Special Archive Collection » The Esther Struman Hochman Collection

The Esther Struman Hochman Collection

Esther Struman
Esther Struman Hochman is a Garfield alumna and graduate of the class of 1931.  Mrs. Hochman called the Library in November of 2011 asking if we would like a photo of the 1928 9th grade class at Garfield that pictures her and her sister, Fay.  The Librarian traveled to Ventura to interview her and collect the photograph, including various Garfield class pins.  Mrs. Hochman is a lively 96 years old, an intelligent, witty and is a person we can point to with pride.

     Garfield vs. Roosevelt
Mrs. Hochman related several accounts she remembered from her years at Garfield High School.  One great story was of the 1928 Garfield-Roosevelt Game.  Prior to the game, some boys from Garfield burned a "G' on Roosevelt's front lawn . . .  and in return some Roosevelt boys burned an "R" on Garfield's front lawn.  
    Life at School 
Mrs. Hochman also spoke of how teachers visited the homes of their students, and how her mother made lunch for her visiting teacher.  In the 20s and 30s, girls wore a uniform consisting of a white midi blouse and a blue wool skirt (see the class photo), Mondays through Thursday, with free dress on Fridays.  

Great Depression and Discrimination
As Mrs. Hochman (then Miss Struman) began her senior year, she had been accepted to UCLA and was looking forward to attending.  However, because of the Great Depression, her family lost their home and her thoughts of a college degree disintegrated.  She began taking business classes at Garfield her senior year to make herself more employable.  Nearing graduation, Garfield High School located two job interviews for her.  The first job interview found her too young (she graduated when only 16 years old) and at the second job interview she was told they do not hire anyone who is Jewish.
Mrs. Hochman is a lively, intelligent, witty 96 year old, a person we can point to with pride as an alumna of Garfield High School.  We greatly thank her for sharing so much with us.