Fallbrook Band Teacher
Robert “Bud” Roberds
April 1, 2002
Jewel and I don’t exactly feel like pioneer of Fallbrook because we didn’t arrive until 1956. Although Jewell did have and older brother born here in 1914. Her parent owned a homestead that bordered on the eastern boundary of the Pauba Ranch 19 miles east of Temecula. Her mother stayed in Fallbrook to be close to a doctor. Her brother, George Tripp was born on the corner of East Mission (Juniper) and Iowa Street.
However, we do feel like pioneer in San Jacinto Valley (40 miles north), because both my maternal grandmother and her paternal grandfather went there in the 1860’s. We were both raised there and graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1938. We started going together while we were juniors and were married while I was a junior at UCLA January 1941. Jewell had dropped out of college but did return to get her degree from San Diego State in the 1960’s.
After serving three years in the military during WWII, mainly in Europe, I started my teaching career in San Jacinto (our Alma Mater) in 1947. I taught there for nine years. I had the music program from K-12. During that time we had our two children Bill, 1951 and Lorraine, 1954.
We came to Fallbrook in 1956. Incidentally, Bill Toomey, former Potter Junior High principal, was instrumental in or relocation to Fallbrook. He and I had started or careers the same year in San Jacinto. He had married a local girl, Lydia Bott. Lydia, Jewell and I played in the San Jacinto high school orchestra together. After a time, Bill moved to Fallbrook to become the principal of Maie Ellis elementary school. Through a mutual friend, he informed me of an opening here in Fallbrook. I applied, it was offered, and I accepted.
The first years at Fallbrook were very interesting. As there is now, there were two school districts in Fallbrook, the Fallbrook Union Elementary School and the Fallbrook Union High School. The unique situation was the John Brineger was superintendent of both school districts. Furthermore, there was one board member, Mary Golden, serving on both boards. The community was on its way to coordinated districts, but didn’t reach it.
Besides this rather uncommon circumstance, several other things were happening:
- I was hired by two different districts — two different salary schedules.
- The high school district was building a new school on Stage Coach Lane and was running behind schedule.
- The elementary district was forming a new junior high (Potter) under the direction of Bill Toomey.
- Both the high school and junior high were compelled to utilize the same campus in 1956 . Due to the campus sharing, Potter occupied the soon to be vacated high school on Iowa street in the morning and the high school met in the afternoon.
- For the first time, two school bands from 2 different districts were united.
The band merger was accomplished by overlapping the schedules of the Jr and Sr highs. Band was programmed on Potter’s last period and the high school’s first period. This meant that instead of having a ten-piece high school band, we could field a 50-piece organization by using students from grades 7-12. This was the impetus that enabled our instrumental program to grow during the ensuing years.
We were on a double session until Christmas. The new high school campus on Stage Coach Lane, although far from being completed, opened in January 1957. The music room was still at the Iowa Street location, which now was the Potter campus, so the high school music students, instrumental and vocal, were bused the three miles each day. The bands were still combined. This continued until 1959, at which time the high school made available a temporary classroom until the new state-of -the -art music building was completed in 1960. In that year I became full time at the high school, and the bands were separated. Darrell Graves then became responsible for all the instrumental music in the elementary school eight grades. That new music building was used until the the music facilities were moved to the Bob Burton Performing Arts Center in 2000.
San Jacinto was our home, we have our roots there, and we loved it. We still maintain warm friendship with many people even form our school days. However, coming to Fallbrook was a positive move for us. Perhaps it’s just my mentality but in San Jacinto I felt just like the local kid. The move here permitted me to grow more professionally. Both our children went all the way through the schools here. We’ve been tankful for that, because we feel the system here is one of the best.
I’ve felt honored and proud to be on the staffs of the schools here, and felt I had full cooperation of the Boards and community that permitted us to attend music functions throughout the Sate and Nevada. These functions were beneficial to the students.
I retired from the High School in 1979. and the quality of the students here made my stay very pleasant and rewarding. They were hardworking and dedicated.