John Muir Middle School's auditorium holds some special memories for me. When I was 4, my older sister had sewn matching dresses for us in her clothing class, and we modeled them in a fashion show on the auditorium stage.
Years later, when I attended Muir, Allan Burnside was the principal. Not your grim or stoic school administrator; Burnside was cool.
He was approachable. He would start up a conversation with the students passing in the halls and had a jovial manner. He also drove a wood-paneled station wagon, circa 1940, known as a Woodie. It was popular with the surfers in the 1960s. He parked it in the faculty parking lot and I remember walking by it in awe with my friends.
So it does my heart good to know that the auditorium has been named after him and that there is a campaign kicking off this month to raise funds to modernize the Allan H. Burnside Auditorium. This is where Muir students showcase their talents in dance, theater and band, gather for assemblies and participate in culmination ceremonies before heading off to high school. It is also a venue for community groups to hold their meetings.