To the classes of '61, '62, '63 and '64, there are few things that can spark a more lively conversation, than the mention of the 'OASIS PARTY'. This party took place on Thursday evening June 1, 1961 at a location a few miles NorthEast of Delta, in what we called the Oasis.
The newspaper account stated that they estimated around 75 students were in attendance, but we tend to believe it was more in the neighborhood of 125. From Seniors to Freshman, this was truly an 'all school' event.
The stories have escalated with each retelling, from tractor-trailer loads of beer, to students swimming nude in the canal, to policemen on horseback during the raid. There is probably a grain of truth in each of these accounts but only our feeble old memories will know what really happened that night.
With so many ex-students that were actually there that evening, there should be a great many stories that you should be sending in to share with everybody. Presented here is the front page article from the June 5, 1961 Delta County Independent and the first few 'memories' I've received so far.
"The Oasis get together was amazing... I remember being somewhat under the influence. Of course it only took a couple of 3.2 Coors beers to do that. Actually, I was more than somewhat under the influence. Everybody was having a great time dancing, singing and just partying. Then all of a sudden the ominous Red Lights showed their ugly heads... From then on it was pure pandemonium... Kids screaming and running everywhere... Where to run, how to hide? I ran with Gary and Wayne Coleman. Somehow we escaped without being caught. Spent the night at the Coleman's. What a memory...
My first and Last run from the law... I fought the Law and I won..."
Larry Parkinson ('63)
.....Ah, the infamous Oasis party. Yes, I was there. Sharon Middle, myself, and several other girls all went in one car. We sat on top of the hill and watched the 'going's on'.....We circled the perimeter on foot, having parked the car with the numerous others. Climbing up a dune, we could see the bonfire and our classmates drinking and laughing......Music was playing loudly and soon we were caught up in the prevailing merriment. None of us were drinking but the atmosphere gave us a heady feeling of euphoria......Suddenly in the distance we could see numerous vehicles converging on the area and someone yelled "COPS". Frantically scurrying to cars, the scene resembled a hill of ants pouring out of their nest......When the cops came we headed out and were duly stopped and had to give all our names. We were told to go home and tell our parents because they would be calling them . So obedient me goes home, wakes up my Dad (for those of you who remember my father, he was an intimidating figure awake!), terrified I was going to be beaten within an inch of my life, I told him what had happened. He solemnly ordered me to bed and I heard him laughing while he told my mother what had happened......Those damn cops never called him and I was busted for nothing!!! .....The next day, 'the party' was all over school and since most didn't know we had watched them, it was interesting to see how they described their actions.....I'll never forget that night!.....I took my two grandsons to the Oasis 2 years ago (2000) and told them about the party and my part in it. They looked at me in wonder and questioned why I didn't party...they know the other side of me!!! Chris (Holden) Gourley ('63)
.....Lewis Fraser and I caught a ride out to the 'Oasis' with Carolyn Bruton and a couple of her girlfriends. I remember the huge bonfire, the loud music (every car and pick-up that was in earshot had their radio tuned to KOMA), the laughing, the dancing, the drinking of course, and some of the people wading in the canal....All of a sudden the whole world lit up with red blinking lights on every hill surrounding us. People exploded into the dark in every direction. Lewis and I headed North, on foot, and had traveled about 500 yards when we heard a small voice calling out a girls name. It turned out to be a girl from my class, looking for her girlfriend she had came with. This classmate of mine (identity will be released if she approves it) was pretty well blitzed but we managed to tag her along with us. It took 2 hours or more of stumbling through the dobies in the dark, and half carrying her, to get back to Delta undetected.....After all these years, I still haven't heard who actually bought those 2 pick-up loads of beer.....I am actively trying to search out any surviving police officers, that were involved in the raid, to get an interview and hear the other side of the events of that evening. Bill Thomas ('63)
I don't remember the exact day but it was a day or two before our last day of school in our Junior year. A carload of us went to the party in my car to check it out. George ( ) I think, was our designated driver. We decided to leave and go over to Cheryl Jones house. On the way out we could see the "roadblock". They were shining spot lights and using mega phones. We all got out, except the driver, and took off. Anthony (Carrera) ran back to the party to warn them. The rest of us ran around and hid until the police finally left. Our driver finally found us and we all went home. The next day I remember being in the assembly hall and everyone was wondering what was going to happen and who turned us in. Follow the cars---duh?? (To my knowledge no one got into trouble except with their parents.) We got out of school early and guess who was waiting for me, "Dear Old Dad." Off to the Sheriff's office I go. Sherry (Cheryl) Linn's Dad is my interrogator. Sherry and I had been friends forever and I had been to her house to spend the night many times. He wasn't comfortable about all this which I recognized but I also knew I had better be careful. I basically told them I didn't know anything. Other than probably being grounded for the rest of my life, nothing else happened.
I hope everyone tells what happened to them the night of the Woodsy and you put it on the web. It would be fun to hear everyone's version of events. Sharon (Huff) Wilson ('62 )
To Be Continued.........