Newsletter - Turkey Tussle 2022

Pasadena High School Alumni Association

Notes from Father Brad Karelius

Synergy. The interaction or cooperation of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Many of us who graduated from Pasadena High School have shared a close bond with our classmates. We may have attended the same elementary school and junior high, leading to our years together at PHS. Class reunions have been active this year, especially for those classes held back from gatherings during COVID. Our identity as alums has been the year of our graduation.

As the PHS Alumni Association begins to build renewed momentum, we want to create a deeper identity for alums: fostering interconnections between all the graduating classes. This involves a focus on building communication between the classes.

We do experience a synergy of alums every year as we gather in the Rose Bowl for the Turkey Tussle Game between PHS and John Muir High School. You can feel the energy of our common passion for our school, particularly as we participate in the deep traditions of this crosstown rivalry in America’s most famous and historic football stadium.

The first steps of your participation in the synergy of PHS Alums is to join the Alumni Association. We all have had different high school experiences and each one of us can remember a teacher or activity that was a highlight of our PHS experience. Grateful for those students, teachers and activities you enjoyed, consider joining the PHS Alumni Association. It all begins at

You can join/renew your alumni membership on our new website:

You can also mail your donation to this address Pasadena High School Alumni Association (PHSAA) 530 S. Lake Ave, #961 Pasadena, CA 91101 (626) 767-2925

Father Brad Karelius

Class of 1963

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Turkey Tussle Tickets

Pasadena High School and John Muir High School Early College Magnet would like to invite you to the 75th Annual Turkey Tussle at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available using the links below. Please note that the Rose Bowl is a cashless venue and their clear bag policy will be enforced. The Rose Bowl clear bag policy and other game day policies can be found here.

To purchase tickets as a PHS fan go to PUSD.US/PHSGOFAN as a John Muir fan go to PUSD.US/MUIRGOFAN

May the best team win!

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Turkey Tussle Tailgate

Join the Alumni Association on Wednesday, October 26th at The Rose Bowl before the Turkey Tussle for the Tailgate activities which begin at 4:30 pm in LOT B. The price to park is $10 per vehicle, proceeds help current PHS students (please bring cash for parking).

This information will be posted on the PHSAA website and on our Facebook page. The Turkey Tussle begins at 7:00 pm at The Rose Bowl. Please remember only clear handbags or a small clutch purse will be allowed inside the football game at the Rose Bowl. If you have any questions regarding the Turkey Tussle please email Thomas Holmes

History of the Turkey Tussle

The Turkey Tussle is the annual homecoming tradition between Pasadena High School and cross town rival John Muir High School. This tradition began in 1947 when the game was played between Pasadena Community College and John Muir Junior College. These two schools played until 1953. In 1954 the annual rivalry was played between what is now Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.

Possession of the Victory Bell is the prize for the winning school. The Victory Bell a long-standing tradition between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School came as a gift from the Santa Fe Railroad presented in 1955 at the pep rally for the Turkey Tussle. The student body at PHS, which then shared the same campus with PCC, though the two were not affiliated, wanted to start many traditions which would last through the years. When it came time for the Turkey Tussle, they talked of having a bell.

Scott Fitzwater, Student Body President at that time and Jim Shelton, then Senior Class Vice-President, were instrumental in gaining the bell. Jim Shelton told his father, Raymond Shelton, of their idea and Raymond Shelton, General Manager for Santa Fe in Los Angeles at the time, was able to get the bell for PHS. The bell formerly rang from the top of an old steam locomotive and to Mr. Shelton's knowledge is the only one ever given to a school.

The bell was intended to be used, as it still is, as a perpetual trophy to rotate between John Muir High School and Pasadena High School, being kept for the year by the team that wins the homecoming game.

One of the highlights for the winning team is to rush to the end zone, celebrating their win by ringing the Victory Bell. In June 2005, the John Muir High School campus was burglarized and the Victory Bell was stolen. On February 7, 2006 the Victory Bell was found near a road in the Angeles National Forest.

In November 2007, a documentary about the Turkey Tussle was produced and featured on Fox Sports West cable channel. Although it didn't tell the entire story of the Turkey Tussle, it did showcase the cross town battle that has been going on for 60 years between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.

Turkey Tussle Record

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Pasadena High School Alumni Association

We are a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) focused on helping the students and staff at Pasadena High School make our former alma mater into a great learning experience. We organize fundraisers, award scholarships and hold community-building events.