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Looking Back to The Bearcat news in March 1938 – ‘Rube’s Day’ 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from Friday, March 25, 1938, The Bearcat:

Paso revives Rube’s Day

“What fools these mortals be,” that’s what people might think if they look in on Paso High next Friday.

April first, that’s Fool’s Day when everyone who wants to have a good time puts on a crazy costume and acts silly. The freshman and sophomores, not having seen Rube’s Day before, will probably look with awe at the undignified antics of the upperclassmen.

Commissioner of Publicity, Fritz predicts an early influx Friday of Tarzans, cowboys and hula dancers, arrayed in outfits that may have come from a ragbag. That doesn’t matter, folks, just so you don’t wear your ordinary clothes.

Paso Robles history

Click here to read the full front page of the March 25, 1938 Bearcat

“Look, a big hole in your dress,” is one of the most common jokes pulled on girls, don’t grab the bail too easily. Though, if you can catch someone else on it, why not?

Rube’s Day will be a day to remember! Better bring your camera and get some Candid Camera shots of your friends.

Mary Merrill wins Berkeley honors

Mary Merrill, Bearcat alumni of 1935, has been awarded two distinctive honors as an outstanding student on the Campus of the University of California.

The Prytanean Women’s Honor Society elected Mary to its club as one of the 23 most outstanding, all-around students in the junior class. Considering the large enrollment at Berkeley, this is an extremely distinctive honor.

Mary was also elected to the Mortor Board, a national women’s honor society.

Read more on Page 1.

The talk about gossip

Gossip seems to be a chronic social problem, even in 1938. Two Bearcat staff members admonished classmates, faculty and the community about gossiping.

The editorial on page 2, by L. S. (Lillian Swayze?) wrote, “Above all else, friendliness eliminates all GOSSIP in conversation, whether it is about new friends or old.”

John Hibbard wrote in his “Bearcat Merry-go-round” column, also on page 2: “Gossip, gossip—it seems that at this time of year students, teachers, and townspeople start malicious gossip about the school, students and teachers. A sharp tongue if you can remember the old saying, can kill more than a sharp knife.”

More Bearcat news

The Bearcats baseball team took a 6-1 win over Templeton and five of the Bearcat stars were credited by name. Read more on page 3.

Pet peeves of the students included gum popping, apple polishers, faculty in general, skunks and drunken men. Find out who on page 3.

Despite the warnings about gossip, Ophelia Heart-Throb reveals the latest romantic secrets and embarrassing moments of her classmates in Bearcat Bites on page 4.

More names are named, also on page 4. Find out who was the “senior personality” on March 25, 1938 and try to “guess who” without looking at the list of names at the end of the Guess Who column. A couple of freshmen also get some nice recognition.

Read previous Looking Back articles

Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446,, (805) 227-0440.

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1800 El Pomar is the site of a historic Templeton ranch located just three miles east of town. The property features an iconic, aged redwood barn, 3 story tank house, original farmhouse with an outdoor garden, original water tank structures, and many other original ranch buildings. Set on 20+ acres of vineyards, the 360-degree views of rolling oak-studded hills and surrounding vines are a photographer’s dream. A prime ceremony location exists in the vineyards behind the barn between two beautiful oaks. The northwest-facing location creates plenty of shade for your guests in an early to late afternoon setting. A perfect venue with plenty of open space to customize your wedding or event.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.