A video for Westmont graduates of 1965

In 2015, former students of Westmont High School (in the Campbell Union High School District held a 50th reunion in recognition of their 1965 graduation date. To partially remedy the fact that Westmont was, at that time, a new high school drawing its student body from Blackford and Campbell High Schools, a subsequent reunion in 2021 invited students from all three schools.

I participated peripherally in the preparation of the 2015 reunion, mostly by digitizing various materials and making lists of students as reflected in the yearbook for 1965. Knowing that many folks won’t have kept their yearbooks or, perhaps, misplaced them along the fifty-year path to this point, I thought about how to make that volume available. That led to thoughts about other sources of information, and I realized that if a lot of folks made an “interview tape” where they shared some anecdote about their time in high school, it might serve to interest participants. And one way to combine the yearbook material with video interviews would be a movie.

My hopes for getting word out about the interview idea faded slowly, but I worked on the film anyway. I ended up with three interviews, and think they can illustrate what virtually anyone can do these days. My own interview was filmed by Rhonda Ruick [O’Brien] using my own phone. Two others were done with a dedicated video camera. There is no discernible difference between the two methods.

Working on the film made me realize the historical significance not only of being the first students in a new high school but also being in California at that particular time (the early 1960s). After incorporating some historical materials in the primary video, I added a segment that attempts to look at the changes in our lives from 1965 to today.

The film can be viewed on Vimeo, a lesser-known alternative to YouTube:
Seniors as Seniors: Graduating from Westmont in 1965

Anyone wishing to contribute a video interview can do so via the author, Michael Broschat [mrbroschat @ gmail.com]. It might be possible to create an additional video segment for a subsequent reunion.

Michael Broschat, Longview WA, fall 2021