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So far we have Chuck Quist, Diana Carson, Sassie Petellin, Judy Coulter, Keith Davison, Sonny Matson, Ken Linville, Marjorie Martini, Bob Smither, Priscilla Gregg, Larry Parker, Wayne Chambers, Georgina Busch, Charles Cooper, David Randall, Diane McMahon, Marilyn Wells, Mary Lauber, Carole Hawkinson, and Gordy Ringoen, Georgia Armentrout , Deanne Blakley , Lois Boehme and Erwin Haussler.
And don't miss the bio outtakes. These are stories about a specific event or period in a life that is interesting or meaningful, or just a great story, which qualifies just about everything that Ken Linville writes. Forunately you don't have to be a great story-teller to be interesting to your classmates. I keep going, and so can you. Join us. Bio Outtakes are linked from the bio, or you can look at the page directly with the link.
I transferred halfway through Senior year to Franklin High school. I graduated
in no man's land. I went to MT View grade school straight to Highline. Played
basketball with Bob Smithers at White Center field house. Those days I was
known as Punky Donlan. As soon as I entered Highline that name was gone. I
wasn't a great student and was only coming for sports. My step dad found a
home and we had to move into it in one weekend. I left some friends behind
didn't even know where I had gone. My diploma is at Franklin but I tried to
get it at Highline. Highline won the State championship one year and Franklin
the next. Was not a starter at Highline but it looked great on a resume. At
Franklin one of my friends was Ron Santo near hall of fame for the Cubs and
White sox. That looked good two.
Worked at Boeing for a while and bored joined the National Guard. Recruiters were giving free tickets to a Rainier game. Tried to join the Submarine corps and was too tall. So I found myself in the Air force for four years. Lost track of old friends but for Jim Peters, and Al Ervin who joined with me. Al is the brother of Lillian who I understand is diseased and Freida Ervin both in our class. Al passed away several years ago Jim Peters lives in Spokane, Washington. Hadn't seen him in forty years but we recently got together again. I was a medical corpsman working in the emergency room at Osan, Korea. I decided not to reenlist shortly before the Viet Nam war broke out. So as not to be confused as a war veteran. I took Corpsman training with a Marine Sergeant. Navy Corpsman are marine corpsman. I laughingly say I served in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air force. First year of service was spent going through basic training. I played on the Randolph Air force basketball team until hours conflicted. (see Outtake)
As a civilian I returned to my old job at Boeing. A cute young co-worker said, "What are you going to do if you get laid off?" I would not have been an early layoff but things young boys do to impress when she said he was going to Central Washington for September quarter I said, "I thought about doing that too!" College was the last thing on my mind with my grades. She sent an application to my house and my mother opened it. She filled it out and I was accepted. I arrived thinking am I out of my mind. I barely escaped high school. One morning a very tall dude woke me up at five in the morning, "We have to report at the kitchen at six." I found out I had a basketball scholarship. The school paper announced the top three new freshman basketball recruits. It helps surrounding myself with athletes. I led the freshman team in scoring. Central won the small college championship. I never got off the bench varsity. Next year I was out for the season with a heal injury that would not heal.
None of this would have meant a thing but the girl who got me there informed me she was engaged to be married and just a friend and I met my wife of forty eight years Sharon Linde. Two of Sharon's sisters attended Highline. We lived six blocks apart in Top Hat area but I never knew she existed until college. I was in that small time frame when the GI bill did not pay for college. Running low on funds I worked at Greyhound bus company and Adams News where I retired after thirty four years. I took night course mostly writing and creative writing and received a Associate degree at Highline College. Oddly at Highline I nearly did not graduate because an English teacher would not give me a grade unless I memorized 500 lines of poetry. Jim and I went to summer school. I hated poetry.
At Central I took a Creative Writing course that included poetry. The teacher said if anyone could write a poem that was printed in Writer's magazine they would get an automatic "A". I can't remember the poem basically I was making fun of all the poems I had ever read. I was honorable mention and got my "A". Last September my book of poetry and short stories was on the Amazon wish list. Three of my poetry books are found at the local libraries in Burien, Des Moines and Woodinville. "Womb of the Same Mother" by Dan J Donlan. The cover of the book is Mt Rainer seen from my deck in Des Moines. I am currently working to improve my poetry and a detective Novel that began from the first poem I wrote. Something about Paul's Porsche pushing past pissing pidgeons. The instructor said I should do this while the rest of those not understand the form of poetry were doing poems. I should write a detective novel Paul my detective, and I needed a villian. Dumb me I picked a Priest.
I have two children. My son is a Senior partner at Lane Powell. He graduated from Wazzu, and law school at Georgetown. There he met is wife a Doctor. Doctor Staci Donlan who has her own clinic in Kirkland Eastside Premier Medicine. My Daughter is in real estate has been since high school. My Granddaughter recently graduated from the University of Washington on the deans list. My Grandson this year is entering Eastern Washington with the goal of being a teacher. My son's oldest daughter is a sophomore in Woodinville high school and on the volleyball team.]She hasn't decided which of the colleges yet to enroll. My Grandson this week, twelve, is playing in the All Star little league tournament District eight. They have won the first two games 16-2 and 12 -6. Last year he played quarterback and running back on his football team and point guard on his basketball team. He is a Wazzu recruit. The youngest is a hockey player. Center forward and goal scorer. All unlike me are top scholars and it isn't if college but what college they want to go to.
Attended UW from 1956 through 1960. Belonged to SAE fraternity and qualified
for NROTC. Lettered on the freshman swim team. Graduated with business degree,
major marketing. Commissioned Naval Officer June 1960. Met Suzie Humphreys
in my Sr. year and was married July 1, 1961 after she graduated from the UW.
Spent my short Naval career, 2 years, as supply officer on the USS Osbourn,
a destroyer. My daughter Katherine was born in April 1962 at the Long Beach
Recruited by Mobil Oil after I left the Navy. After completing their executive training program I was assigned as Marketing Rep for Ventura County in California. The job consisted of supervising and leasing 36 service stations and 2 bulk plants. Purchased my first new home in 1963 for $18,000. After exceeding all my company plans and winning all district contests for 2 years, I was promoted to Management Consultant. This job consisted of assisting aver 360 dealers and 12 marketing reps in the San Fernando District. After 6 months in this job I was promoted to retail programs specialist on the West Coast division manager’s staff in LA. In this job I was responsible for implementing and controlling all retail marketing programs in the West Coast Division. I moved to South Pasadena and purchased my second new home. Two years later I was promoted to Area Manger in the San Francisco Bay area. I was the youngest Mobil employee to be promoted to this position. My family moved to Walnut Creek, CA where we found our third home and where my son Chad was born in May, 1967. In 1969 Mobil wanted to promote me to a position in New York headquarters but we didn’t want to leave the West Coast so I resigned and bought the franchise rights for a Mexican fast food chain for the San Francisco Bay area. Over the next year I opened 3 restaurants but sold them after I was offered an exciting new opportunity.
An old college friend phoned me out of the blue and asked me if I’d join him in building a small northwest sportswear business. Over the next 18 years we built this little Pacific Trail Outerwear company to the largest jacket manufacturer in the US. When the family was contemplating selling the business in early 1988 I decided to retire. Needless to say, it was a big shock to go from VP and National Sales Manager, with 58 sales staff and 15 offices, including two in New York City, to a retiree with nothing to do. My wife and I had always enjoyed traveling, so after retiring we both received our scuba diving certificates and set out for many of the famous dive sites around the world. We had many wonderful dive experiences and some harrowing ones which were close calls.
About six months later I received a call from another Highline graduate, Greg Barlow, who was at that time running the Medina Foundation and had also been appointed to be the General in charge of the Washington Stated National Guard. He asked me to help start an anti drug organization which we called the Washington State Drug Free Business Group. With Greg’s help from the Medina Foundation, I, a major commercial real estate broker and a DEA prevention specialist started this organization which goal was to reduce the use of illegal drugs in the work place by teaching businesses how to handle the issue with their employees. During this time a great many of large and small Washington State business’s became members and our organization was picked as a national model by the DEA, FBI and US Chamber of Commerce on how to handle the drug problem in the workplace. We spent time in Washington DC and other cities in the US attempting to replicate our organization. After two years working without pay I decided to pass on the leadership to others mainly because I was slowly going blind and needed to have two cornea transplants. I struggled with rejections over the next several years and to date have had five transplant operations. The old eyes seem to be fine now.
In 1994 my wife and I, after 33 years of marriage, decided to split up. It was an interesting time in my life. I always tell my friends that the best way to double your net worth is to not get a divorce. We each took one half and went our separate ways after selling our house on Mercer Island. She has remarried and we continue to be friends. Two weeks after our split I was invited to a friends house for dinner and there I met my future wife, Christine Miller, who had been single for 15 years and worked as a real estate broker and was 10 years younger than I. We hit it off immediately and were married one year later. The amazing thing about it was that after 33 years of marriage I had one date and she turned out to be my second wife. That doesn’t happen often. Also, she never had any children. We are now in our 14th year of marriage. When I met Chris she was just completing a beautiful new house on Marine View Drive in Federal Way looking out over Puget Sound, the islands and the mountains. Over the next year I helped her furnish it and completed all the landscaping.
Chris and I have enjoyed a wonderful life together. We have traveled all over the World, including China, South Pacific, South America, North America, Latin America, Europe, Russia, Africa, Mexico, Middle East, Southeastern Asia and the Indian Ocean. I don’t know how we had the time for it all. Our biggest love is boating. Chris told me before our marriage that if I didn’t like boating we were going to have a problem. Imagine a woman telling a guy that. Our first boat was a 50 foot power boat in which we cruised around Southeastern Alaska. Six years ago we purchased our second one, a 60 foot power boat. We spend from June through September on the boat most of the time in Northern Canada. It’s a wonderful life. My hobbies include boating, traveling, reading, investing and acrylic painting. Chris is an accomplished glass artist. We also have a wonderful little girl, Lhasa Apso dog and a 19 year old cat who will probably live forever.
My daughter, Katherine is a dentist and lives in the Bay area. She has two children, Jason, 10, and Kaitlyn, 6. Her husband Jim is a developer. My son, Chad, is a professional musician and producer and lives in LA. He is not married but is in a long term relationship. It’s hard to believe that my kids are 47 and 42 years old.
I had a big health scare in 2005 when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I went through an operation to remove the cancer then had 6 months of chemo. Four years latter I am still cancer free.
I thank God every day for this wonderful life. Sorry I haven’t been to the recent reunions but every time there is one I’m floating around on a boat somewhere up in northern Canada.
Highschool, for me, was a most delightful time. I think that I can say that
I loved every minute. Being involved in the music end of things made me feel
alive and looking forward to whatever each day might bring into my life. My
other passion in highschool was getting to know my fellow students and getting
to know and love people is still a huge part of my existence. There were mixed
feelings on graduation night because I knew that that part was over. What I
didn´t know though was that the best was yet to come.
The following Fall I attended Seattle Pacific College with two scholarships which paid for the first quarter. However, that was the end of my funds and my parents were not able to help out financially. Working at the college as an accompanist for the vocal sector wasn´t enough to get me through. I was engaged, at the time, to a young man who was also attending SPC. We saw that the best thing to do was get married, I would get a job and Mike would finish out the year. I went to work for the telephone company in the Reproduction Dept. That summer we enrolled at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and spent 3 years there, where our 2 daughters were born. I did manage to attend the first year in Day School and the next two in Evening School.
After graduation, we returned to Seattle, spent a year getting ready to go to Spain, and left in July of 1961 to be missionaries in that country. We arrived in Spain with a hundred dollars in our pockets. Over the years we taught English for the U. of Granada and had several English Centers of our own to help meet the financial needs. We spent the next 18 yrs. starting evangelical protestant churches. In 1979 we bought a piece of land in the province of Cordoba in Southern Spain to build a Conference Center and family and children´s camp which is still running strong, not only during the summertime but also on weekends throughout the year. Seven years ago we turned the running of the Center over to our oldest son and we have retired to a camping site in the province of Almeria. We live in a 15 ft. trailer with a tent-like awning attached. It´s pretty rustic or rugged or whatever you might call it. Certainly not the white house with the picket fence around...but we love it, the weather is delightful (rather like Florida without the hurricanes) and our English neighbors make for really good company. We are translators for British people at a local hospital. Most of them have never learned the Spanish language and since we are both fluent, it is a great comfort for these people to be helped through their illnesses at the hospital. We´ll probably continue this type of ministry until the day we can no longer exist on our own and will return to live at the Conference Center.
We have had 5 children, two girls and three boys. Our last son was born in
the 60s with congenital heart disease and was expected to live not more than
18 months. He lived 11 years! He was definitely our "Angel Unaware".
His life in our midst so affected all of us that each one of our children is
dedicated to helping disabled children in some way or another. Our oldest daughter
is a teacher´s assistant for disabled children in the Seattle public schools.
Our next daughter is a pastor´s wife here in Spain and also works with
children and adults from South American countries but living in Spain. Our oldest
son, who runs the Center, also spends a good amount of time every year establishing
rehabilitation and trade centers for disabled young people in Third World countries.
He also supplies wheel chairs for physically disabled children. And our next
son has his own NGO which works to eliminate child prostitution and supply medical
help and food in Third World countries.
It´s been an exciting and fruitful life for me, and continues to be... certainly more than I could have ever expected or asked for. As for the music in my life, even though the dreams I might have had while in high school never came to pass, I did pass the talent on to my grandchilren. All except the youngest, who is still only 7 yrs. old, play one or more musical instruments and are involved in bands, choirs, making music CD´s, giving concerts, etc. So my musical talents have been carried on and I´m happy about that.
I´ve enjoyed sharing more than 50 years of living with you in this short biography. It is my wish that each of my former classmates will know God´s blessing on their lives as much as I have. Much love to you all.
During college I made a few learning side trips. I lived with a family in Macedonia (Yugoslavia) one summer; I attended the encampment for citizenship, which brought together students of diverse backgrounds to live together on the UC campus in Berkeley the next. I took a quarter off and hitchhiked down the coast of California by myself.
I married a professional mountaineer and we lived in a tiny cabin in Girdwood, Alaska then moved to a tiny house in the backwoods of Hanover, NH .-- an area called "toad hollow," part of a biologically rich wetlands area with otter and mink, which was a few miles from the culturally rich environment of Dartmouth college with great libraries, endless public lectures, plays, and concerts. We spent time in the mountains of Patagonia. I lived with a Quechua Indian family in a mountain town in Peru and I seemed to fit right in, planting crops, helping with harvesting. Their kids were confident and funny. I was crazy about them and I learned a lot about child- rearing. I went back twice and was with them for a total of nearly a year. I still hear from them 40 years later.
I raised my own son, Patchen, applying what I had learned from them and he turned out to be a rare and wonderful human being. I took him on natural history trips to places like the arctic and the everglades. We taught a field course on NH wetlands every summer. In high school, Patchen took a year off and lived with a family in Ireland and worked and lived on two Indian reservations in Washington. He attended Friends World College and lived with a Navajo family in NM. He spent time in Nicaragua documenting contra atrocities and traveled in Asia. When he was 26 on 1/18/95 he was shot and killed by Aguaruna Indians on a balsa raft he and a friend built on the Maranon river in the jungle of Peru. His friend escaped to tell the harrowing story (see Outside Magazine . I'm a Quaker, but it was Buddhism's teachings on living fully with what you have, even if all you seem to have is pain, that not only pulled me through but enhanced my life.
My fellow Quaker Buddhist swing-dancer partner, Gina, and i moved across the Connecticut River 13 miles to another little house in a terrific community in Vermont. We're still only a few minutes from Dartmouth, but I love the fact that in our entire county, there are only two traffic lights. a few years ago, I learned my father was an Aleut (pacific Eskimo) which he never talked about. It may explain something about my vocation: I have worked at a science museum doing aquatic exhibits (fish--including Atlantic salmon--frogs, turtles, insects etc) for many years. Here's a picture of me feeding a bullfrog.
We had bob cat tracks in the yard last week. I still love to hitchhike.
I'd say I'm a contented person.
I came into the Highline District as a fifth grader at Des Moines Elementary. It sure was scary times for me…all new kids. I remember Curt Bailey and Harmon Leonard (deceased) were the only boys taller than me at that age. Marianne Jorgensen and Diane Waddell and I became fast friends until Marianne’s death in 2001. I still am lucky enough to see Diane at least once a year. Some of my favorite teachers were Miss Lyons, 7th grade and Mrs. Schenk, 5th grade. Our class entered Highline High School as part of the last eighth grade to walk the hallowed halls of Highline for five full years, after which it became a senior high school only.
After graduating from Highline, 1956, with great grades, I went to school at Wazoo for a year, pledging Alpha Chi Omega, but my grades there were not so hot. Too much playing and not enough tending to , but I sure had fun. The highlights there were making the finals for Sweetheart of Sigma Chi and seeing my old beau, Ferd Nist, when he came down from Ellensburg in the Fall to see me a couple of times. I became engaged in April of 1957 and came back to Seattle to work for Pacific Telephone, which became a baby bell known as Pacific Northwest Bell. I married Jerry Jewell of Roosevelt High School in 1958. My handsome son, Todd Jewell, 44, lives north of Denver with his wife, Tomoko, and flies 747s for United, and my beautiful daughter, Lori Jewell Clark, 40, lives with her pilot husband, Todd Clark (from the Highline area), just south of Denver. He flies for Frontier and she has formed her own company as a pilot consultant for job opportunities. Formerly, she recruited pilots for Mesa Airlines I have no blood grandchildren, but oodles of grand dogs and grand cats.
After my first marriage of 20 years, I went back to school and earned an associates degree in Accounting at Midway-U. I retired in November of 2002 from Immunex Corporation, where I had worked as an accountant for twenty plus years. Immunex was acquired by Amgen and in turn moved their financial operations to Calif. I married, at long last, my high school sweetheart, Ferd Nist, also 1956, in August 2003 (50 years after our first meeting in high school) barefoot on the beach in Maui, and we now live in Meridian Valley Golf and Country Club, just East of Kent. I share Ferd's super family of 7 grandchildren and four kids and their spouses, who all live close to Kent. Our first spouses remain an important part of our lives. We travel a lot between our place in Arizona, and assorted business and pleasure trips to New Zealand, Hawaii ..wherever the wind blows us. We enjoy our wonderful boat, Simbalaut, from April to the end of Sept. Ferd is not yet retired from his family owned business (since 1889), Seattle Tacoma Box Company, but he finds more and more time for vacations and his second love, golf.
Majored in physics at the U of W and was a Phi Delt. At the beginning of my
sophomore year a startling experience in entertaining a Rushee in Rush Week
lead me to search the New Testament and I received a sudden religious revelation
in the process. I wandered from church to church, finally choosing the Presbyterian
Church because of "Calvin Club." I graduated in 1961 in general studies,
having crammed 4 yrs of credit into 5 yrs. There followed three semesters at
Princeton Theological Seminary, where I passed the full semester Hebrew course
in 3 days. Then I left Princeton planning to get a Ph.D. in New Testament at
Chicago University. Notwithstanding a full scholarship and a start learning
German in the summer, just before matriculation, God told me "No, don't
go". I wrote Chicago and said I would delay a year! However, by September
I had discovered Campus Crusade for Christ and went on staff for 1-1/2years—serving
in So. Cal. and Illinois.
In 1964 I was hired by IBM in Seattle and received basic training in computer systems in Houston, TX, after which I installed the first computer in Harborview Hospital and subsequently worked at the FAA and the Polaris base in Bremerton as a system engineer. Later I became a salesman. Left 4 years later to return to Seminary (North Park in Chicago again). Then after one academic year, back into the computer world in 1973, this time the computer leasing business in Newport Beach, Calif. In 1977 I returned to seminary at Melodyland School of Theology and received a Master of Divinity. I needed the time between theological stints so as not to become too indoctrinated with doubt about Scripture.
Then to San Diego with the "chaplain in industry" program, and next becoming the spiritual consultant in the Christian Healing Center of San Diego, which intended to reconcile Christian healing and wholeness with scientific medicine. We conducted for credit continuing education seminars in San Diego for M.D.s with the appeal "80% of your patients come from a Judeo-Christian background. Why not learn to cooperate with Christian wholeness and spiritual healing rather than fighting it? And study it in the sun with your family." We had six M.D.'s directly involved and others of lesser involvement, the lead one having been a medical missionary in Africa. When the lead physician left to teach medicine at Oral Roberts Medical school, it was back to the computer business, and I bought Aztec Medical Billing. We rewrote the billing programs to support a PC front end and created one of the most user friendly systems around. It is used by 30 or so offices in S. Cal. Here I have been for the last 20 years, operating this business.
On the family front, I married Jacquelyn Johnson of Roosevelt High and the U of W In 1967. Had two boys together. She died of breast cancer in 1987. I subsequently married Beverly Grant, originally of Portsmouth, N.H. and acquired two more boys. We now have 8 grandchildren spread among the four families (two each). The largest family we had in the house at one time was three boys. In the teen years my wife averred, "if we can just get them to 25 years of age and get them married off . . ." Well, we did achieve that goal.
After 5 years at Highline, I was sorry to see the end of our teenage "Happy Days". On the evening of our graduation I became somewhat melancholy and depressed about leaving. How could one not feel melancholy after singing "Sailing On" four or five times?! For me, college was dependent upon a scholarship. The looming alternative was the draft, in which case my chances for higher education would be tanked. My family couldn't help with financial support. The good news was that I was an "A" student, had scored high on the SAT test, and was a National Merit Scholar. With the help and advice of our counselors, I did get a scholarship to the University of Washington.
I had a devil of a first year! No one in my family had ever graduated from college, nor did I have a reliable source for advice on structuring a 4-year college plan. I had no concrete ideas for selecting a major. My advisor assigned me 19 credit hours the first quarter, 18 for the second, and 18 for the third. It was also necessary for me to work 25-30 hours per week. It was mandatory that all men enroll in ROTC for 2 years, minimum. If you didn't maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, and if you didn't carry at least 12 hours you could be drafted. If you had more than 3 absences from any class, your final grade was reduced by one letter grade. Whine, grumble, gloom. But, all things are possible if you persevere!
In my junior year I met my future wife Kay. She was an Alpha Chi, right next door to my fraternity, Theta Chi. (Chuck Cooper was also a Theta Chi, joining after his freshman year at Yale). Kay was a "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi". Ken Linville was a Sigma Chi and, of course, knows Kay. We were married on June 18th, 1960. Dick Blomberg was our "Best Man". Ken and I graduated together in winter quarter, 1961, me in Marketing and Business Management, with a minor in Applied Human Behavior. I was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Army. Ken was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force. (Earlier, we had both elected to enroll in advanced ROTC - a wise decision, as it turned out! We could have been drafted as privates if we hadn't! And, advanced ROTC paid us $30 per month! Back "in the old days" $30 was a significant amount of money. Room and board only cost $75-$80 per month!).
We received military orders along with our diplomas, and within a month we were directed to "settle our affairs" and to "proceed to our duty posts". In the service I often ran into guys I knew from college who had tried to beat the draft but ended up as privates or corporals for two years. Several guys had finished law school, had passed their BAR exams, and then were drafted! Two of them were machine gunners in rifle platoons. Good experience for today's courtrooms! I was an Airborne Ranger and participated in the relatively new Special Forces group. It was exciting, for sure! I served three years in the Regular Army and made Captain. I considered making the military my career, but decided instead on the computer industry, which, at the time, was virtually unknown. IBM wasn't even a household name! I joined IBM in early 1964 as a Data Processing Sales Representative, and later became a Special Representative in Medical Marketing.
In 1970, after a rewarding and successful career with IBM (consecutive 100% clubs, Golden Circle), I decided to "move with the market" and join newer companies that were in rapid expansion modes, such as Olivetti Corp. of America, Computer Automation, Data Card Corp, and Brother, International. In 1981 we moved to Irvine/Newport Beach, California, "the land of opportunities". Computer Automation made me National Major Accounts Sales Manager and Director of Far East and Latin American Distributors. Later, I moved to V. P., United States OEM Marketing of Brother, International. We've lived in Southern California ever since. I eventually took on a consulting function for small to medium sized manufacturers who were aligned to the greater computer industry, such as Apple Computer. I consulted in the areas of establishing marketing programs, selection of marketing staff, establishing and managing channels, advertising, market research, etc. Along the way, particularly during the late 70's and 80's, I was able to see the potential in developing companies, such as INTEL, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Johnson & Johnson, and, of course, IBM, because of information gained in the greater data processing industry. Purchasing stock in these emerging and rapidly expanding companies was like a bonus for lots of hard work. This time period was fast and fun!
Finally, I was able to achieve a goal I had considered back in my college days - teaching. Instead, I chose the lure of money being made in the "new" computer industry. So, in 1994, I earned my teaching credentials and began teaching special education at a large, non-profit agency specializing in high functioning, developmentally disabled adults. After several years, I began teaching special education in the Irvine Unified School District, which eventually led to teaching Kindergarten through 3rd grade! It's difficult to express the fun and satisfaction of teaching young children. From time to time I would teach math and language arts at two of the high schools and at middle schools.
In 1998, the Orange County Dept. of Education was looking for teachers with leadership skills gained in industry and the military. Why military? I was curious and thus arranged a meeting. The job sounded very interesting and challenging, and I knew I could handle the students. Consequently, I joined the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department as a member of the Professional Staff, assigned to Correctional Programs (Vocational Education, the GED program, etc.). I now teach vocational education (Computer Business Skills) for the fifth largest Sheriff's Dept. in the United States! What a blast! I'm a bureaucrat! I also teach Business Skills and GED for Rancho Santiago Community College, an affiliate of the Sheriff's Dept. for Correctional Programs.
Kay and I have three children - girl-boy-girl, and five grandchildren, one girl and four boys. The oldest boy will be attending Oregon State Univ. in the fall (a traitor! His Mom, my oldest daughter, also earned a scholarship to the Univ. of Washington, graduating with honors). My granddaughter is a high school sophomore. They're "A" students and athletes, he in wrestling, she in track and cross-country. The three other boys are ages 13, 11, and 9, good students, athletic, almost as good looking as their ancient grandfather, and really good fishermen!
So, life after Highline has been quite a ride. It's a myriad of memorable periods, one of which was the five years at Highline. It is amusing to recall and relate some of memories. After all, staying amused and entertained is kind of what it's all about at our age, don't you think? I've shared some of my trials and tribulations, good times and bad, embarrassing moments, with you, and I would love to read about some of your successes, failures, amazing accomplishments, and fascinating events.
The first three paragraphs of Sonny Matson's bio have saved me a lot of typing here because it just about fits me to a tee. I have chided my good friend, whom I've known since the 4th grade, for stealing our "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" Kay from under our noses but then, Sonny was always pretty tough competition. I so look forward to seeing them both as well as the rest of you all.
I didn't win any national merit scholarships, although my grade point from high school was very high. That's why we had so much trouble at the big university that first year. We didn't know how to study. I don't ever recall taking a book home in high school. Between showing off and creating havoc in class, I occasionally picked up enough from the teachers' presentation to ace the test for an easy A although I did occasionally get a B. It didn't work that way in college. I almost flunked out of school my first year just barely getting my grades up to the minimum required C average to be initiated into my fraternity. Boy, did we ever have a lot to learn. I was living on about 3 hours of sleep a night with all the studying and other activities required of me. Bill Rich, a Delta Upsilon, and I would sometimes get so frustrated we'd just get together at the local pub and try to drown our sorrows in huge pitchers of beer. Neither of us were a huge hit with the sorority girls and all we wanted to do was figure out how we could get back into high school. Obviously, we eventually broke the code and made it through the ordeal, actually having quite a good time while we were at it. Another part of my nostalgia trip involves about a dozen or so of my fraternity brothers, to whom I will be forever grateful for taking in a skinny, naive, grease ball high school kid with an Elvis Presley haircut and a bad attitude and shaping me into some semblance of a college man. We get together a couple times a year.
In '58, Marilyn Booth had brought a Sigma Chi home from Oregon State for spring vacation and she invited me out to a barbecue that her dad, Earl Booth, was putting on for us. Marilyn got to grow up in a kind of "Leave It To Beaver" environment, unlike most of us who weren't so lucky. She had a wonderful family but paid a heavy price when she lost both her parents to heart attacks by the time she was 20. We were married on August 5, 1960 and probably wouldn't know what to do without each other.
As Sonny said, we received commissions on the same day and I was lucky enough to be accepted into USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training. Off we went to Laredo, TX for the next 14 months. This was another one of the very memorable times. After we learned how to pull 5 or 6 G's without throwing up in our oxygen masks, it became an affair to remember. The camaraderie, the intense competition, the excitement and fulfillment of really getting to live this dream is unforgettable. The poem, "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. describes it perfectly. Thirty four of us received our wings on 11 May 1962. Sixty-six of us started the program. We also have reunions now and then. When we received our wings, it was off to three weeks of survival training, which was no fun at all.
Marilyn loved the Air Force. So did I until Viet Nam became such a mess. Most
of the time I was based at Hickam AFB in Hawaii, but usually in some other part
of the world. Our oldest son was born in Laredo just after I graduated in May
of '62. Our youngest was born at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu in May of
'66. He was pretty big and Marilyn decided to call it quits in the child birth
department after that. I resigned
my commission in 1968 after 7 years on active duty, mostly flying C-124s and
C-141s, and went to work for Northwest
Airlines. At the right, driving a 727 a while back. I retired
in 1998 (you have to quit when you're 60). We left Seattle in 1961 and didn't
move back until 30 years later. We've lived in Texas, Oklahoma, New Jersey,
Delaware, Minnesota and Hawaii. The old Seattle rain is home and we're pretty
happy to be back although we spend part of the year in sunnier climes.
HIGH FLIGHT — John Gillespie Magee, Jr
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
I graduated from WSU with degrees in communications and education. I married LeRoy Jones during my senior year. He had a geology degree and then came back to get an education degree. We were both hired to teach in Wenatchee. My career came to a halt after a semester as I was pregnant with our first child. We then had 3 more children in rapid order. My poor husband then worked summers for USDA and in a cherry brinery. (You do not want to know the process for maraschino cherries or you would never eat them) I started teaching part time at Wenatchee Valley College after the birth of our third child. In between I did graduate work at Central Washington University.
In l982, I lost my full time job at Wenatchee Valley College because of layoffs. However I did not go quietly so eventually found myself with the problem of finding a new career. I was hired to coordinate our local arts group and moved two years later to become the director of the Wenatchee YWCA. Both jobs kept me busy because both groups were in debt when I started and when I left they had a hefty sum in the bank. Vowing never to work in non-profits again, six weeks later I was hired to over see the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, under Children’s Home Society of WA and stayed there until l996. I also did consulting on board development for non-profits.
I left work when my son, Steve, a full time Air National Guard officer, for some reason took his life. I then set up an endowment at Eastern Washington University in his name for juniors and seniors in computer science, his field. As to my other children, Karen, the oldest finally got her BA and MPA in 2000 and is now the public information officer for Monterey County Health Dept. She recently remarried to a Smith. She has a 22 year old son who has made me a great grandmother by having a son a few months ago. My son, Christopher who also has an MPA works for the GAO and as a “fed” travels most of the time. My youngest daughter, Barbara, who is also a Smith, lives in Helena Mt. with her husband and two young sons. She is a budget analyst with the Montana Legislature.
.I became active in the area when I could no longer stand the fact that Wenatchee was still in the 1940’s and very Waspish. I think we had second interview for our jobs just to make sure my husband was white! I got involved with the American Association of University Women and kept working on political issues through them until I ended up as the state president in l995. I will be with them forever. I was one of the first women to join Kiwanis in l987. I serve on a couple of boards. My most active work is with our Good Grief Center where I facilitate a group of family and friends of suicide victims. I am also the president of our parish council. I do presentations on various topics to groups. The rest of the time I read and do work on my avocation, researching women’s history and have had a couple of articles published.
My husband, whose reunion is the same night as ours 100 miles away, spends his time fishing, golfing, playing softball, and doing good works. Together, we travel in the US and in Europe, and even went to the back country of Mexico. We are getting ready for another trip to Italy in June. I hope to see you all in August.
The comment with my picture in the 1956 Yearbook is Some work for money and some for a car But Bob lived for sports---that carried him far. As I look back, how prophetic that comment seems to me now. I wonder who came up with it. Because of sports, and specifically basketball, I was carried as a little kid from playing basketball in a little gym in the White Center Heights Housing Project, to playing in an International Basketball Tournament in Alexandria, Egypt, playing basketball for a local French team in La Rochelle, France, a game in Brussels, Belgium, and a game in West Berlin and in other cities in Germany. I remember touring East Germany on a bus and coming back to West Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate and seeing the shockingly stark differences. I was also being carried by the Army at the time. Basketball got me to Olympic College and eventually to Seattle University.
You won't read anything in this bio about my exceptional academic achievements.
There weren't any. I just barely squeaked by. I remember the first day I ever
went to school. My mother was walking me to Highland Grade School in White Center.
It was about a mile and a half walk. I was so excited I ran way ahead of her
and all the way to school. I was sitting in my kindergarten class by the time
she got there. That was the last time I ever ran to school.
Going to college never crossed my mind, at least, not until the spring of 1956. Even then, I didn't really want to go. I went just to please my parents. I'm glad I did. That year, I may have been a so-called sports star at Highline, but I was much less than a star where it really counted, in the class room. I didn't need to see the vote count to know I didn't receive a single vote for "Most Likely to Succeed." I did live for sports and had a pretty successful senior year at Highline. You can check out the sports section in the 1956 Yearbook if you want to refresh your memory.
At Olympic, I still struggled in the class room, but had some success playing on the hardwoods. We won the state championship in 56-57 and I led the team in scoring with an average of a little over 15 points per game. I was also selected to the all-state first team and chosen as the team inspirational award winner. I also made an All Northwest District Team that included junior college players from Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. In 1957-58, George Holthe and Rich Stanley came over to play basketball. We fInished in 3rd place. I was the 2nd leading scorer in the conference with an average of a little over 23 points per game. I made the all-state team again and was voted honorary captain of the team.
By this time I wanted to play ball at Seattle University. I wondered if I
was good enough to play pro ball. That became my goal. Events and circumstances
made me realize however that I had a whole lot of growing up to do before moving
on to the university level. I volunteered for the Army draft and entered the
Army in March of 1959. I went through basic training at Fort Ord, California
and ended up being sent to Rochefort, France. I flew to New York, boarded a
troop ship and headed overseas. The ship slowly cruised past the Statue of Liberty
and seeing it was something special. Our destination was Bremerhaven, Germany
and it took us 13 days to get there. I remember moving into the English Channel
and through the Straits of Dover and past the 350 foot high White Cliffs of
Dover, England. The face of the cliffs is composed of pure white lime chalk
accentuated with black flint. These cliffs were immortalized in a popular song
during World War II. I remembered that song as we steamed past the cliffs. I
had heard it many times as a kid in the 1940's and 50's. The verses I never
There'll be blue birds over, the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow, just you wait and see..
There'll be love and laughter, and peace ever after, tomorrow, when the world is free.
I'm sure many of you remember that song also. Hopefully, the world will get peace someday.
During my time in France, I ended up being stationed most of the time on the
base at La Rochelle, attached to Special Services where I played football, basketball
and baseball. Sports were a big entertainment thing over there because many
military personnel had their dependents with them. In 1960, I made the All European
Army Basketball Team after the 2 week tryouts in Nuremberg, Germany. That's
the team that played in the tournament in Alexandria, Egypt. We made stops in
Athens and Cairo on the way. We won the tournament and played teams from France,
Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan. Then we went to Brussels, Belgium
and played a game there. Then it was back to La Rochelle.
I was put in charge of the base basketball team; selected the players after tryouts and ran the practices. Another player and I made an all tournament team in a tournament played up at Orleans, France. I had scored 35 points in a game. The other player was a black Lieutenant who was a small college All-American at a black college in the south. I forget the names. I got him to skip some duties and play with us for the play-off run. We went on to win the Military European Championship in 1960-61. We played at several bases in Germany, including West Berlin. No team from France had ever won it before. We ended up with a record of 45-1. Believe me, it was a big deal and PFC Robert Lee Smither got to rub elbows with some of the big brass from Orleans.
At the same time, I played basketball for a local French team in La Rochelle called The Rupella Sports Club. It was a French-American relationship type deal. I had an interpreter travel with me and we played teams on Sundays in small towns up and down the Atlantic coast. I extended my service over there for 3 months so I could finish the season with them. We were headed for a league championship they had never won and they had asked me to stay. We did win it. During my extended service, I stayed off base with a French family that owned a hardware store. Being over there for almost two years was a fabulous experience. I got discharged in June of 1961. Basketball and the Army had carried me to places I had never dreamed of.
While in France I was recruited by Jack Gardner, the coach at the University
of Utah. Someone from over there had recommended me to him as someone in whom
he had total confidence. He guaranteed me a starting forward spot on his team
that was being vacated. And, I would be playing with All-American 7-feet-tall
Billy "The Hill" McGill. I wrote him back and told him I wanted to
play ball where my basketball idol, Elgin Baylor, had played. I got back home
and Coach Phil Pesco contacted Seattle U for me. I received a scholarship to
play ball there and enrolled into The School of Commerce and Finance for the
fall quarter in 1961. That summer, my high school girl friend, Margie Black
and I got back together again. We had kind of gone our separate ways when I
went to Olympic and then into the Army. We got married on November 4, 1961.
At Seattle U my basketball career took a dip. I never cracked the starting line-up during the 61-62 season just as Jack Gardner had predicted. All the starters had returned from the year before. But I played a lot and was the 6th man off the bench. The team went 18-9 and we lost to Oregon State in the NCAA tournament at the University of Oregon in single overtime, 69-65. I was looking forward to the 1962-63 season.
During the summer, I played almost every week-end in pick-up games at the SU
gym. We played 3 on 3 half court games. The winner stayed on the floor. Minneapolis
Lakers star and my basketball idol, Elgin Baylor, came up and played with us
on a couple of week-ends. He was doing reserve time at Ft. Lewis. What a treat!
What a thrill! What a great guy! As a senior going into the 1962-63 season,
I expected to start, but it didn't happen. Even before practice had started,
Coach Vince Cazzetta had moved junior Greg Vermillion ahead of me as the starter.
How did I find out? Ernie Dunston ran down and told me about it after seeing
the line-up in Cazzetta's office. Greg's well known older brother was the head
coach at St. Martins College in Lacy. As far as I'm concerned, it didn't take
a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Everyone knew I should have been
the starter, including my friend Greg. So I started practice going into the
season as the 6th man again. That's the way it was all during the season. At
least until Cazzetta wilted under the pressure and resigned after a couple losses
towards the end of the season. The expectations were high and we were ranked
# 10 in the nation. Then we suffered our 3rd and 4th losses of the season to
Montana Sate and then to Oregon State in Corvallis. Cazzetta decided to "cut
and run" and blamed Athletic Director Eddie O'Brian for his resignation.
As soon as he left, I was moved into the starting forward position for the remaining 9 games of the year. I played some at the guard position also. It took me a while to get over the sting I got from Cazzetta. Our record for the season ended up with a pretty impressive 21 wins and 6 losses. In the NCAA Regional in Eugene, we lost to Oregon State in single overtime again, 70-66. At the end of the season, I received the "Most inspirational Player Award" and I think you can guess why!
We played 6 games against OSU the two years I was at SU. We had some great games with them, all thrillingly close. Also, we got beat by Loyola of Chicago on their home court, 93-83, and they went on to win the NCAA Tournament Championship that year. I got to play basketball against some great players during those two years. Mel Counts and Heisman Trophy Winner Terry Baker at OSU, Gus Johnson at the University of Idaho, and Nat Thurman at Bowling Green. Those are the most famous ones I can remember. Way back then, I did live for sports, but thankfully, because of events and circumstances, I finally grew up. Margie gave birth to our twin girls, Shelly and Paris, during the season in December 1962. Margie quit her job at Preservative Paint and we moved in with her parents so I could finish the season. We got a couple of pretty big write-ups in the Seattle Times with pictures of Margie and the girls. Our 3rd daughter Christi was born in March, 1967. After the season, I dropped out of school and went to work. In 1985, Margie and I separated for 2 years and eventually divorced in 1987.
I met and married 1957 Highline grad Echo Kirby Inch Smither in 1988. Between the two families, we have 7 children and step children, 10 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. We live on Lake Holm in Auburn and our interests include family, camping, gardening (you name it, we grow it), spectator sports, (I've thrown in the towel on playing golf) and taking care of our 2 dogs and 2 cats. To be honest, animals rule around here. I guess we love them more than the yard, our furniture, and the clothes hampers. I had a 35 year sales career. During those years I had 11 jobs. I think you could call me a survivor. I've sold insurance, car wax and floor wax, household cleaners, salad dressings, tartar sauce and horseradish, tea, beer, dried fruit and trail mixes, and linen. Much of the time, I was a traveling salesman and covered Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, and Montana all by car. Man, I loved it when I got those brand new company cars every 2 years. I would get a new car even before the new car smell disappeared from the old new car. Much of my sales career was spent working with and for Larry Parker at Marie's Dressings, Inc. I forget how many years it was.
My last job before retirement was with the Kent School District as a Special Education Para-Educator. That's just a fancy name for teacher's assistant. I was in Echo's class room as her assistant for 2 years at Sequoia Middle school. I was one on one with a Pakistani boy who had seizures as many as 4 or 5 in a week. Wherever he went, I went. I followed him to Kent Meridian High School. After the first year there he was home schooled and I stayed at Kent-Meridian for another 2yrs. My last year there, I was a volunteer coach on the varsity and girls basketball teams. The head coach was a Seattle U grad and he invited me to come on board for the season. We went to the state tournament and lost out. I learned how little I knew about coaching basketball. There's a big difference in playing and coaching.
Regrets? I've had a few, but like the lyric Frank Sinatra sang, "Too few to mention." It's been a good life and God has blessed me so much. Oh! My goodness! I almost forgot to mention it. I became a Christian at the age of 50. He knew me even when I didn't know him and I believe that all of the above was God's plan for me. "That's my story and I'm stickin to it." I wonder when and where the story ends.
After graduation, I worked for a year and then went to the University of Washington for a while. Did not graduate, as I decided to just ski and do a little mountain climbing (all the major peaks in Wash.), as well as work in between. In 1965, I married a Norwegian. We didn't have children for 6 years, so we did a lot traveling back and forth to Europe. All Ola's family is still in Norway.
We then had two daughters, sixteen months apart. One daughter is living in
Virginia and is Clinical Supervisor of the ER at George Washington University
Hospital in Wash. D.C. The other daughter worked for the Gates Foundation, writing
the manuals and teaching for his library program, for 7
years, until she switched over to just Global Health. Now she is Reference
Librarian at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
Both daughters are married, but unfortunately no grandchildren in sight yet. Ola and I live in Enumclaw and enjoy hiking and skiing near by.
The fall after graduation I started at Western Washington College in Bellingham. Now I wouldn't want to blame anyone but myself, but rooming with Larry Buerstatte, '55, was not exactly conducive to good, sound study habits. Larry was one of those brainiacs, (like Chuck Cooper), who didn't have to study much. For whatever reasons, I bowed out after a few quarters to seek other endeavors. Hugh Shaw had just returned home from a stint in the Army with a brand new Karman Ghia he brought home from Germany and he and I decided to ride that baby as far south as we could go. We ended up so far down into Mexico that they didn't even speak Spanish any more. We finally ran out of road at the Guatemala line. After a couple of months of carefree road pounding, we headed back.
On the way home we came through Arizona. It was winter and perfect, and I decided that is where I wanted to be. I had some friends with Marie's Dressing, so I became the manufacturer's rep for the area, and after importing product for a while, established a plant. Back then Marie's was the only refrigerated dressing, and the only one sold in the produce department. I managed to sign up Safeway and we were off and running. But then I got drafted. It was a service business that required constant customer care, so that was the end of that. In the Army I became a cryptographer, which was interesting.
When I got out in '63 my old friend Larry Buerstatte said he needed some help at Olympia Brewing, so I became their rep in Idaho. After a while, Marie's Dressing asked me to come back to work for them. This time I had an arrangement where I could earn out a third of the company over the next five years, so I ended up part owner. Over the years I bought the rest of it and along the way became the president of the company. In 1995 I sold the company. I got into consulting and still do some of it in my semiretirement.
I married Janice Roth of Renton and had two sons. We have one granddaughter, Amy, a beautiful little 10 year old. Jan and I just celebrated our 46th anniversary. Every summer, Jan and I host a 'Friend's Picnic' at our home on the Green River near Enumclaw. Our guests mostly include Highline grads from classes '53 through '58 and their families and friends. It's become a tradition and a good time is had by all.
He went to the Army in '57
Only 6 months - oh thank heaven !
Then on to building with boards and nails
Contract in hand, he made some sales
This is the mantra he would proclaim:
"Building is my game, Wayne Chambers is the name"
Into the traces in 1960
Married a girl so very nifty
Started a family in 1965
A girl, then a boy - just the right size
The 1990's found us all alone
Our children were grown and out on their own
The year 2000 - with great trepidation,
We celebrated our "Mandatory Work" GRADUATION !
Built his last house in Mesa - year 2002
AND downsized to Trilogy in Redmond - WHEW!!
So now Wayne's mantra is not the same
It's, "GOLF is my game, Wayne Chambers is the name."
I married my high school sweetheart Bob Wicklund in 1958. He and I had dated off and on from the seventh grade through high school. Since I was not allowed to go out in cars we often walked to the Den Burien theatre. We were married 22 years before we separated. We had four kids, two of each. Bob ran commercial jobs in Alaska and Nevada after we separated. He always got behind in his support payments. But that was ok because I kept track and after I added up all the interest, the house was mine. We both smiled over that one.
While Bob and I were separated Edwina came to live with me. She was raising
her kids on welfare and when they graduated from school, that was the end of
her income. She got a job in an antique store. I charged her some rent, don't
remember how much, but by the end of the month she had borrowed it all back.
That was fine, as she helped me with my kids and became almost a second mother
to them. It worked great because there was always an adult there for those teenage
years. A year later she took ill. I was devastated when she died at such an
Somewhere in 1998 I think, Bob and I got back together. Bob was very funny and personal sometimes. After his second divorce he called. We actually went out on a date. It seemed like old times, and when we got back to my place I asked him if he would like to stay over. He looked concerned and told me "we really don't know each other that well." Later he did move in. We had a good time and we got to do some traveling together before he died in 2005. We were on a cruise ship on 9/11. Two days after Bob's funeral I opened the closet door where there are books on the top shelf, and the only two that fell were Bob's Bar Guide and Edwina's cookbook. They found each other.
I worked 22 years for Bank of America, and 3 years for the Masonic Home as Admissions Director. During the Spokane expo when it was popular to ride your bicycle over to Spokane, I gathered about nine 12 yr. olds including my daughter and we rode all the way to the Expo. It took us 5 days but we started at the top of the pass. I am not stupid. I have been paddle boat racing for 3 years. The hard thing is getting in and out of the boat. The bones don't bend.
In 1956 the Ivy League’s notion of diversity was to leaven their corps of prep school legacies with a sprinkle of boys from the western backwaters. So midway through my senior year a recruiter from Yale asked three of us to apply for what they euphemistically called “regional scholarships”. I am not sure what they called them when their attention turned to other minority groups. Anyway, I hadn’t given any thought to college yet, and nobody else asked, so I applied and off I went to New Haven. I was assigned an unsavory roommate from Greenwich Village who stole cigarettes, and soon discovered the East had a whole different preparatory system. To be fair, I did a lot better after my roommate explained to me that “f(x)” just meant “y”, and that you had to put the word “metaphysical” into each English paper 4 or 5 times, preferably at points that don't make any sense. He further explained that “Metaphysical” just meant “bull shit”. Believe me, Crime and Punishment is a really metaphysical book. And Ode to a Grecian Urn… don’t get me started.
I just wasn't a Yalie by nature, and Sonny Matson kept telling me what a ball he was having at Theta Chi, so next year it was back to Seattle and the U of W. Toward the end of my senior year I thought I’d better start thinking about a job. My future first wife thought law school was a better idea, and it extended the draft deferment, so, barely making the final deadline, there went the next three years. When I was about to graduate from law school and be drafted, I learned that clerking at the Supreme Court would extend my 2-S deferment. That took care of another year. It was assumed that after a clerkship you return to Seattle and pledge a law firm, so I did.
Law firm practice was OK, but it seemed to me that a corporate law department might be more interesting. At least I wouldn't have to defend criminals or do divorces (you meet nicer people in the former, but still...). You have to go back East to do that, so after a couple of years I sent out some resumes and took an offer that involved engineering and technical stuff. The company, in Olean, New York (see Google Maps), made great compressors, but was a subsidiary of an outfit in Dallas. You can imagine my surprise when, after driving 3000 miles with pregnant wife, a cat , and a cat box in the back seat (to this day I hate scratching noises), shortly after arriving the parent company law department decided the subsidiary law department was on their turf, and ordered it shut down. I went home and told my wife I had good news and bad news. First, I said, "I just lost my job and we would be leaving Olean". Not missing a beat, she asked "What is the bad news?" Later that day I got a call from a friend who had a friend in a law department of a corporation in Pittsburgh that was advertising for a lawyer. I wasn't about to drive the cat box all the way back to Seattle, and the Pennsylvania bar exam was rumored to be easier than the New York bar, so Pittsburgh it was. They wanted an SEC lawyer, and I couldn't even spell that, but I got a book and soon was one, which meant I also got to do the acquisitions.
Four years and some 40 acquisitions later I was doing a deal with a lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky who happened also to be the general counsel of a life insurance holding company. He mentioned than “just that morning” he had attended a meeting of executives worried that there were no young men coming along (in 1970 you didn't have to include women), so he introduced me to the CEO. We cut a deal where I would do the SEC and acquisition work in half my time as assistant to the CEO of the holding company and would learn the life insurance business in the other half as assistant to the CEO of the flagship life company. Later, they couldn’t find anyone to do a systems audit of one of their other companies, so I took their one week systems course and started making operations more efficient, in between acquisitions. That is called reengineering now, and I wish I had known that, as I always wanted to be an engineer. Anyway, after 4 or 5 acquisitions one went south, and since they didn’t have any other reengineers (we were very rare when we didn't know what we were), I went to Atlanta as its chief operating officer.
After a few years they replaced the CEO I liked with a metaphysical head, so I sent a resume to a headhunter who had an ad in an insurance newspaper. What a coincidence! “Just that morning” he had been talking to a CEO in Waco who needed a new COO. That CEO was a good guy, so that lasted for 25 years, during which time we took the company private in an LBO, and then public again, and then finally sold it again. That sort of thing is always good for management, and sometimes even for the shareholders. The whole time my then wife kept hoping I would come home with good and bad news again, but it was not to be. So that marriage ended, she went back to Atlanta, and later I married a girl from Waco. Sure glad I wasn't still in Olean.
Next I partnered with the venture capitalist with whom we had done the earlier transactions and bought a life company from a bankrupt holding company. However, the business of that company wasn’t nearly as good, or as fun, as my 25 year sojourn, and in fact involved a lot of the metaphysical, so after a couple of years I sold out and became a consultant, which reminds me of the story about the tom cat who kept going out at night after he was fixed, as a consultant.
Hi gang. After graduation, my father had a bad accident so there went my college savings. I joined the Marine Corps. A year later Diane and I were married and started a family; boy did we! Seven wonderful children, one after another. That was good and bad. I was busy supporting us all and being a great mom Diane was busy with the kids.
Just out of the Marine Corps with our first child, I went to work for Boeing. Soon five years went by. I was up against a two-year college requirement in order to progress economically; but with five children and working two jobs already, that was not possible so we went into the service station business. Big difference in a gas station and a service station and we flourished fast. Soon bought out two more stations close by in the Federal Way area, which was growing fast. Things were great at this point. Then the devil took after us. Three armed robberies. Two cars caught fire. Suddenly Exxon decided they wanted us to close up our backroom to service and just pump gas and sell bread and milk in the office(7-11). I protested. Exxon sued for $350,000 and locked us out. Somewhere in this mess Diane and I lost each other. Really a hard time over the next few years. I lost everything dear to my heart and everything I'd worked for all my life.
My sister called from Montana, abandoned with three kids in backwoods, no money, nothing. I got her out to Olympia with me in a little cabin. Quite crude but shared what little I had at the time. I'll tell you it was slim pickings then. I had started working as a construction Laborer for a client from the service station who was building Panorama City Retirement Home. I tried hard to patch things up between Diane and me but it just wasn't to be and one night the drunk who abandoned my sister almost two years earlier came to our door wanting my sister. I left to give them some privacy and just from the grace of God came this beautiful creature into my life. I was not looking or economically ready for a relationship but after just one dance we never wanted to be apart again. A year later we married 1972; got two of the boys and raised them, maintaining a relationship with all the others. Four children live here close to us in Olympia now.
I suffered an industrial accident in 1996 on the Key Arena and haven't been able to work since. Then in 2000 State rehab stressed me into a stroke. It really took a lot out of me and there are still some effects. Started a craft business just to offset the boredom and had a lot of fun with it but not much money. We quit that business.We had a lot of time shares already and have just completed a year and a half going from one condo to another all over U.S.A. We just returned yesterday from a seven-week stay in beautiful Mazatlan Mexico. Just home for Christmas then off to Vegas for the fifth time this year. Then to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, then Carlsbad, CA, then to Sedona AZ (where we spent three months in 2005), then off to Lake Tahoe, and then an inside passage cruise to Alaska. Things are looking up. Hope to see you at the reunion.
After graduation I attended Seattle University on a music scholarship. Dave
won out and we married in 1957 and had our first child in 1958 and on, and on,
until 1967 when our last child was born. I used to tell Dave the kitchen was
comfortable (2 girls) but his garage was getting crowded (5 boys). Until we
divorced I had been a "stay-at-home-mom" but then I started working
at a variety of jobs. Finally settled to working for King County in the Judicial
system. I retired from there to open my own music business and have lived very
happily ever since.
My youngest son married a girl from Mexico City and it was so much fun to travel there and meet her family and tour the area. Alaska has always held my fancy so in 2000 I drove the AlCan Highway to and all through Alaska (yes, the mosquitoes are big) I drove about 7,000 miles and enjoyed every moment of the scenery and fishing.
Now I teach about 50 students, all ages, 'tend my flowers and have lunches with old friends.
Since graduation, I have lived in Frankfurt, Germany for 4 years, then on to Tokyo, Japan for 3 years, at least 10 years in different parts of Texas, namely San Antonio and San Angelo. I absolutely loved each and every place we've lived. I did return to Germany in 1984 on a Weyerhaeuser assignment - so much had changed. Then I settled in Federal Way, (why I don't know) and worked 20 years for Weyerhaeuser as an executive assistant, and successfully raised three children. They've failed to produce grandchildren, but I do have several grand dogs.
I "retired" in 1993 and started my own business in Tenant Screening. The very profitable business is now up for sale so I can relocate to the Atlanta area where people our age can afford to live in our "golden years". I look forward to seeing all of you at the reunion but at this point, I haven't decided what I am going attend yet - I may be in Georgia, who knows. Oh, one other note - those of you who knew my brother, Gary Wells, piano player in Class of 1953, he is living in Virginia, is a retired CPA. Another reason I want to be on that side of the US.
I married Levi Lucero before graduation in 1956. We raised 3 sons and we now have 3 granddaughters (who are absolutely beautiful). I never left the area where I was raised - only moved a few miles south. I have worked for the school district since 1979 and have been an executive assistant for the Assistant Superintendentfor 12 years. I am still working but plan on retiring soon. I hope to see all of you at the 50th class reunion. I haven't been to one since the 20th.
Carole and Gordy were married in Gordy's senior year at the University of Washington in 1960. After service, they settled in Tacoma for five years where Gordy worked for IBM. Their two boys, Todd and Jay were born there.
Gordy joined a startup company in San Francisco, which stoked his entrepreneurial appetite and over the next 30 years he worked in computers, electronics, equipment leasing, merchant banking, radio, oil service, consulting, and investment management. Carole was involved in the incorporation of Foster City, CA but her suggestion that it be a monarchy, where she could be queen, was not adopted.
Carole has been engaged in many volunteer organizations over the years and
is currently Chairman of the San Mateo Medical Center Foundation. She loves
her music and has sung in choirs since high school. She is a Bridge Life Master
and plays several times a week. Gordy guest lectures on business at the University
of Washington and occasionally teaches full time courses. He is currently writing
a book on finance and economics which will antagonize academia. It is sure to
never be a best seller.
Their family lives near by and they are active in lives of their two grandchildren, now in high school, who are the lights of their lives. Carole's favorite getaway is a log cabin in the Sierras and Gordy's is messing around on a boat. Their secret for a happy marriage is a sense of humor and separate TIVO remotes.
I attended Central Washington University the first year after graduation and transferred to the University of Washington in 1957 where I completed my college career. I majored in Speech Pathology/Education and, upon graduation, went to work in the Highline School District as a Speech and Hearing Clinician. In 1960 I married Gary Newbury whom I had met at the UW and who was also a Speech and Hearing Clinician. Gary went to work in the Renton School District and we moved to Burien. In 1962 Gary decided to go back to the UW for his Masters Degree and we moved to the University District whereupon I became a commuter. The following year we moved back to Highline and two years later bought a home there. During the latter part of the 1960s and early 70s I had four children including a set of twins. When the gasoline crunch got so bad in 1974 we moved to the Renton area. I had already decided not to go back to teaching at that time. Raising 4 children was enough of a challenge!
During the next two decades we raised our children. I worked as a secretary for our church for 6 years and could fix my schedule so that I would be home when the children were. As the children grew older I went to work in an entirely different field, that of medical receptionist. I first worked for a group of Neurologists near Redmond and in 1984 moved to Valley Women's Clinic by Valley Medical Center where I spent the next 14 years. In 1997 I retired to become a "Granny Nanny" taking care of my daughter's son. That job lasted for 2 1/2 years until she was able to be a stay home mom. That signified my "official retirement" which I have been enjoying ever since.
We still live in our home east of Renton. Two of our children live near us; another lives in Yakima and the other lives in Montana. We have a total of 8 grandchildren, the oldest is 16 and the youngest is 6. We enjoy just being home bodies although we really enjoy road trips and have just returned from a 4,200 mile trip through 8 states.
As for personal enrichment I sing in our church choir which I have been doing off and on for 60 plus years, starting at Boulevard Park Presbyterian Church as a very young person. I play in an English Hand bell Choir at our church. I have just celebrated 50 years of membership in the P.E.O Sisterhood, a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College (the college the organization owns in Nevada, MO.); and motivate each other to achieve their highest aspirations. My membership in this organization has been very rewarding over the past 50 years.
I say "hello" to you all and express how much we enjoyed the Reunion this past summer. Regular yearly get togethers sound great. I look forward to seeing a good many of you again.
We had it all, great house, four beautiful daughters, fancy cars, trips, everything, even a social life, when the monkey I married went out on a limb and then proceeded to cut it off! The rest of us stood in shocked silence, we didn't see it coming!
That's when I knew that I had been given an amazing opportunely to support
myself and my four daughters! "How?" became the first and foremost
question as we could only afford one education and he got it, back in the days
when we were in college! Monkey man packed his little bag and went off to live
with someone else, while we picked up the pieces! I packed off two of those
daughters to WSU, another decided to get her own place, and when the dust settled
it was just my youngest and I in a six bedroom house we couldn't afford to
Well, we talked it over and decided that we would rather everyone in town didn't
know about our reduced circumstances and made the decision not have heat and
that worked for us for six years! It's not as bad as it sounds; we had lots
of fireplaces, and lots of wood, electric blankets and two heating systems,
one was never turned on again. When I sold the house, I had to admit that I
didn't know if the furnace worked or not!
Mind you at first, I had visions of sleeping in cars and under bridges. But soon I got down to practical stuff, and started making lists of what people would pay me to do. I'd been teaching cooking classes for the Everett parks department and Everett school district for years, but these were volunteer jobs. I was going to need to make some money! I had a small cooking school in my home, and frankly that is what I do best. But what people would pay most for was for me to cook for them! As luck would have it, a good friend was CEO of a big bank. Soon I was the executive chef for the bank, then manager at a big kitchen store in downtown Seattle. I moved on to doing the food for celebrities at Seattle's major theaters; they have to be taken care of, after all they are away from home! My two favorites were Kris Kristofferson and Harry Belafonte; some of the others were more work than they were worth! Rock bands, for instance, are out there, WAY OUT THERE! I've catered more weddings than I even want to think about, one more bride and her mother would be too, too much!
I like boats so I've hired on as chef, and this can be a super way to travel, and see the world. It can also be a fate worse than death, if the Captain thinks he's Captain Bligh! I actually jumped ship in the San Juans once. I threw my stuff over the side and I was outta there! I figured I was as close to home as I was going to be for a while!
I've traveled overseas and I like to stay a while where ever I am, after all I'll want to be cooking the food I see in the markets! The best way to do that is to be there for a few months at a time, get to know the natives, and try not to act like an American!
I have ten grand children, eight of them girls. Now if I had known I wouldn't get five of each kind I'd have asked for eight boys, because boys just want you give them money and leave them alone! Girls on the other hand want to go shopping and have lunch, and buy all kinds of expensive stuff and that is hard to do when there's eight of them!
All and all I've managed to have a career in spite of myself, raise four daughters, and to have a nice life. Can't ask for more than that!
Coop already posted a bio from our annual report, but in brief: after graduation I completed a BA in Political Science at Seattle University, given the slim pickings at the time, immediately accepted a Regular Army commission which turned into a 20 year career. My assignments included 3 years in Vietnam (as evidence of not being able to keep my head down I ended up with 2 Silver Stars and 2 Purple hearts). My Army career, as an airborne armor colonel, ended with a failed marriage and 3 kids.
The next "career" was as President of Mott Community College in Flint Michigan for the next 12 years. With the kids through college I changed jobs and careers by accepting the Preidents job of a for-profit college in southern California. That move opened a new door and a new career, hopefully my last. In 1995, I started a for profit college company which eventually grew to a market value of $3.6 Billion and 153 colleges in 27 states and Canada. I am writing this well after the reunion, but the above may partially explain my lack of time to hit the party
For a few years after graduation I was a private secretary in Seattle, later
I moved to Anchorage, AK where I met my present husband. In '76. We moved to
a 5 acre farm in Jefferson County, raising most of our own food. I am a cake
decorator and for many years taught cake decorating and sold many wedding cakes
as well as birthday, etc. We moved to Centralia in '95.
We have a total of five children (2 mine, 2 his, 1 ours). I'm active in both my own church (St. Mary's) and my husband's. (Alder Street Baptist). I weekly teach a Bible and am part of PAX Outreach Ministry, reaching out to those trying to escape the addictions of drugs, alcohol or prior prison life. I find life very good and fulfilling, as long as I choose to keep close to God and allow Him to guide my steps.
I hired on with the phone company in October of '56, Pac Tel & Tel then, working at the Main central office in downtown Seattle. While working there I took evening courses at the old Edison Techical School, now Seattle CC, then took leave from the phone company in '60 to attend the UW. In August of '61, I was drafted in the Army during the "Berlin Crisis", and spent the next two years stationed in Hawaii, working in the Scofield Barrack's phone exchange.
After the Army I returned to work at Ma Bell, now PNB, and met my future wife Judy there, and we were married in 1966. We had a daughter and son. In 1974 we moved from Seattle to Enumclaw where Judy was born and raised, and built a home with a spectacular view of Mt.Rainier. In '84 Judy and I traveled to East Germany to visit my relatives. Two years later I lost her to cancer. Our daughter was 16 and our son 13 at the time.
I met my present wife, Vicki, while we both sang in the Enumclaw Community Choir. She, being a single parent, also had daughter and son that were the same ages as mine and attended Enumclaw high school as well. We started dating in '87 and married in September 1990 after our sons (the last of our brood) had graduated from high school.
I retired from USWest in 1999 with 42 years of service, and ten days later hired on with a startup telephone company, ATGI, based in San Jose CA, that was building a central office in downtown Tacoma. It supplied T1 and T3 data pipes for internet providers in the Tacoma and Olympia areas, and after 9/11 most of them folded up their tents. We would arrive at work on a Monday morning finding a dozen T1 lines in alarm from customers that just pulled out over the weekend leaving our Company with uncollectables. Obviously the alarm monitoring and reporting function the our Company was for the most part our customers responsibility. The main portion of ATGI's business was providing phone and data service to small businesses. However, when I worked for QWest, who has excellent alarm surveillance and reporting capabilities, the customer always reported carrier failures many minutes before our in house people reported them to us. The company went Chapter 11 after 9/11, and was eventually bought by General Electric. When I hired on I promised to stay for 5 years, and retired under GE's flag.
After retiring again, Vicki and I decided to downsize and moved to Eugene,OR. We had been coming to Eugene every year since we've been married, visiting Vicki's family and decided that would be an ideal place to retire. We have seven grandchildren, Three girls and a boy in Enumclaw and a girl and two boys in Hawaii. We have made several trips to Hawaii and one to Japan visiting my son and his wife Rieko a Japanese citizen, who are now living in Hawaii with their children.
We are adjusting to the more laid-back pace of living in Eugene, and have become avid fans of the U of O "Savage" Ducks, mortal combatants of the UW Dawgs.