7 Responses to “The Dark Knights”

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  1. Howard Sandberg

    I am of the class of 1961 at Acalanes H S. and was a member of the Cattlemans Association (Bulls) and I remember the Knights of Miramonte as far back as 1957 and the Bulls to 1947.

    • Kyra Mitchell

      Dear Howard,

      Wow! I hadn’t realized the Knights had been around for that long. Over a decade! It seems the Bulls were most original since they had been around the longest. What ever happen to them?

      Thank you!

      Kyra Mitchell
      LHS Volunteer

  2. Gary Lillard

    The Knights were from Orinda and all of the membership went to Miramonte HS. A rival group called the Androdes was also from there. Acalanes HS was home to another rival-the Bulls.
    By the time Campolindo HS was built, the district made it clear there would be NO “fraternal” groups allowed at this school.They apparently meant it as there was no “gang” from there.
    The Knights wore black jackets and were sure to be seen at any party in the area. There were a few unfortunate party-givers who saw their house get vandalized during the parties. One hangout they could be seen regularly was K’s Carousel(long gone) in the Moraga shopping center. Also T-Bones in Rheem as well as the theaters.
    I remember the rumbles between the Knights and SMC students that were part of the lore of that period. The big headline from then however was from Park Pool in Orinda where the Knights beat a guy to death there. I’m thinking ’66 or’67. After the perp was caught, he faced jail time OR enlistment in the Army. He picked the Army and off to ‘Nam he went.Check the Orinda Sun articles from that period-it was a very big deal.
    The Knights lasted a couple of years after this period, but changing times meant little interest in the concept of a “club” or “gang”.I remember alot of the guys from that era, but I’m not saying who. I went to Campolindo HS (’68) even though I lived in Orinda, and went to intermediate school at OIS (then called Inland Valley Intermediate) with some future members of the Knights. All the schools in the area were overflowing as the Baby Boomers were at their peak.There were kids everywhere!! This was also about the time that LSD king Owsley Stanley III (Bear) was arrested in his Orinda (La Espiral?)hideaway. That also shook up the town.
    You were right about boredom and underage drinking in La Morinda at that time. It was rampant-I know, I did my share.Vandalism was also common. My guess: it still is.
    I remember the Teen center in Lafayette (below Kelly’s Sporting Goods) before it became a restaurant.
    The County Sheriffs patrolled the area at the time and were not too much of a deterrent to teenage gangs. I’m sure they considered it a nuisance to try to chase down drunk rich kids
    wreaking havoc in these otherwise quiet towns. I’m also sure however, that the authorities knew who they were.I just remember the sheriff being a day late trying to get a lid on the activities of the time.

    • Kyra Mitchell

      Dear Gary,

      Thank you for your comment! You have given the LHS some crucial information into high school and community life during that era. We were very intrigued and shocked to hear just how rambunctious the Knights were. They were more than just hooligans–murder was associated. We would never have guessed since our information was simply based upon the Lafayette Sun. I am personally very thankful to have your insight because I clearly was wrong about some things, and am glad to know what really happened in the 1960s.

      Best regards,

      Kyra Mitchell
      LHS Volunteer

  3. David Mahler

    The “Knights” were a Miramonte club. Membership was by invitation only and while it was banned on the Miramonte campus, it was openly known who the members were. I graduated from Campolindo in 1969 and the Knights were still in existence in ’68-’69 during my senior year. Do I know who was in the Knights? Sure, most everybody did. There was a swagger and an attitude that came when they put on those black flannel jackets and when they were in a group. As with most groups, the individuals alone were not quite so terrifying.

    • Kyra Mitchell

      Dear David,

      The Knights must have been pretty fearless as a group if they were known by almost everyone. They appear to have been the epitome of rebels, continuing their shenanigans regardless of school regulations banning them. I was unaware that membership was by invitation only. Do you know if there’s anything specific members had to do before they were invited/chosen to be apart of the Knights? Thank you for your information, it has been most helpful!

      Kindly,

      Kyra Mitchell
      LHS Volunteer

  4. J B

    Read the comments on your article on Facebook listed under groups : Campolindo Class of 67

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