Students in various academic and career programs attended numerous lectures by invited guest speakers. On May 24, 1961, students in the school’s inaugural Apprentice Programs met with Army Commanding General George H. Cloud and Chief of Staff Col. Elliott B. Robertson. The program was a four year apprenticeship which trained students in careers and on-the job training for fields including air conditioning and refrigeration, electronics mechanics and maintenance, machinist and electrical work. Students received an Associate of Science degree upon completion of the program. Fourteen students were the first in the program. Their instructors were Eldon Roth and Robert Vencill.
In related civil rights matters, students were concerned about the violence revolving around integration in the Deep South. When Alabama Governor George Wallace swore to uphold, “Segregation, now… segregation forever,” Barstow students responded with a series of political cartoons and editorials. On March 16, 1965, members of the college history club met to discuss civil rights and the problems in Alabama “The literacy test, segregation, integration march on the Capitol, and everything else going on,” were points of concern to the students. “Alabama was served on the rocks today,” quipped one student. (Roadrunner, March 16, 1965)
USMC Mounted Color Guard was developed during Vietnam Era at Yermo base. Palomino Mustangs are adopted from wild herds trained in Nevada and enter into USMC service for 20 years. Barstow is the last remaining marine mounted unit. USMC link: http://www.mclbbarstow.marines.mil/Agencies/MountedColorGuard.aspx
Student life on the Barstow college campus was amazingly calm considering the political swirls and upheavals of 1970’s America. Students were aware of the Vietnam War, but few protested for or against United States involvement in Southeast Asia. Students studied and completed their courses. A variety of student clubs and interesting elective courses like Equine Studies, Airplane Flying and Pilot Certification kept students interested and absorbed with campus activities. The school’s nursing program blossomed.
Student clubs like the Cheerleaders and the Debate Club offered dances and social activities. Outstanding student journalists like Kathy Knowles received a $150 Press Club scholarship. The adventurous Mojave Safari continued its excursions and expeditions throughout the High Desert. Internationally known groups like the Boys Town Choir traveled to Barstow at college invitation. Stimulating lecturers presented information on campus. Among these were Norman Baher, a captain with Thor Heyerdahl’s Ra Expedition; representatives of the Audubon Society, presented lectures and films about American and Canadian wildlife, including the films, “Mule Deer Country,” “British Columbia: Mountains to the Sea,” & “The Beaver Pond.”
The college continued regional cultural enrichment by bringing in outstanding international artists like Spanish Flamenco guitar virtuoso Carlos Montoya in October 1976. 1970s summer concerts included violinist and piano duo Lincoln Mayorga and Judy Ostler, who performed pieces by Mozart, Beethoven and Profofiev.
Students also brought the advice columnist Abigail Van Buren to campus at a cost of $2,250 plus travel and hotel expenses. Two board members objected to the cost, but the students and the majority of trustees supported the presentation and the expense.
In 1970 Bob Showboat Hall and several other member of the Harlem Globetrotters came to the campus. (March 28,1970)
TV Personalities such as Lenoard Nimoy, also known as TV’s Mr. Spock from Star Trek, came to the campus and did a free lecture about Science Fiction. (October 14, 1975).
During the 1975-1975 school year, the college adapted the federal work-study program. Barstow College received $22,051 in federal funds to support student workers in the program. In its initial year, 45 Barstow students earned needed funds through the federal program.
In September 1970, the doors opened on a fully remodeled Student Center . Students enjoyed meeting and relaxing in the center, which came complete with billiards tables and comfortable chairs and couches and a snack bar.
College survey leads to drug education
In November 1976, as a result of a campus-wide survey of students and faculty, the college decided to incorporate a drug education and information program. Students could take classes in drug education and a series of seminars open to students and the public were developed and offered on campus.
With the assistance of Municipal Judge Ted DeBord and the county probation office, as a result of the student survey it was demonstrated that most students and faculty wanted college resources applied to drug education and steps to avoid drug abuse.
“The report concluded that widespread involvement of students with drugs had a major impact on campuses in the mid-Sixties.’ it was revealed. “But there still exists a clear and present need for new and better methods of providing information to students and communities. (Dispatch, Nov. 15, 1976)
The report recommended peer counseling, professional outreach and community education as well as for-credit education about drugs. The school implemented the recommended program.
Student Body President Scandal
An unfortunate and embarrassing episode in Barstow student history happened in 1970. Associated Student Body President Nehemiah Jackson was forcibly removed from office by the college administration. According to Dean of Students Robert Chamberlain, Jackson had “repeatedly violated rules.” Jackson was warned about bad behavior and suspended before being forcibly removed from office and asked to resign. “Jackson got into hot water with the administration in August 9, 1970 when he…signed for a district-owned can for a trip to College of the Desert in Palm Springs…but managed to include a side-trip to Los Angeles on the same junket and logged in a reported 923 miles on the car,” according to a report in the Desert Dispatch.
In a seperate incident, Jackson took another district car for a meeting with the state-wide Junior College Government Association. Apparently, he never arrived for the appointment. This further upset the school administration. Jackson admitted that he never arrived for the appointment, but said that Dean Chamberlain and the administration were being “paranoid.”
According to Dean Chamberlain and others, Jackson persisted in taking trips with district vehicles. He was ordered to present himself at a disciplinary hearing before the college board in September 1970, but failed to appear. He was ordered to refrain from student government activities for 60 days. He continued to attend local and statewide meetings. Jackson maintained, “Every student has the right to go to meetings.”
Finally, after Jackson participated in a state-wide meeting where Jackson addressed the session while under suspension, the Dean and the college board decided he would be removed and asked for his resignation. Jackson said he was outraged by his forced removal. “If any charges on me warranted being suspended from ASB, then the people who elected me should have been the hangman,” Jackson maintained. (Dispatch, 11/23, 1970).
1971 Conference Champions
Leadership under coach Jim Parks
Barstow won back-to-back Division II State Championships in ’79-’80 and ’80-’81 with a record of 53-13. The Barstow College Board of Trustees rewarded coach Jim Parks in 1981 by naming the college gym in his honor: the James R. Parks Gymnasium; locally known as Jim’s gym!
The game of basketball has provided Jim Parks with the opportunity to coach at every level and to travel, and live in, many countries. During his career, he has served as: head coach in several Los Angeles high schools, assistant and head coach in California community colleges, a head coach at the California university level, a youth development director in two European countries and a head coach in several European professional leagues and the Southern California professional NBA Summer League.
In 1967, Jim became the Assistant Basketball Coach at Santa Monica College where he had the opportunity to coach future UCLA All American, Sidney Wicks. In 1971, he became the Head Coach at Barstow Community College. In five years at Barstow, Jim’s teams appeared in the Division II Final Four three times, won the State championship in ’72-’73 and had an over-all record of 107-44.
From 1977-1979, Parks moved to Europe to coach at the international level. As Head Coach of Nationale-Nederlanden Donar, his team posted an over-all record of 40-16 and was runner-up in the Dutch 1st League. The team was invited to Israel to play the premier international team, Macabee Tel Aviv, who went on to defeat that year’s NBA champion. Jim was named Dutch National Coach of the Year. The following season, he coached UBSC Wein (Vienna) to a 49-9 record and an Austrian National Championship. The team advanced to the European Cup Championships defeating the champions from Portugal and England in the qualifying rounds before losing in the final pool to Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia.
After returning to Barstow College in 1979, Jim’s teams won back-to-back Division II State Championships in ’79-’80 and ’80-’81 with a record of 53-13. The Barstow College Board of Trustees rewarded Parks in 1981 by naming the college gym in his honor: the James R. Parks Gymnasium; locally known as Jim’s gym!
In 1981, Jim accepted the head coaching position at Shasta College. His success followed him as he coached Shasta to the Division II State Finals in ’81-’82 and the the State Championship in ’82-’83, posting a two-year record of 52-12. Parks was named California Community College Division II Coach of the Year. He was also selected as National Junior College Coach of the Year by the Basketball Times. In the summer of 1982, Jim was chosen to lead the Athletes in Action’s summer tour to Panama and Brazil.
In 1983, Parks was named Head Coach at California State University, Bakersfield. His four-year record there was 75-36 and in ’83-’84 the team advanced to the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Tournament.
In nine years as a Head Coach at the California Community College level, Jim’s teams had a 212-69 record, made five Division II State Finals appearances and won four State Championships. Thirty nine players from Barstow and Shasta went on to play at colleges and universities.
Jim now resides in Bakersfield where he serves as Executive Head Coach of the Bakersfield Heat Premier AAU Girls’ Basketball Club. He and his wife Marie have been married 42 years. They have two children and three granddaughters.
Desert Conference Champions 1974
California Junior College Runner Ups 1974
“I got players from out of state and I got kids from the high schools. We offered them a good program and an opportunity to play baseball,” Fries said. “We were known throughout the state of California for baseball. We played all the big schools. We played Long Beach, Chaffey, San Bernardino, Citrus. We didn’t back off from anybody.” Coach Dale Fries, August 11, 2016 Interview
“I had a bunch of good kids. All have been successful in life. I thought that was the most important. Every baseball player, maybe with the exception with one or two, graduated and were very successful in life. “
Sep 2016: President Deborah DiThomas with Coach Dale Fries
While The Barstow Community College Football team never won any championships in its decade long existence, the football team had many big wins and shut outs, especially against their rival… Victor Valley College. Sadly as a result of state education budget cuts the football team was eliminated in 1978.
Student Life 2010s