father lived until February 14, 1933 and was 88 when he died. Major Nourse's father frequently came to Galileo High School to share his Civil War escapades with the students. He met President Lincoln shortly after the Civil War began in 1861. 

On March 22, 1933, Major Nouse joined the "Royal Order of Grandparents," with the birth of his first grandchild, Robert Sylvester Nourse. In October 1924, Principal Nourse had the honor of hosting a group of visiting school superintendents who were in San Francisco for a conference. 

On November 13, 1924, the Galileo Faculty hosted the 4th annual Birthday Party for Major Nourse. The faculty planned the party and the highlight was "sentencing" the principal to spend the rest of his life at Galileo High School. Major Nourse sat at the head of the table behind a large cake with the candles burning brightly. In front of 60 faculty members, just after he was sentenced to eternal life at Galileo, he replied, "I hope that when you become, in the words of a newspaper article recently, a 'little grayed-haired man with a one-sided smile' you will have such friends about you as I have now."  Toasts during the evening praised Nourse's great qualities of leadership, great abilities, will and generosity. 

Major Nourse was said to know all of the students after the first several months of school. He admired the brilliant students and befriended the boy or girl who may not be doing so well. He knew the accomplishments and failures of each of his 1100 students. He understood young people and their problems and gained the admiration and respect of the students. He was said to remember the best in everyone and forget all else.  

Darrell Dounell, a noted radio commentator in San Francisco described Nourse as "the man who reaches for the stars but keeps his feet on the ground. Students were heard to say, "What will we do without Major Nourse?" One of his chief characteristics was that of modesty. 

On May 12, 1936, Major Nourse was appointed Superintendent of Schools in San Francisco after 16 years as Principal of Galileo High School. 

Ed. Note:  I am indebted to Bettie Grinnell at Galileo Academy for providing us with this history of Major Nourse.  Her tireless efforts to research and prepare this biography are greatly appreciated.  Bettie will be writing the histories of all the Principals, and we will publish them in each issue of The Observer. The story of Major Nourse is an inspiration to all high school Principals.  It is a gift for all Galileo students, faculty and alumni.  Nourse Auditorium on Van Ness Avenue was named after Major Nourse.  It is now the home of the San Francisco Unified School District offices.   

How to be a San Francisco Native

If you have spent any time in bookstores lately, you must have noticed that there are books on San Francisco's past, present and future; books that tell you where to eat, where to drink, where to drive, where to take a bus where to stay, what to look at and even how to cook in the San Francisco style, whatever that is. But no book tells you how to act like a native San Franciscan, because it is widely assumed that the breed, if it ever existed, is extinct. 

One book, "San Francisco Free and Easy," subtitled "The Native's Guide Book," says on the first page, "San Franciscans are notorious newcomers. You'll find few people here with the sort of roots common to East Coast cities?"  Another, written by a carpetbagger named John K. Bailey, is called "The San Francisco Insider's Guide." It begins, "On my first visit to San Francisco, 15 years ago?" Fifteen years ago? I know a cat who's lived here longer than that! 

A terrible thing has happened to native San Franciscans. They have become strangers in their own city. Their whole culture is in danger of being swallowed up by foreigners from New York, Ohio, New Hampshire, Denver, and other places Back East. These newcomers all assume everyone else is a newcomer. The first thing to go is the language. Despite everything you've ever heard, there is a distinctive San Francisco way of talking and it is important to make note of it, for the record, before it becomes as dead as Latin.  

Here's how to talk like a San Franciscan. The first lesson - learned at birth - is never to call it Frisco or San FRANcisco. Most resident tourists have settled on something that sounds like an Anglicized version of the Spanish San Francisco, but natives run the two words together and add a couple of extra sounds, and it comes out "Sampencisco."  It may also be called thecity, which is one word. It is never called The City, which is two words and tacky. 

One way to tell San Franciscans is the way they run words together. Another way is that all native San Franciscans know something about other native San Franciscans. This cannot be faked. The first test comes when a native San Franciscan is introduced to someone he does not know at a party. Sooner or later, one will ask the other where he or she is from. The correct dialogue goes like this:  

Q: Whereya from?
A: Here.
Q: Oh yeah? Whereja go to school?
A: Poly.
Q: Oh yeah? Doya know (fill in name of acquaintance)?

At once, the two people realize they are both natives and doubtless have friends, experiences, and a whole subculture in common. 

There are several keys to this small bit of conversation. First, the true native runs all the words together. He never says, "Where are you from?" because that is the way they talk Back East. When he asks where you went to school, he means high school - not college, not trade school, and certainly not P.S. 178.  The correct answer is one of several San Francisco high schools. "Poly," of course, means Polytechnic High School, which not only reveals your high school but what district of the city you came from, and other details.. If, for example, the answer is "S.I." you know the man went to St.. Ignatius High and was probably raised a Catholic and is from an upper-middle-class family.  SH people were from North Beach and the Mission, better known as Sacred Heart. If the person says "Mission" or "Bal" (for Balboa High) you know he is from the Mission District, and his father was probably a member of the working class, called "a workin man" in the San Francisco dialect.  If he went to Lowell, he may well be Jewish; if he went to Galileo, he is probably a North Beach Italian, and not a Mission District Italian.  One has to be careful, though. Some women, asked where they went to school, will respond that they "went to the madams." A tourist will immediately leap to the conclusion that the poor woman was raised in a whorehouse, but natives understand immediately what this woman means: She attended the Convent of the Sacred Heard, conducted by a ritzy order of nuns, and is doubtless from a wealthy family. She is not necessarily a Catholic, however. Diane Feinstein went to the madams. 

The next thing to note about this conversation is that the proper response to a remark is "Yeah?" not "You don't say so?" or "Is that right?" San Franciscans say "yeah" a lot, but it doesn't always mean yes. 

Now you are ready for your geography lesson. Oakland, Berkeley, and all those other places are "across the Bay." The largest city in Santa Clara County is "Sannazay," not "San Jose." Sannazay is near Sannacruise. To get there, you have to go Down the Peninsula, past South City, Sammateo, Rewoodcity and a whole buncha other towns. 

The River is the Russian River, and no other, but the Lake is Lake Tahoe only if your family was wealthy; otherwise, the lake is Clear Lake. The Mountain is Tamalpais; Mount Diablo is "Dyeaablo," and is has no first name.  The town on the river is called Gurneyville, even though the correct pronunciation is Gurnville. San Franciscans know the correct pronunciation but choose not to use it. If corrected on this, a native will likely say, "If those guys up there are so smart, what'er they doin' livin' there?  People who live in Gurneyville all year are a buncha Okies anyway." It should be noted that being called an Okie - as in persons from Oklahoma or anywhere south is among the worst insults a San Franciscan can offer; it means a person lacks taste or sophistication. 

Natives are often asked for directions, sometimes by tourists and often by pseudo-natives. A San Franciscan of course, has no idea where anything across the Bay is, but he knows all about San Francisco. To start with, unless a street is tiny, like Saturn Street or Macrondray Lane, it is never called by its full name. You never say "Taraval Street," for example, only "Taraval." When you direct someone to go "out Geary," by which is meant you go west. You know, toward the beach. One never goes "in Mission," or "in Geary." To head in the general direction of downtown, one goes "down Mission" or "down Geary."  It is "the beach," too, not the seashore or the coast. The coast is Down the Peninsula, near Sharp Park. There are no beaches on the Bay, despite evidence to the contrary - only on the ocean.

San Franciscans know there are 30 numbered streets and 48 avenues; they know Arguello is First Avenue and Funston is 13th Avenue. They know that First Street is not the first street, and that Main is not the main street.  The Richmond district is always called "The Richmond," and the Sunset District is always called "The Sunset," but Noe Valley has not article in front of its name; neither does downtown or North Beach. No one knows why.  Natives do know it is always 24th (pronounced twenny fourth) and Mission, not Mission and 24th. It's Second and Clement, not Clement and Second. The street is not ronounced "CLEment" but "CleMent."  There is no need to make a distinction between Second Street and Second Avenue in this case, since San Franciscans know that Second Street and Clement do not intersect.  

They know several other things, too: that Alcatraz is not called The Rock, that Yerba Buena Island is called Goat Island or YBI, that French bread is not called sourdough bread and never was. The name "sourdough" for honest bread was invented by advertising guys from Chicago or someplace.  They know that Italians do not eat pizza. They eat spaghetti, tagliarini, or some other stuff, mostly in North Beach, but sometimes in small places in the Mission or Daly City. Daly City is near the county line. San Francisco has no city limit. 

San Franciscans call the movie theater "the show," as in "I went to the show last week, and jeez, the guy behind me was coffin all through the pitcher. I couln'n' hardly stant it." "The theater" (pronounced "thee-ater") refers to the legitimate stage. 

There are San Francisco threats, too. One of the worst is to act so irresponsibly that you will be put away, as is "if you keep actin' like that, you'll end up in Napa," which, of course, is the local mental hospital. This threat has lost some of its power lately, since these days half the people at Powell & Market appear to be deranged.  Another threat is the danger of being forsaken by your family and friends in your old age and sent to Laguna Honda, the city's old folks' home. 

When San Franciscans read papers, they read the Ex (the Examiner) or The Chronicle (never called the Chron). Old guys usta read the Call (as the Call-Bulletin was called) or the Noos (The San Francisco News, which very old residents called the Dailynoos). San Franciscans never, ever read the San Francisco Magazine, which is written, edited, and produced for tourists. 

Television is pretty much a wasteland of standard spoken English, though there are a few bright spots. Joe DiMaggio, a native of Martinez who was raised in North Beach, sometimes appears on behalf of a product he calls "Mista CAWfee," and it is possible to watch the news on KPIX, because anchorman Dave McElhatton is suspected of being a native, or, on KGO, where Van Amburg holds forth. He went to State, ya know. With any luck, you might catch Russ Coughlin, also on KGO-TV. He is a graduate of Mission High, and has the last pure San Francisco accent on the local airwaves. 

As for the rest, it's pretty hard to hear all these radio and TV types mispronounce the names we all grew up with ("I'm standing here at the Persiddio" or "at Mare Island, up by Valley-jo." Or, as I heard last week, "He was buried on Colima." 

Most of us grew up under the delusion that everybody was a native San Franciscan. It was the largest small town in the world, and we thought it the only city that counted. Occasional tourists complimented us on the city, but we never dreamed they'd move here and take over. Everywhere else was far away, and the jet plane hadn't been invented.  

I went to high school with a guy who was a direct descendant of Francisco DeHaro, the first alcalde of Yerba Buena, and I have a friend whose great-great-grandfather walked to California from Rabbit Hash, Ky., in 1844. No big deal. Once, after she bought a house in the Richmond, one of her new neighbors asked her where she was from. "I moved out here six months ago," she said. "Oh, from the East or Midwest?" the neighbor asked. "No," she said, "from California and Buchanan."

 Perhaps you are now thinking of fooling your friends by pretending to be a native. Don't try. There is only one way to be a native San Franciscan. You gotta be born here. "Anybody," my grandfather used to say, "can be born in Oakland, or Back East. It's an honor to be born in Sampencisco."

 Ed. Note:  Carl Nolte wrote this piece for the San Francisco Chronicle several years ago. Russ Coughlin, KGO-TV, passed away a few years ago. I dint know anybody who said Sampencisco.  I always thought it was Sanfrncisco.  


Through The Telescope. . .

Spring has arrived.  Do you feel the urge to. . .?  Or do you just want to smell the flowers?  Along with Spring, our typical San Francisco summer overcast weather has returned. . .

Galileo has never looked better.  Renovations are still taking place, but check out the building, freshly painted, the lockers with school colors—just makes you want to go back to school (?)

Whatever happened to Joan Preble, Max Gutierrez, Roger Hadlich, Hubert Wheeler, Jim Hobbes, Fred Rocco, Steve Sacco, Joan Harriss (married Nick Reynolds of The Kingston Trio), Lou Raggio, Dino Natali, Dick Bechelli, Elaine Cristiani, Walt Marioni, Frank Pavich, Dick Melendy, Bobbi McElroy?

Lou Landini’s name is one of several on the memorial wall in the lobby of St. Francis Hospital. . .

Joe Scafidi’s market on Hyde Street near California is now the Golden Horse Chinese restaurant. . .

Forgotten fact:  In the late 40s, Galileo was named High School of Champions by Boys Life magazine. . .

There is some kind of Italian function going on every month in North Beach at the Italian Athletic Club and the Salesian Boys Club.  At a recent dinner at the IAC as the guest of Mel Chiarenza, I saw and chatted with Ray Canepa, Gino del Prete, Rich Baptista, and Dario Lodigiani, all Galileo alumni. . .

A microscopic view:  Have you seen the photos of Mars by Rover and Opportunity?  They are most amazing.  To contemplate possible life on another planet is utterly mind-boggling!  The NASA scientists have discovered things beyond their wildest dreams and should be commended.  We can’t wait for even more discoveries.  Our fantasies are becoming realities. . .

Speaking of the heavens, wouldn’t it be nice if Galileo opened up the observatory to the public or at least to alumni?  They could charge a nominal fee and use it to fund school activities and projects.  The last time I was in the observatory was 53 years ago as part of Science class. . .

In the 40s, the city high school basketball championship game was played between Galileo and Lowell at Civic Auditorium.  The respective coaches were Tom DeNike and Ben Neff.  Dolph Pippus (Hall of Famer) of the Lions made a last minute underhanded shot from half court to win the title for Galileo.  In the ensuing seasons, DeNike had his teams practice the underhanded long shot just in case. . .

Paul Lamphere (Class of 1951) writes from Palm Desert that The 4 Meatballs sang professionally. . .for beers at the Moose Club in San Francisco. . .Didn’t know that.

Do the word “prunes” have a bad connotation?  I bought a bag of Pitted Dried Plums at Costco recently.  That’s like buying a box of Seedless Dried Grapes (otherwise known as raisins). . .

Helen Wills Playground where many of us played as kids before and during attendance at Galileo is undergoing a complete renovation.  If you go by the corner of Broadway and Larkin, you’ll see a virtual empty lot. . .

That was a mighty honorable gesture on the part of the Oakland A’s baseball team to contribute the proceeds of three games to the Contra Costa County School District for their sports program.  Now if only the Giants management. . .

Did you know that if you are smelling various perfumes or colognes and do not want mix them up, smelling ground coffee will solve the problem. . .

Barry Levinson’s book, “The Seventh Game of the World Series”, says that the Giants played in 4 of the  35 games over the years and lost every one. . .

Understand the recent Mustard Festival in Napa Valley was a huge success.  I am allergic to mustard and horseradish and didn’t attend.  I am getting sick just writing about it. . .

The town of Yountville must be the per capita gourmet capital of the world.  There are at least eight world class restaurants within a few blocks of each other:  Bistro Jeanty, Pere Jeanty, The French Laundry (will reopen shortly), Bouchon, Hurley’s, Domaine Chandon, California Café, Compadres (definitely not world class!), and the defunct Diner (maybe it’ll open soon, we hope). . .

Did you know the Lion is the symbol of Venice, Italy?

Renee Mau Wade (Class of 1951) recently moved back to the Bay Area after living in Las Vegas.  Welcome back, Renee!

Calling all alumni, calling all alumni!  Where is Jim Hobbes?  Anybody know?  Email us: . .

Saw a great interview with Barbra Streisand on Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, where she was more candid and revealing than in the Barbara Walters interview.  It must be Host James Lipton’s chairside manner. . .

When we were kids, my brother used to scare me by pretending he was Frankenstein and flashing the bedroom light on and off while walking into the room with outstretched arms.  Now the Bushman has won his case in court and is back on the steet.  He is the fellow who hides behind two large branches at Fisherman’s Wharf and surprises unsuspecting tourists by jumping out at them.  Sounds like something we would do as kids. . . 

Phil Pallette (Class of 1934!) has written a biography of “Hank” Luisetti, the great Galileo and Stanford basketball player, and it is in the editing stages (See Letters). . .

MUNIficent!  Read in the EX that MUNI has added a stop to its #28 line to accommodate Galileo students.  Now they can step outside the school door and board the bus bound for the Sunset District.  What a change from the 50s when most us attended the high school closest to our home. 

Saw the obit for Dennis J. Doolin (Class of 1951) in the Ex.  At Galileo Dennis was a good student and held the top rank in ROTC and was a member of the Science Club.  He later went to USF and Stanford, where he earned an M.A. and PhD.  A veteran of the Korean War, Dennis lived in Japan for 25 years.  In his career with the U. S. government, he served as Defense Dept. Senior China Analyst, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, and as Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.  He left many relatives and friends.  The funeral was held February 18th in Tokyo, and he was buried at Holy Cross Cemetary in Colma.  Dennis was 70 years old. . .

Another sad note:  Francisco Casey “Sonny” Pacheco (Class of 1951) has passed away.  Casey, as he was known, played lightweight basketball at Galileo.  Most recently he had a moving business called Casey’s Office Moving and Storage. . . 

Spring Valley Science Magnet Elementary School, where many of us Galileo alumni went, recently received the highest possible score of 10 in the Academic Performance Index when compared to similar schools throughout California.  Other elementary schools receiving a perfect 10 were John Yehal Chin, Garfield, George Moscone, George Peabody, and Sherman. . .

When driving, have you stopped to think how often you do not think to stop?

We Need New Blood

We notice that most of the news in this newsletter and the membership of GAA consist of alumni who graduated in the 1950s.  Galileo has a 80 year history, yet most of the alumni, except for those holding reunions, who participate in the alumni association are from a very few years.  We need more people from before the 50s and after the 50s.  All those who are planning reunions should encourage and offer membership in GAA.  As one class did, they can offer a year’s membership as part of the reunion fee. That way GAA would have wider representation. 

This is an opportunity for recent graduates to keep their ties to Galileo and for older grads to renew their ties and re-discover and relive high school memories and share them with classmates.

There is a membership form at the end of this newsletter and also on the Galileo website,  Please fill it out and send it in.  Give something back to the school that gave you your high school education. For less than the cost of a glass of wine, you can be a member of the Galileo Alumni Association.  Join today!


Calendar of Upcoming Events

Magic Show – April 3.

Annual Spring Festival –May 7.

Sports Hall of Fame Dinner – May 8.

Letters to the Editor

In seeing the list of Galileo Principals in the February edition brought back some happy memories.  When I went to Galileo, Dr. Morena was the Principal and James Kearney (don’t say Hey Mr. Kearney) was my favorite teacher.  Mr. Kearney was my World History teacher, and a friend of mine in the class had a major crush on him (we never realized how young he was at the time).  After Mr. Kearney left Galileo he became the principal of Wallenberg High School.  He has since passed away.  Oh, those were the days.   –Kathy George Guerrero (Class of 1960)

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I am working to get the book [on “Hank Luisetti] edited right now.  All in my sleep-deprived spare time.  Had a minor physical breakdown last week, but am back at it now.  I have about fifty photos.  I want to thank you again for your background information on Tom DeNike.  I always wondered about a history teacher who left Galileo before your time:  Gladys Lorigan.  She went to Lowell in 1946 to become Dean of Girls, but she had been one of the most involved faculty members at Galileo from 1929 on until she left.  A good majority of the boys had crushes on her as she was a beautiful woman in the class of a Grace Kelly.  I received several responses about her from both Galileo guys and guys and girls from Lowell.  –Phil Pallette (Class of 1934)

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You brought up Don Pitts (Song:  Don Pitts On The Air).  Well, now I remember that I was a guest on his show for some reason.  I think I introduced a disc or two.  Also a group of us from The Pendulum used to go to Bimbo’s to interview the featured singer.  Tony Martin’s interview, I recall, made The Pendulum.  Our Editor was Bobbie (I can’t think of her last name right now but she was smart and good looking) and, as I heard, went on to write novels. Beverly Hislop and Al Mazzucco were also along for the ride although I don’t know why as they weren’t on the staff.  Thanks for reminding me of some good experiences.  –Bill Dito (Class of 1950)

Ed. Note:  Bobbie’s name was Barbara McElroy who preceded me as Editor of The Pendulum in 1949.  Don Pitts had a program on radio station KYA.  Bill Dito  is an avid movie and music fan, has composed musicals, and lives in the Marina.  He married Barbara Dito, a cousin and Galileo classmate, who has since passed away.  Bill is a good friend and neighbor of Bob Fouts, former 49ers broadcaster and father of Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Fouts. 


President: Jim Dresser (1951)
Vice President: Joe Scafidi (1950)
Secretary: Monica Parenti Kirkland (1953)
Treasurer: Augie Venezia (1953)

Mel Chiarenza (1953)
Frank Clima (1951)
Nina Pattini Clima (1950)
Diane Wall Cowart (1965)
Sisvan Der Harootunian (1951)
Kay Lazzari Michelis (1953)
Fred Setting (1950)
Cordy Porter Surdyka (1953)
Janet Sullivan Neilsen (1953)
Bernard Valdez (1949)

Committee Chairpersons
Public Relations: Cordy Porter Surdyka (1953)
Membership: Diane Wall Cowart (1965)
Database: Mel Chiarenza (1953)
By-laws: Monica Parenti Kirkland (1953)
Communications (Newsletter): Sisvan Der Harootunian (1951)
Webmaster: Vaughn Spurlin (1960)


The Galileo Observer is a monthly publication of the Galileo Alumni Association, 1150 Francisco Street, San Francisco, CA 94109. Views expressed are strictly those of the Association and in no way reflect those of the Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, its students or faculty. James Dresser, President; Sisvan Der Harootunian, Editor; Vaughn Spurlin, Production Manager/Website Director. Copyright 2004, Galileo Alumni Association.

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last updated 01april2004
© 2002, 2003, 2004 Galileo Academy of Science and Technology Alumni Association of San Francisco