Diana Broden Prola

Profile Updated: January 20, 2017
Diana Broden
Residing In: San Leandro, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: Jim Prola
Telephone and/or email address: dprola@yahoo.com
Past and current occupations: retired teacher, currently School Board president in San Leandro. (I always wanted to be a politician.)
Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren: Elizabeth Roberts, born 1973
Bob Prola, born 1977
Ken Prola,born 1981
Grandchildren: Johnny More…Roberts,8; Sofia Roberts,4;
Serena Prola,7; Theo Prola, almost 4.
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story, funny or otherwise:

At Christmas in my Junior Year Pat Thomas gave me a "voo-doo doll" (pet rock of 1958!) Anyway, she started dating Mike Fike--I had a crush on him, so I stuck a pin in the voo-doo doll's leg. Two days later Mike broke his leg in a gymnastics meet! Well, of course, we felt bad, but it was a coincidence. So later in the year Jim Johnson and I both applied to be Sports Editor of the school newspaper. I stuck a pin in the voo-doo doll's wrist to give Jim writer's cramp. A couple of days later Jim broke his arm. I buried the boo-doo doll in the backyard. Too creepy for more comments. (Sorry, Jim and Mike, after all these years.) (I did get to be Sports Editor in our Senior Year.)


I went to Mt.SAC and then transferred to Cal, Berkeley as an English major. Later got a Master's Degree and 5 different credentials, plus 365 graduate units ( what can I say? I like to go to school.)
I taught school (all grades from 1st to community college, and 8 subjects in high school, and was a principal in a Catholic school) for 40 years. I married Jim and we have been married for 45 years, with 3 great children and the 4 most beautiful grandchildren
in the entire world!
At various times I published several articles, travelled on 4 continents, and started painting and selling my work in the last 7 years.

What physical maladies do you have (so we can compare ailments)?

Two artificial knees, but otherwise I'm in pretty good shape (thank God!)

Favorite foods?

Chocolate (especially M&Ms and dark Dutch chocolate).

What was the most outrageous thing you did during high school?

See voo-doo doll above!

What do you like/dislike about being older?

Nothing to dislike (except the knee replacements which are now fine.) This is the greatest age I've ever been, although I occasionally wonder why I'm older than the last 4 presidents of the U.S.

Have you met any famous or interesting people?

Lots of politicians (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean and most of the current CA state officials.) Oh, yeah--for you who are Republicans, my mom dated Ronald Reagan's brother, and my Dad's mother used to babysit with Nixon's daughters. Ah, politics! Also met several movie stars when I was younger (Robert Wagner, wentNatalie Wood, Paul Newman.) And I sat next to Martin Sheehan at a funeral a couple of years ago.

Hobbies/what do you do in your spare time?

Read, write, paint (have had my own shows locally and won awards at 2 art festivals.) Involved in a lot of political events. I try to read a book a week and go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Still doing quite a bit of traveling--Jim and I to Iceland in August 2015.

Claims to fame! - been in movies, on tv, newspapers, any inventions, awards?

My husband is the Vice Mayor and I was elected as president of the San Leandro School Board, and as a member of the Democratic Central Committee in Alameda County. I have been a delegate to the California Dem Convention for the last 12 years. I was listed in Who's Who in American Education 8 different times, and I published articles, poems and short stories in a number of magazines.

Have you done anything really dangerous?

I went parasailing once, I used to do a lot of white water rafting, and I hiked through the rainforest in Belize a couple of years ago when my son was in the Peace Corps.

At what age did you REALLY become a "grownup" and why?

Probably when our first baby was stillborn. I don't think I have ever felt so helpless.

What are your military experiences?

I'm guessing Anti-War protests don't count?????

What circumstances made you live where you do?

I graduated from U.C. Berkeley and came back to the Bay Area to get married.

Where have your travels taken you over the years?

Europe, Central and South America, Asia (Turkey), and Tahiti. I've also been to the Kentucky Derby, the Mardi Gras and about 38 of the states.

Is there anything you wish you had done in your life but didn't (or haven't yet)?

I wish I'd gotten my PhD, learned to scuba dive, and would like to go up in a dirigible (Do they still have dirigibles?) I also wish I had continued writing and publishing articles and stories.

Any classmates you would like to locate?

Bill Bockrath, Howard Robbins,Jon Cohee, Tom Poole, Susan Zimmer, Lynn Reardon,Mimi Bennett, Linda Kennedy, Martha Zehrung. And I would like to know if anyone knows what happened to Roger Black--I just found out on this site that he had died.

What are the names of your favorite movies?

Love Story (I cried), A Man and a Woman (I cried), and lots of other schmaltzy ones (I usually cry!)

Tell something about yourself that would surprise us?

I am the world expert on the Sylphs in "The Rape of the Lock", which only proves that there is absolutely no reason to ever write a Master's Thesis on 18th Century poetry!

Of what in your life are you most proud?

Teaching for forty years without getting burned out. That was the best possible career--I wouldn't have changed a minute of it.

What was the most memorable Christmas gift you received as a child?

In 7th grade I received the Complete Works of Shakespeare--it affected my whole education and choice of majors and careers.

Name some of your favorite books.

I usually read at least a book a week, so it's hard to pick favorites. I like to read historical fiction and international intrigue for light reading, but I read all kinds of stuff.

Ever broken any bones and how did it happen? Or broken someone else’s bones?

Broke my thumb when I fell on a tennis ball, as I was running backward to hit a lob.

Where were you when President Kennedy was assassinated?

On my way to a physics class at Cal. I stopped at the drugstore to buy some M & Ms and everyone was gathered around a radio. Someone said, "The president's been shot" and I said, "The president of what?" because the whole idea was so foreign to all of our experience.
I think all of America grew up that day.

Ever been to a pro football game? Which one?

I went to a Raider's game once. (My Dad used to play for Detroit, but that was before I was born.)

Have you attended a past high school reunion? Which one/s?

Yes, the 20th, 40th and 45th and 50th. I was at the 70th birthday party, too. I'm sorry I missed the last one, but it conflicted with a family reunion.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have:

Studied harder, eaten less sweets, exercised more, and travelled even more than I did! And I'd have maybe gone into politics a little sooner.

Where were you born and what were the circumstances (dad in the military? mom didn't make it to the hospital in time? born in an airplane?)?

Born in Iowa, but my memory is a little foggy on the event. My Dad was drafted right after that.

Tell us your love story/stories - how did you meet, how long after did you get married, have a big wedding/Las Vegas/Justice of the Peace perform it? Where did you go on your honeymoon/s

Jim and I met at Cal, but it took us 8 years to finally decide to get married. We both dated a lot of other people, and I was engaged twice before we got it together. On the other hand, we've been married 47 years, so something worked for us. The nicest part is to be able to say that he's my best friend and my soul mate. I have been truly blest in knowing and loving him.

What was the hardest thing you ever had to do?

Help my daughter through a pregnancy where she was hospitalized in Seattle for three months. She was at a wedding up there when she started bleeding and contracting, and they thought she would lose the baby. I was worried that he would be brain-damaged due to a very difficult birth. I am happy to report that he has just finished 2nd grade and is reading 6th grade-level books like Harry Potter by himself!

Did you go camping as a kid? Memories?

Nope, but we took our kids and now grandchildren every year. (I still hate the camping part, but I value the family time.)

Ever own or ride on a motorcycle?

I went to a formal dance on the back of a motorcycle in my senior year of college.What was I thinking?

Did you ride on the roller coaster or the double Farris wheel at the Long Beach Pike?

Yeah, but I think I've repressed it.

Tell us your favorite joke.

A man wanted to hire someone to paint his large, wrap-around porch, so he put an ad in a newspaper. A blonde answered the ad and offered to pain it for a reasonable fee, so he hired her. Two hours later she returned and said she was finished. "Wow, that was fast," he said. "Oh," replied the blonde, "I actually had time to put two coats of paint on it. But it took me a little longer than I thought, because I had to figure out which one was the Honda and which was the Porch!"

When and why did you move to Covina? What grade did you start school in Covina? Please share your memories.

I moved to Covina from Iowa in the summer of 1956 because my parents met in CA during the war and wanted to come back. Also, my aunt and uncle and 3 cousins had moved to Covina the previous year, so that's why they chose Covina. I started high school at CHS that year.

How did the 1960's affect you? It was so different from the 1950's and many of you were in college, etc. Did you participate in anti-war or civil rights marches/demonstrations? Did you live in a commune? Do love-ins? Wear beads? Tell us your experiences.

My daughter went to Cal and in her senior year she called to tell me that it was very embarrassing to look at a photo display of the antiwar marches in the 60s and see her parents "leading the parade!" So yes, I marched against that war, and against the Iraq war in San Francisco. I have to admit to being a pacifist--but never a hippie.

What nicknames do you have/had?

My boy cousins used to call me "Banana"--it made me crazy.

Do you have any tatoos? Where? What do they say?

No, but if I had one, I wouldn't say where!

Have you seen Ringling Bros. Circus?

Yes, as a child. My dad was once a circus clown with Emmett Kelley (before my time!) He had a lot of different jobs during the Depression (my Dad, that is--not Emmett Kelley.)

What Broadway plays have you seen?

Les Miz, Phantom, Camelot, My Fair Lady, The Producers, etc.

What talent would you most like to have?

Ballroom dancing (like they do on Dancing with the Stars). Also, I know how to play the guitar, but I wish I were good at it--and I always wanted to learn to play the piano. Oh, well--maybe in my next life.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My problem is I'm not rich, but I pretty much have everything I want/need. It's really hard not to be able to think of anything to spend much money on!!! I do tend to buy an extraordinary number of books.

Did you have any secret crushes in high school? Come on...you can tell 50 years later...

In my sophomore year I had a crush on Pete Boyer. Don't ask me why, because I don't think I ever even talked to him.

Have you been to Washington, D.C.?

Yes, twice. I taught Government for many years, and decided I needed to go.

In school, what were your favorite subjects to study?

English, Biology and U.S. History. Mr. Palmer (Bio) and Mr. Atwood (Hist.) had a big effect on the way my life turned out.

Can you drive a standard shift car?


Who are your heros in real life?

My husband and my Dad , both of whom are the most caring and kind people I have ever met.

Of people I don't know, I admire Thomas Jefferson, Howard Dean, Saint Therese, William Shakespeare and Pope Francis (I really like his efforts to bring the church into the 21st century!)

What are you asking Santa for this Christmas?

Well, if I could see Santa this month, I'd ask him to bring my kids and grandchildren home safely from Spain. I guess that'll be a useless request by December. Maybe I could use a few less wrinkles!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being alive and healthy, having the family that I have (and had!). I've been very fortunate in my life.

Have you been on a cruise? Have you seen Ole Faithful Geyser? Have you been to the top of the Seattle Space Needle? Have you ridden on a San Francisco Trolley? Have you been to the top of the Empire State Building? Been to Tijuana, Mexico? Been to Niagara Falls?

Yes, to all of these.

If you could meet any celebrity or other personality in the world, who would it be and why?

Pope Francis--he's the kind of religious leader who cares about his fellow man and about renewing faith the way it should be.

If you were granted three wishes from an angel or genie what would you want?

To live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up.

To get rid of my sweet tooth!

To take a trip completely around the world.

What was you favorite TV show in the 50's?

Crusader Rabbit!

What has been your most memorable 4th of July celebrations?

I don't remember the year, but Jim got some fireworks and was going to set them off at Clear Lake because they flew up in the air. He went way out on the dock, aimed them at the Lake, and they shot up, swerved around and went into the brush above our cabin. Lesson: watch fireworks on TV!!

If you thought they would listen to you (yeah, right!), what advice would you give to your grandkids or the upcoming generation of kids?

Love lots, read everything you can find, learn to do one thing well, and lots of things well enough to make you happy. Be kind.

You're stranded on a desert island....and your fantasy would be that you would share it with whom??

Someone who knows how to kill snakes!

What did you do on your summer vacation?

This year I'm going to Clear Lake for a week, to the Lair of the Bear (Cal Alumni Family Camp) for a week and
somewhere in Europe.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. I was going to write the Nobel prize-winning novel, but it's hard to buy groceries when you haven't finished the novel.

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

I seem to be about 22 most of the time--I think it has something to do with the Theory of Relativity.

If your house was on fire, what would you take on your way out?

Photos of my parents.

How would you describe yourself in three words?




If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Set up a scholarship fund, give some money to City of Hope (my mom died there) and travel around the world.

Diana's Latest Interactions

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Diana Broden Prola has a birthday today.
Nov 04, 2020 at 2:33 AM
Oct 07, 2020 at 4:23 PM

Hi Rick--I remember you from high school, and I think you dated one of my roommates at Cal! Not that that matters. Anyway, nice to hear that you are settled. Stay safe in the middle of
this pandemic!

Diana Broden Prola posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 01, 2020 at 11:53 PM

Posted on: Jun 22, 2020 at 9:22 PM

Hi Dick and Happy Birthday--Have a great year.

--A Voice from your past--Diana (Broden)

Diana Broden Prola added a comment on Profile.
Feb 25, 2020 at 9:27 PM
Feb 10, 2020 at 1:42 PM

Happy Birethday, Marilyn--How did we get this old???

Diana (Broden) Prola

Diana Broden Prola has a birthday today.
Nov 04, 2019 at 2:33 AM
Oct 08, 2019 at 3:43 PM

Gee, Rick--I should have gone to the Palm Springs reunion--I remember you (both from high school and from Cal!) Anyway, have a great birthday. --Diana (Broden) Prola

Sep 09, 2019 at 2:39 PM

Hi Julie--Happy Birthday from a voice in your past. Glad you are well.
Diana (Broden) Prola

Aug 21, 2019 at 9:44 PM

Hi Mary Lou. I guess I'm a day late, but Happy Birthday! Hope all is well with you. I've been living in the Bay Area since 1970--love it here. I hope we have another reunion one of these
years. It would be great to see everyone. --Diana

Mar 07, 2019 at 9:57 PM
Diana Broden Prola has a birthday today.
Nov 04, 2018 at 2:33 AM
Diana Broden Prola posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 29, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Posted on: Jul 28, 2018 at 9:24 PM

Hi Steve--I just wanted to say happy birthday. You must be enjoying Mexico, as you've been
there so long. How do you earn a living? Do you ever come back to CA? (Now's not a good
time--the whole $%&*( state is on fire!!! Anyway, I wish you a good year.


Diana Broden Prola has a birthday today.
Nov 04, 2017 at 2:33 AM
Sep 04, 2017 at 6:11 PM

Hi Marjean--Hope your health gets a little better.


Jun 29, 2017 at 5:51 PM

Hey, Rich--have a great birthday and a wonderful year. I hope we'll meet up again someday.

May 05, 2017 at 4:45 PM

Hi Lynne--We've come a long way since age 14!! (Gad--can I BE this OLD????)
Anyway, hope your birthday is great. Drop a line sometime.

Diana Broden Prola posted a message on Beverly Gorden's Profile. New comment added.
Mar 06, 2017 at 11:37 PM

Posted on: Mar 06, 2017 at 9:57 PM

Hi Bev--Hope you had a great birthday (I didn't see it until today. ) Sounds like you have a great family--and of course, Dan, too (say hi for me.) If we ever have another reunion, I hope to see you.


Diana Broden Prola has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Feb 12, 2017 at 2:33 AM


I was so sorry to hear about Howard.  Although I didn't know him well in high school, we connected in college, and I remember his warm and friendly personality.  The world will be  little less warm and happy without him.  Rest in peace, my friend.

Diana (Broden) Prola

Feb 09, 2017 at 4:48 PM

Hi Marilyn--Hope your birthday is great, and you have many more!!!

Jan 20, 2017 at 4:04 PM