Photos by Steve Shay
June 1 was West Seattle High School's All School Reunion. Pictured, Willis Shephard, Class of '42, brought his accordion. A yearbook photo of him in his music class was passed around. He lives in Tacoma, but grew up just a few blocks from the high school. L-R in the old photo are: Pat Loomis, Willis Shephard, Beverly Kloak, Donald Erlander, & Pat Wollenweber. Click on photo for SLIDESHOW.

SLIDESHOW: West Seattle High School All School Reunion 2012


The West Seattle High School All School Reunion 2012 gave both the young, and the young at heart, the chance to mingle, find familiar faces, and show school pride. Those arriving by the school's north side entrance.were greeted by a display of alumni-owned classic cars. A green '39 Pontiac with lots of character (see slideshow) attracted much attention.

West Seattle icon Cal Bannon, 91, graduated West Seattle High School the same year that Pontiac rolled out of the factory. And, you might say, he also has lots of character. We reported on his birthday celebration here.

"I have a lot of things to do yet even though I'm 91," said Bannon, who just returned from another reunion, in Branson, Missouri, thrown for World War II soldiers who served in China and Burma."

During the war he flew C-47's over the Himalayas into Tibet from northern Burma and recalls seeing Mt. Everest on a clear day.

A small contingent of Class of '42 grads were gathered in the same room, including Willis Shephard who played his accordion. A yearbook photo of him in his music class was passed around. He lives in Tacoma, but grew up just a few blocks from the high school.

"I started at Lafayette Grade School, and even saw that big dirigible the Macon fly over us," Shephard said. "I stood there and watched that big thing going over and I said, 'Oh my God!' I was amazed. It crashed shortly after that.

"My grandfather lived in a home near the school," said Shephard. "He was born in Utah in a Mormon settlement and was building things for the people up at the Gold Rush."

His classmates recalled their music teacher, Miss Phillips, at James Madison. They said she was a big lady who would stand by your desk and tell you to sing a song so that she'd know what level to place you.

Barbara (Moody) Edwards, Class of '79, was listening to her husband, Jim, play the trombone in the West Seattle Big Band in the auditorium. He was also Class of '79. He founded the band, originally made up mostly of West Seattle High School alumni.

"We met at Lafayette Elementary School, and both went to James Madison," she said.

Rick Hebron, Class of '67, was a track star back in high school.

"I ran a 9:31.9 two-mile in 1966," he said as he glanced at the track on his way to the car. "Now they generally run the 3200 meters (instead). I think I'm still probably the fastest (from this area). I was on the West Seattle High School track team and cross-country team. I went to Highline Community College and ran there. Then I attended Eastern Washington State (now University) and ran there. My best mile was a 4:12."

A Westwood resident, he grew up in a house less than a block from the high school, just behind the PCC market. He works at Seattle Pacific University. He does plumbing and electrical work.

He keeps things running.

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