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Harrison Lapahie Jr.

Dad
Harrison Lapahie
Mom
Lillie Todychini
Daughter
Krystal Nizhoni Lapahie

Dad and Dondo at Aunt Yellowhorses trailer in Shiprock NM during World Series, October 1977 Mom and Dondo during summer of 1975 having a barbecue in Provo Utah

Dondo wearing Indian Headdress in 1959 or 1960 in Southern California

Nickname : Dondo
Clan : Bitahnii T1chiinii (Navajo)
Bitahnii (Folded Arms People) blood from mom Lillie Todychini.
T1chiinii (Red Running into Water People) blood from dad Harrison Lapahie.
Birth Date : September 28, 1955
Born Where : El Huerfano Mesa (Dzi[ N1oodi[ii)
San Juan County, New Mexico
Stories : Grandfather And Me
Grave Of A Friend
Kill Me Please!

Life Profile School Profile College Profile Work Profile Extra Photos

School Profile of Harrison (Dondo)

Dondo's 9th Grade Homeroom taken during the year 1969 or 1970. Dondo was 14 years old when he was in the 9th Grade at Berendo Jr. High School, near downtown Los Angeles. Harry is a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) having attended 10th Street Elementary School, Berendo Jr. High School (now Berendo Middle School), and Belmont High School, from 1960 to 1973. Schools were multi-racial (with a large percentage being Latino) located all in downtown Los Angeles. Concerning Asians, Berendo had a large percentage of Japanese students, and Belmont had a large percentage of Filipino and Chinese students with some Japanese, Blacks and White students. As can be remembered, Tenth St. Elementary School had 4 American Indians (1 Navajo, 3 Papagos) during years 1960-1967, Berendo had 5 American Indians (1 Navajo, 4 Papagos) during years 1967-1970, and Belmont had 7 American Indians students (4 Navajos, 3 Mission Indians) during years 1970-1973. Harry knew all of the American Indians students at his school since he was American Indian himself and attended all of the American Indian churches in Los Angeles (only about 5 of them). Harry was the first one in his family tree to graduate from Jr. High School and the first one to graduate from High School.

Meeting of the Honor Society after school at Berendo Jr. High, 1969 or early 1970. At 10th Street Elementary School (kindergarden to 6th grade), Harry got into fights nearly once a week, or bullied sometimes every other day, and he always had a running nose in class! School friends at 10th Street Elementary School were David Nakamoto, Tusiyako (only knew her as Terry) Saito, Andy Fujitsubo, Tim (Terrific) Derrickson, Sabu ? (a Hawaiian, the nicest friend), William Castillo, Ricky Manriquez, and Margie Nakamoto (the most helpful). Apartment school friends were twins Rita and Esther Uddin (Indians from India who were 5 yrs older), and Carlos ? (Mexican teenager). Mr. Uddin (an Indian from India) owned the apartment that we lived in.

Dondo graduating from Berendo Jr. High in June 1970 Harry use to run to Margie (about 3 yrs older) when some kid chased him. She just made a threatening move and they stopped. Either Dad (Harrison Sr.) or Carlos picked Dondo up when Dondo was in kindergarden to 3rd grade. Dondo use to sit on Carlos' 10-speed bike as he rode Dondo home. To get into the Lapahie apartment, Dondo would climb over Carlo's balcony onto the Lapahie balcony to open the balcony door. Dondo would keep bugging Rita and Esther Uddin to come out and play. When Rita and Esther entered Berendo Jr. High, their mom kept saying "they're studying" and wouldn't let them outside. Dondo remembered when Mexican boys tried to talk to Rita or Esther Uddin, their father, Mr Uddin, would come out front with a hammer and the boys would run away.

Harrison Lapahie Jr. and the Eulexians, 1970 Dondo loved Uncle Oli (Mr. Uddin's brother), a tall slim Indian from India, and "Grandma" and "Grandpa" (the Parsley's, an Anglo elderly Mormon couple with family that lived in adjacent house), who were Dondo's babysitters. Dondo called Grandma "Second Momma" but it came out "Sucker Momma". BYU school mates would laugh when Dondo (Harrison to BYU students) would tell them this story.

Other memories during my elementary school years: JFK assasinated causing no cartoons that week! Kids yelled "yeh!" in class when cartoons returned.

Dondos room in Los Angeles from 1968 to 1996. Picture taken in early 1970. At Berendo Jr. High School (7th to 9th grade), Dondo got into fights nearly once a week, pushed around, bullied, threatened, or robbed, sometimes every other day, until the 8th grade. By the 9th grade, kids didn't really bother Dondo. In the 8th and 9th grades, Dondo (known to some as Harrison) was nearly a straight 'A' student. Harrison was the only student to get an 'A' in Algebra 1 the 1st semester in the 9th grade. Harrison's best friends were Hernan Carazo (Costa Rican) and Sung Lee (South Korean). Harrison really felt confident about myself when he finished the 9th grade, that he could accomplish anything. Dondo was very happy about life, always smiling!

Snowball and Dondo in ROTC uniform before heading to Belmont High School during end of 1970. Other memories during junior high: RFK Assasinated! 300 chicanos (18th Street gang, Clanton gang) fighting on Vermont Ave at Pico Blvd. Berendo Jr. High "chicano student walkouts" with gang kids (black, latino) Dondo knew leading in front. Black GIRLS scaring chicanas to kiss their shoes. Black male students bullying/threatening, robbing.

At Belmont High School (10th to 12th grade), 10th grade was Harrison's best year. 11th grade starting the 2nd semester, Harrison started to accumulate personal and school problems that followed him to the end of grad night. Harrison just didn't know how to handle them. Harrison was some what immature, some what scared, and really didn't know where he was going. Harrison needed help and guidance but kept everything to myself, never revealing or speaking about his problems to others, even his parents. Harrison now wish he did! Harrison's best school friends were Hernan Carazo (Costa Rican), Hugo Escobar (Guatemalan), Raul Lapuz (Filipino), Sung Lee (South Korean who went to Fairfax High School but knew from Berendo Jr. High), Lam Thao (Laotian who attended Fairfax High School and original went to Belmont High), and Ronald Brand (Anglo-American classmate from Berendo's Algebra 1 class).

Dondos 1973 Belmont High School graduating picture.  Picture was taken in summer 1972. Nightly, Harrison (Dondo) got home about 5 pm (after working at Occidental Insurance Co. from 12 noon to 4 pm), slept till 6 pm as mom cooked (usually steak or curry (learned from Mrs. Uddin) chicken, beans, frybread, corn), ate, then studied or watched "All in the Family", while waiting for Ronald Brand or Hernan Carazo to pick me up, to go to Red Shield (Salvation Army Youth Center, Union Ave. and 11th St.) to play ping-pong against Hernan, Ronald, John (Sonny) Ramirez (years later Sonny became Mayor of South Gate), and Donald Murphy (White/Japanese who later died from drug overdose), or just played basketball against Hernan, Ronald, or teamed against others. After Red Shield closed at 9 pm, Dondo would run throughout downtown Los Angeles between downtown and Chinatown. Usually his run would start at Red Shield (11th and Union) to Olvera St, west on Sunset Blvd to Alvarado Blvd, south on Alvarado Blvd past MacArthur Park to Olympic Blvd, and back home (Pico Blvd and Union Ave), about a 6 mile run. Dondo use to run from Chinatown to Pico-Union in less than 10 minutes to beat his father home before he returned from work at 2 am. Dondo use to run to Belmont High with school books under one arm to usually be late for 1st period!

Hernan Carazo and Dondo at Belmont High School the night of graduating in June 1973. Probably Harrison's greatest teacher influence during his secondary school years would have to be Mrs. Lee, his Algebra 1 Teacher at Berendo Jr. High, and Mr. David Lowenkron, his Geometry and Algebra 2 Teacher at Belmont High School. In Mrs. Lee's Algebra 1 class, Harry was the only student the first semester to get an "A" in Algebra 1. Being a Navajo with most of the students being Japanese Americans was a great uplift to Harrison's mathematical ability. Concerning Mr. Lowenkron's class, Harrison still has the 6 pages or so of Geometry Proofs that he had to solve and the Trigonometry Table sheet that he had to fill out for Algebra 2. These sheets of paper are about 33 years old (as of 2004)! Dondo's time in studying and doing his homework would cover the whole day Saturday and part of the day on Sunday to be prepared for the upcoming Monday during his Berendo Jr. High and Belmont High School years.

Dondo was unprepared to go to Brigham Young University from Belmont High School. Dondo was surprised entering BYU freshmen had FORTRAN in high school and Dondo didn't even know what FORTRAN was! Dondo was below average compared to the average BYU freshmen maybe 2 years behind.

Please look at the Life Profile, College Profile, Work Profile, and Extra Photos of Harrison Lapahie Jr.

Facts about Harrison's School Years:

  • Highest Education Level: Ph.D. units in Education (Univ of CA Los Angeles), MS in Electrical Engineering (CA State Univ Los Angeles)
  • How you stay in touch with school friends: Telephone, Email
  • Living distance from where you grew up: 6 or 7 miles. Live in Huntington Park which is 6 or 7 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
  • Favorite subject in school: Science
  • Least favorite subject in school: No least favorite subject
  • School Extracurriculars: 10th grade Chess, 10th grade Honor Society, Church every Sunday (Bro. Stocking's Church, Brighter Day, Church of the Nazerine, First American Indian Church, Lamanite LDS Church, Uncle Lewis's Church, which were all American Indian Churches in Los Angeles). Followed Dad while he registered Navajos in the the Navajo Tribe.
  • What you did directly after high school: Continued working until August to go to Brigham Young University.
  • If you could do high school again, you would have: Tried out for the track team and basketball team at Belmont (would have made the varsity track team but not the varsity basketbal team). Learn to play the guitar (at home) and flute (but dad didn't want that). Gone dancing and to the prom at Berendo Jr. High and Belmont High. Start dating from the 8th grade (I would have been 13 years old at Berendo Jr. High) instead of 19 years old (at BYU in Provo, UT).
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    Life Profile School Profile College Profile Work Profile Extra Photos

    Dad
    Harrison Lapahie
    Mom
    Lillie Todychini
    Daughter
    Krystal Nizhoni Lapahie

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