In San Francisco in the 1960s, we had high schools that came with lots of traditions. For example, Lowell, my school, came with a classic football rivalry with Poly – or Polytechnic High School. The rivalry started in 1912. Through the years, it was reported that more than 50,000 San Francisco fans could be expected to witness a high school football game.
Poly closed in 1973. And I do not recognize the names of all of the San Francisco high schools now. But I do remember seeing a movie about a rough high school that still tugs at the heart. One theme is that a teacher can change a student’s life. Remember this?
“To Sir, With Love” was a movie about a tough school in England and it was also the title of a number-one song for five weeks in the USA. Sidney Poitier played the teacher who was planning to teach for one term as he was waiting for his real job as an engineer to begin. Lulu portrayed a student. She also sang the title song and became a teenage super star with, “To Sir, with Love” in 1967.
Lulu, or Scottish Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, had a record contract at 15 years old. “To Sir, With Love” was Lulu’s movie debut. Here she is singing the entire song, with some more scenes from the movie:
Lulu went on to have a career in British television. But we Americans heard from her again in 1974, singing the theme to this iconic film:
Lulu is still doing entertainment projects at age 68. Sidney Poitier turned 90 years old this year.
Happy graduation to all of the graduates and their proud supporters,