photo-1-1Ben Franklin on a skateboard?

“Ye olde check out wall?”

An assembly with a hypnotist who made a student think he was naked?

Welcome to the 1976 San Dieguito yearbook.

Most editions of the Hoofprint carry a classy veneer of professionalism, covers decorated by classic Mustangs, dramatic photographs, or clean graphics. In 1976, things looked just a bit different.

photo 1.JPG

We keep copies of every San Dieguito yearbook going back to 1936 in the locked vault in the principal’s office. Why do we have a walk in vault? That’s a question for Lilian Rice and the team from the Roosevelt years, but the volumes it houses are a treasure trove of Mustang history, and the 1976 Hoofprint stands out, a delightfully cartoonish relic from the year of the nation’s bicentennial.

photo-4We talk a lot today about “Keeping SDA Funky.” This yearbook lived funky.

Inside, the pages of the 1976 Hoofprint reveal a school of iconoclasts. Alongside the usual images of programs (the girl posing with her cow as part of Future Farmers of America) are the unexpected (the young woman looking at the camera, a cigarette poised between her fingers). Next to the standard photos of athletic teams are pictures of donkey basketball. Sure the Senior Class Officers show up in the yearbook, but so too does a beautifully artsy skateboarding picture.

photo-3-1The late 1970s saw individualism abound at San Dieguito, the arts flourish, and students find the freedom to be themselves. Pictures from student bands, clubs such as The Fencing Club, Backpacking Club, and even the “Schmeggegis Club” (who “limited membership to those who wanted to join”) show that students were having a ball on campus, and that the school embraced the spirit of fun that prompted the Hoofprint to eschew traditionalism and opt for something zany.

Today’s political correctness (and maybe common sense) is absent from this year of the Hoofprint; students posed with liquor bottles for the yearbook staff photo, cartoons depicted the freewheeling 70s, and one page dedicated to seniors shows a line of boys using the urinals. It takes exactly two pages before the first joke about a keg. The golf team posed without shirts. I’m not suggesting 1976 was a better time, but it was certainly a different time at San Dieguito.


Yet some things are very much the same. Students then, as now, joined clubs like the Thespians and the Speech Team, and the expressions of glee on the faces of the homecoming court aren’t that different from students today.

photo-1-6Candid photographs show what it must have been like to walk across the quad in 1976, students lounging on the lawn and laughing beneath palm trees. The students we see in the yearbook look happy and fun loving, the kind of teenagers our teenagers today would like to spend time with.

1976 was a very funky year at San Dieguito. Just ask Ben Franklin …if you can get him to stop jumping the San Dieguito ten step.

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