|On The Quad
Class of 1936 | Class of 1950
Family and friends gathered in Tucson in January of 2007 to celebrate the 90th birthday of Carl Stevenson. Now 93, Carl was born December 28, 1917 in Hollywood. His father Walter died in the 1918 from a flu epidemic when Carl was only 16 months old. Growing up Carl was active in the Boy Scouts, ran track and joined the swim team at high school in North Hollywood. He graduated from U.C. Davis in 1940 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. During his college years he spent in a variety of activities including work as a lifeguard, climbing to the top of Mt. Whitney and working on ranches in Wyoming and Colorado.
After graduation Carl was drafted for one year of service in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 5th Cavalry. On December 7, 1941 Carl was on a train traveling from Los Angeles to Ft. Bliss, TX for discharge. The train received word at Yuma that Pearl Harbor had been bombed and consequently all discharges were cancelled. Carl was assigned to the veterinary General Hospital and was the only non-veterinarian to head the Army School of Horseshoeing. During the war Carl served in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany in support of the Moroccan troops. In 1945 Carl and 10 other men were assigned to provide mules and to set up a Veterinary Hospital behind General Patton's advancing tanks across the Rhine into Germany.
Carl returned to California after the war, spent the summer of 1946 in Wyoming and later helped a friend run the Island Mountain Ranch in Northern California. In 1947 he married Pat Fritz.
Carl was hired by Farmers Investment in 1951 to build the FICO Feedyardsat Continental in Sahaurita, AZ. Carl was active on both the Continental and Red Rock School Boards.
Carl and Pat started Red Rock Feeding Company in 1965, today managed by son Dave. Pat died in 1971. An annual scholarship established in her name at the University of Arizona still exists today. In 1973 Carl married Betty Schroeder and purchased the first of his 4 sailboats docked in San Diego.
Carl's celebration ended with a reading of a proclamation from the Civic Club from the city of Los Angeles on the 1918 death of Carl's father. His children felt the attributes in the resolution match the integrity and achievements Carl has accomplished. Carl has been president of two cattle associations, a lifetime achievement award, outstanding agriculturist of the year, cattleman of the year and stockman of the year award from 4 organizations.
When I have trouble remembering 60 minutes ago, 60 years seems a terribly long time ago. My first exposure to any school was the eighth grade at NHJH. It was a frightening experience joining over 400 of North Hollywood's brightest as they entered their teen years. But, this was a great and talented group of people, quite unlike any other, and I was most fortunate to become part of this scene. I remember Mrs. Troost who taught science and the kids she placed in a closet for being rowdy. I remember Mrs. Harrison teaching American History and saying that most of the presidents in the late 1800's did very little (a bit like the 1900s). I remember taking typing with Mrs. Phips who played great jazz records (and the thumping from the upstairs study hall to keep it quiet). I remember coach Carl Haney, head of Boy's PE who was the brother of Fred Haney, the baseball czar. He and his wife ran a store called Haney's chocolates on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. But, of course, most of all, I remember Mr. Immel and the band bungalow, truly unforgettable. One day I was talking to Jack Mills and he said, why don't you join the Glee Club, it's great fun." So, a few days later I went over and auditioned (I had never sung a note before in my life.) And, you know, Mr. Immel said, "Why don't you join us?" Thus opening a whole new world for me.
And fun! Well, many are the stories one could tell. First, there were all those "Shaggy dog" tales Immel pulled from many gigs with local dance bands. Like the one about a boy run over by a steamroller. Mr. I came upon him and decided to take him back to his home. When he arrived, no one was there, the doors were all locked, and so, finally in desperation, Mr. I simply slid him under the front door. Stories like this always took about 30 minutes to tell, and brought down the house. Later in band I remember Friday assemblies and marching down the hallways of the main building playing as loudly as we could; the echoes were horrific and great fun. Who could know these would be memories for a lifetime. I remember Peggy Barton, always full of life, playing the bass drum in the Junior High band. Once we spent all day at Occidental College to win the all city band contest. I remember a great group in 9th grade social studies where we would work together on special projects. There was Joanne Nelson, a desk mate in that class, who later married Gary Granville and became a neighbor fifty years later in Orange, California. I remember a red headed kids, new from the East Coast who made paper airplanes in our algebra class -- Marty Milner. This new world I joined became a great experience.
But high school was different. We had to start all over again in the 10th grade to establish ourselves as acceptable Huskies. I remember the 49ers had their special "tree," a large palm near Frasher Hall. Here we would meet for morning breaks and for lunch. I remember Pete Van Vechten, Charlie Silverberg, Sally Crassweller, Carol Jacobson, Bob Lee, Paul La Cava, Bill Knoblock, and many others that hung around this tree. I remember geometry with Mrs. Merrill, an excellent math teacher and friend. I remember Mr. Graham and his history class, Mr. Betts for math, Miss Randolph for Senior problems and Foxy Smith, Swede Nelson, Paul Xanthos, and Mr. Elliott, all the PE department. I remember Mrs. Byrd, who sold popcorn from a booth near the field gate. I remember locker doors that always stuck, Mr. Holt cruising the halls, and Miss Hughey, Mrs. Hutchinson, and Mr. Johns of the music department and those annual musicals they prepared.
I remember reading the New York Times each morning in the library with Elwood Chandlee, Harry Weber, and Jim Hart. I remember the librarian; Mrs. Cordelle who became very upset once when I said the Junior High Library was better because it had newer books. I remember signing up for the ROTC band and being chewed out the first day, and quitting on the spot. I remember taking private harmony lessons from a Dr. Melita Krieg (Beethoven incarnate) and going to a recital where Chuck Knettles played a piano solo. I remember Friday afternoons with free tickets for the L.A. Philharmonic and taking the "Red Car" down town through the subway tunnels. I remember passing a tall dark haired girl in the hallways that always smiled at me -- Susan Sontag. I remember talking to Anne Lawrence one day on the post Office steps about going off to Europe. I remember the Hollywood Malt Shop owned by the Alex family that included Connie and Nick. I remember mushroom burgers at the Munch Box across from the library, and late night chilidogs at Cupids, and the "best" chocolate malts at Tiny Naylor's, and all the kids who snuck into the side doors at the El Portal on Saturday afternoons. I remember playing tag football on Sunday afternoons in the park with Bill Pagones, and others. I remember Bob Gurr and his Model-A car "Miss Carriage" never realizing that designing wheels could become a career. And I remember Jim Hart, a great friend who introduced me to the magic world of music and performance, singing in choirs and operettas, going to piano lessons, playing the church organ, building sets, and living in the fantasy world of the theatre. We even scored a musical called "Reap the Harvest" created by one of the authors of the first movie "The Squaw Man."
Much has faded from memory of these times. The many hours of homework, rehearsals, practicing, and listening to music. It all seems so dim now. And others may recall different things that somehow stick to the memory, often for no reason at all. High Schools is such a short time, and yet so important. It marks the end of one journey and the opening of another that may last much longer. "The world at our fingertips, ours to grasp." Our school was made up of some really great people: caring, eager, creative, and ready to search out the best of life. It was a great time to grow and become a part of the American Life. I remember the 49'ers, the last class of the forties and our last reunion of the century.
Submitted by: Bill Way June 27, 2009