Historic Echo Park
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Roger Vargo

Ever since Jenny Burman blogged about Room 8 the famous cat about a

year ago, I've been thinking about my old alma mater, Elysian Heights

School. I graduated in June, 1963 and spent 7th grade at King JHS. My

family moved to La Crescenta in the summer of 1964 and I pretty much

lost touch with my old community.


Anyway, I'd like to get in touch with my old elementary school

principal, Miss Beverly D. Mason. She's obviously long-retired, but

if you know of her whereabouts, perhaps you would be kind enough to

pass my name, email and phone number along to her. If she'd  care to

get in touch with me, I'd be thrilled to hear from her. Please let

her know I'm Roger Vargo who lived on Lucretia Ave.


If you are unable to contact her, I'd like to at least find out when

she retired and if she is still alive.  My research indicates she was

principal at Elysian Heights at least until the early 1980's.



Fabian (Wap)
Dear, Roger

Fabian (Wap)
Dear Roger,
      Miss Mason passed away a few years ago. I'm sorry you had not heard.
She was a wonderful Principal, firm, strict, demanding, but above all very loving of the children or shall I say students of Elysian Heights school. I am not sure how many years it has been, but it may be almost ten years now. Most of the EP locals tell wonderful stories on how Miss Mason impacted their lives. From getting our school garden and animals taken care by the school own budget, it was her idea to bus the new King Jr. High students (former Elysian Hts. grads) from the school, that to school and back home to good ol' Echo Park. She got a good friend of my reinstated back in to Marshall H.S. after he was terminated for living out of the district. The lady had clout and used it wisely. She is dearly missed, and is need of some type of memorial for her work in the community and at the school.
       I am Fabian Gonzalez, I was raised right across the street from the school at the corner of Baxter and Echo Park Ave. I did not enter E.H. elementary school until 1969. I have older brothers and sister that may be your age with the same last name, who are Armando, Annette, and Richard all were in school at the same time you were. I think.
     Anyway, sorry to have to give the information about her passing. The last I remember back in the day was that her mother was ill and she needed time to take care of her dear old mother who by the way also spent a lot of time at the school. She left for some time off, and then she officially retired. A lot us were not able to tell her how great a Principle she was, as well as what a wonderful women.

Roger Vargo

Thank you for the reply on Miss Mason. You confirm what I had heard since the original message was posted.

Perhaps you could email me directly and we can talk about a couple of things.
My email is: roger (dot) vargo (at) dailynews (dot) com. {substitute the (dot) with a period and the (at) with the "@" sign to send me email}


Roger Vargo

I found the information I was looking for about Beverly Mason and Room 8.

 Here's the link to my Daily News story: http://www.dailynews.com/ci_8772634?source=rv

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: FINLEY-MASON-ROOM8_t_sm.jpg, Views: 69, Size: 232.89 KB 

All you with fond memories of the late Mrs. Mason must be lily white, to use a vulgar expession.

david bautista
Not "Lilly White" but obviously gratefully educated and successful! Glad this info exists.
Don Ray
It was in about 1974 that I took a longer route to work from Burbank to Downtown Los Angeles and looked up to see a beautiful mural of a cat on the side of Elysian Heights School. I was so curious that I called the principal. She told me the great story of the cat named Room 8. She invited me to return to the school to look at the beautiful inscriptions that student wrote in cement after Room 8 died. I've been going back there ever since to share the story with friends. I've collected a lot of materials and now that I finally have the time, I want to talk with former students --- students to knew Room 8. I'd especially like to talk to anyone who left their inscriptions in the cement. Also, it would be wonderful to find a family in which the children or grandchildren of someone who attended also attended the school. I'd like to think that a grandchild of an original friend of Room 8 is attending or has attended Elysian Heights school. My name is Don Ray and my e-mail address is donray@donray.com. Would you be kind enough to help me connect with any of these people? Thanks so very much.
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