The morning of December 19, 1938 dawned damp and cool. Nevertheless, workmen eager to earn a day's pay huddled in groups in the field that sloped downward toward the streetcar tracks, airport hangers, and a Valley Boulevard awakening to light work-bound traffic. As they waited for their orders, some of the men, jacket collars turned up against the chill, conversed quietly; others silently took in the panorama, looking back at the nodding oil well pumps that peppered the Montebello hills behind them or out at the San Gabriel Valley that dropped down before them before climbing back up towards the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The ground-breaking ceremonies had been held three days before, and now the men were eager to start work on the construction of Mark Keppel High School, a WPA project that would keep them employed for more than two years.