I’ve been meaning to start blogging regularly, inspired by our Principal Bjorn Paige, who has started to blog about the history of San Dieguito during the 80th Anniversary Year. (Be sure to bookmark his blog, because more articles are coming!)
Then I saw this post this morning, in which Rickey Vaughan asks, “Anyone know who the Macs were? Saw them mentioned in my dad’s 1944 yearbook.”
I remember asking this same question when I first saw the Macs in various Hoofprints. Lucky for those of us who wonder about the past, there are years and years of wonderful alumni who remember the details!
And on January 9, 2008 I had the good fortune to interview Mr. Phillip Winter, Class of 1947. He had come to our 70th Anniversary school campus tour, given by ASB students, and I was glad to hear he really enjoyed it. I asked him questions and then let him talk, writing down everything he said. There is a condensed version of his story in our Winter 2008 newsletter, but I’m going to publish my raw notes of our interview here.
Half-way through he answers the questions about the Macs, besides providing some wonderful details about his days at San Dieguito.
Recently I learned Mr. Winter passed away October 18, 2011. His too-short obituary is here and makes me glad I had a chance to share some time with him on the phone.
I really enjoyed that tour. I love San Dieguito, the old school, I love everything about my old school. I enjoyed the tour we got, too. The kid who gave it to us, I forget his name, he was wonderful and told us everything! I walked all over that school!
When I went to school with my twin brother, Paul, we were both in sports, lots of sports. I was voted most valuable player in football. But we didn’t have all the stuff you have now. We only had a dirt track to work out on. No bleachers! When we won the football championship, the townspeople got so excited they installed lighting over the field! Lighting! Ha, ha!
My twin brother, Paul, he passed away about 4 years ago, in Arizona. He was a good man. He died Oct. 21, 2003.
My father, Ray Winter, he was superintendent of the elementary school. Ruth Ecke was my girlfriend in school. My older brother married Barbara Ecke. I used to work in the Ecke poinsettia fields.
My good friend was George Vaughn, his dad was stationmaster at the Encinitas railroad station. George was a good man — we were friends way back in elementary school. He died just before the reunion. August 20, 2007. He paid $100 to go to the reunion and Jane King called his wife to ask if she wanted the money back but his wife said to keep it. He was a good man. He had two brothers who went through the school, too.
I worked as a California Highway Patrolman in Fallbrook. When I retired I told my wife, “I don’t want to live out here anymore, it’s too crazy.” So we moved to Washington. I built a boat, made three trips to Alaska, I’ve had an interesting time.
I live in the country, across the street from 200 cows! I tell my friends, I’d rather live across the street from 200 cows than from 200 houses. Only they’re calving right now, so they’re a little noisier than usual.
I was a Mac, and you probably don’t know what it stood for: MacNasty. Part of the Macs’ job was to patrol the cafeteria line and make sure all of the kids stayed out of trouble. We got out of class 5 minutes before lunch break so we could set up and patrol the line. They don’t have Macs anymore.
The outgoing senior class voted and nominated the next Macs coming up, so the Macs of 1946-47 were myself, my twin Paul, Vic DuShaune, Bob Phillips, and George Vaughn; we were the Macs of 1946-47. And every year the Macs had to do something, so we sponsored a hay ride on the Wiegand Farm. But that was part of the job of the Macs, was to patrol the cafeteria line.
The MacNasties, it was a group that was there when I got there! I don’t know where the name came from!
MacNasty’s, or Macs, it was a prestigious thing. You had to be voted on by the outgoing Macs to get the Mac position for the upcoming year. We had a big assembly in the auditorium and that’s when they’d notify us every year who had been elected Macs for the upcoming year.
I was very happy and fortunate to become a Mac. I was so proud, I even made an ink and needle Mac on my hand! I did it myself, just like those prison guys. I’m not proud of it now, but I did it.
Our Mac picture was on old Cushman motor scooters, and I’ve got a picture out there on my annual of George and me and Paul and Vic, we were the Macs of the 46-47 class. We were the police officers of the class, probably not a good word, but we patrolled the cafeteria line, we got out of class five minutes early so when the bell rang we were there.
The Macs were a popularity group, I was very fortunate to be a Mac, very proud of it, too. When it started, I don’t know. If you got elected, you got it made.
Back when I was going to school, I smoked, that’s a no-no, I got caught smoking behind the agricultural area, my friend and I — I forget his name — we got caught, and then the school decided to allow smoking off campus.
So right across the street at Santa Fe Drive, we had a smoking area out there, it was nothing but tumbleweeds and brush but there was a pretty good path running across the street there because all of us, even the teachers, would run out to smoke because we couldn’t go and smoke on campus. It was kind of fun, hanging out with the teachers.
I used to hitchhike. See, I played football and that meant you had to stay after school for an hour or so and so I hitchhiked home to 3rd and D. Betty Horton McKenna was my neighbor. She used to work there, she was a year ahead of me. I ran into her through my sister-in-law Barbara Ecke Winter, I hadn’t seen Betty for a hundred years.
Barbara brought Betty to the reunion at the fairgrounds, [Bonnie’s note: that was the 70th Anniversary Reunion arranged by alumna Betty Ash Schreiber] and said, “this was your old neighbor”, and I said, “oh my God!” She worked in the office there, at San Dieguito high school and could probably answer a lot of your questions. She was a year ahead of me, as was Barbara Ecke.
1/9/2008 Interview with Mr. Phillip E. Winter, Class of 1947