He is pictured here with his wife of 33 years, Lydia Palmer, the photo taken at a local fundraiser. There were there lending there support – advocating for students.
They had done so for decades in their work life -at one point Lydia was the Executive Director of El Centro de Acción Social and Oscar had worked in the Pasadena Unified School District for thirty years. Both being very aware that advocacy with long term success is made up of strategic planning, financial support and luck. Both were aware that you could set up the first two elements and that you needed to keep your eyes open for opportunities that could translate into luck.
When I ran for office some years ago, I knew that I would need to pass muster as defined by Oscar. We’d had previous conversations, but I knew the day would come when I would be sized up as a candidate. I had no idea how he might respond. And, yes, he was most capable of being intimidating.
He grilled me on several topics, his eyes zeroing in on mine. I survived and he supported me, with time and talent. He felt that candidates should not have to focus on raising money, they should be focusing on campaigning. At the end of what became a conversation Oscar gave me a sum of money that jump started my campaign. I am eternally indebted to his generosity.
The second picture is of Oscar when he was a young teacher at Blair High School. If you look carefully at his eyes you’ll see that they are looking directly at the camera. We are lucky that some things don’t change.
Oscar Palmer, presente.
images – Pasadena Now.com
Blair High School Yearbook, 1976
A bit more about Oscar and the Cuba community can be found –