And on Thursday, partisans of Burroughs High School tried to paint the "B" above Burbank High red — but ran out of paint, or were otherwise distracted, before the job was completed. I suppose one could argue they meant to paint only half, as the school's colors are red and white. But with considerably less than half of the "B" red, that explanation has somewhat less weight.
Now, it's not really clear that the "B" belongs to Burbank High School, though the hillside marker is physically closer to that school. After all, both schools (and the city, obviously) begin with the same letter. But local mythology and tradition give ownership of the letter to Burbank High.
No one has taken responsibility for the painting, though I suppose that's understandable. It would be doubly embarrassing to be pinched for half-completed vandalism.
Interestingly enough, the idea that someone would mess with the "B" was contemplated by the group that recently renovated it, Leadership Burbank. The 2010 class of the civic engagement group shined up the letter as its group project, finishing up the work last spring.
Don St. Clair, a vice president at Woodbury University and one of Leadership Burbank's facilitators, said the group discussed whether funds should be set aside for maintenance, or, ahem, "repairs."
"We knew that at some point, this was going to happen," he said.
Despite this, St. Clair said his first reaction upon seeing the painted letter was, well, bemusement.
"My first response was 'Yup, someone painted the B,'" he said, adding he was speaking only for himself, not the group.
Mike Thomas, the current chair of the Leadership Burbank board, acknowledged he was a bit irritated by the vandalism.
"They're trying to be jokers, but they don't understand there's a cost," he said.