I spent a recent weekend splitting my personality between American Radio Theater’s annual Radio Studio, held at Pioneer Hall by Madison Park, and with 80+ members of my high school graduating class of 1961. The latter event was our 55th anniversary of graduation from Queen Anne High School. It brought back some warm memories of good teachers and classes which ‘rocked’ as far as both learning and entertainment can co-exist.
We talked about the many changes on and around Queen Anne Hill – looking across from the south end of Magnolia Bluff at the Seattle Yacht Club’s marina headquarters. A number of classes have held their reunions here, and it was a welcome venue in both site and hour choice – 4-8 p.m. Most could drive home while it was still fairly light out.
One of our alums worked on the construction of the silos at the southwest end of Queen Anne; another was a long-time ‘rival’ (friendly) of Phil Spaulding’s naval engineering and design firm (Phil was also a Queen Anne grad). We talked about the Cherberg family – John, in particular, who went from QA alum to UW player, Cleveland and Queen Anne high schools’ football coach (bringing city titles to both schools; then from there to UW coach, and finally, Lieutenant Governor of our state. Queen Anne grads do make a difference.
We discussed the disappearance of many single-family houses from Queen Anne, and the current craze of hand-held devices which keep humans from interacting with the people and environment around them. We watched the cruise ships depart from what were formerly the U.S. Naval Pier 91, and looked at the incredible growth of Belltown and downtown. We all remember that while we were in school, only two buildings defined downtown: the Smith Tower at the south end, adjacent to Pioneer Square, and the Northern Life Tower (now Seattle Tower) at Third Avenue and University Street.
Some things go well, but we are defined as much by the changes around us, especially the ones we rally against, and watch the constant beauty of the skies overhead, the occasional glimpses of Mount Rainier, and the seemingly never-ending flow of the waters of Puget Sound. It was a great evening, culminated by singing the alma mater and saying farewells to our friends, hoping that this won’t be the last time we get together.