Best Character Actor Awards at Wichita High School North
Thespians: Best Character Actor, 1965. Graduated from Wichita High School North, 1967.
Left: Thespians 1965 Best Character Actor Award, Chess Set, and Mount Fuji.
The wooden piece with "1st Lt. J. A. Green, Commanding" was used my father in WWII.
Right: Wichita High School North, 2003. The theatre is shown West & South of the Tower.
North High 1967 Tower Yearbook: Thespians, Thespians1, Thespians2.

A scene from North High's Tower Yearbook, 1967.
Thespians at Wichita High School North was a taste of society like I had never enjoyed before: life became an exciting course of love and honor. If they had not told me about the stage, I would have missed out on a group of us who knew how to get our act together and celebrate every play with a victory party, the so-called cast party. As I recall, I got two Best Character Actor awards over the years, one for my role in The Madwoman of Chiallot and another for my role as a general in The Mouse That Roared, my favorite role. My voice carried, and I was in every play that I auditioned for. At Wichita High School North I was also in Dino as a psychologist, and at West High in my junior year I played Mr. Van Zandt in The Diary of Anne Frank. In my senior year at North High I played the Duke of Norfolk in A Man for All Seasons, and "Stonehenge" in Denny and the Witches by Andy Brown, which starred Rob Bailey as Denny. I got kissed for it by a number of pretty girls, and that always turned me on. I was physically robust, bench pressing 345 lb. in my senior year, but preferred the theatre to sports. On the other hand, brother Rick became a superb gymnast who could put on an amazing show on the high bar. I went to a few power lifting meets with Lynn Stephens, an intellectual pal who was into football, but that had no connection with high school. I believe I got into power lifting through the YMCA. I found high school very enjoyable, and enjoyed picking up geometry, trig, history, and touch typing, which was perhaps the most valuable skill I acquired. I won a Spanish-speaking contest one year, but did not really master another language until my university years, when I picked up German. Math was hard for me until I finally mastered calculus in 1971-1972 during my Junior Year Abroad in Bonn, Germany, after which my mind could zoom though most subsequent courses in mathematics, physics, and engineering. I had turned around: In 1967 my favorite albums were probably Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme by Simon and Garfunkle, and Surrealistic Pillow by the Jefferson Airplane. The Viet Nam war was raging, and Light My Fire by the Doors was ringing in our ears together with Strange Days, and the movie of the day was The President's Analyst starring James Coburn. I stayed in school and the draft passed me by. I feel lucky to be alive after those years and pleased to be passably sane and on the beam. Later the whole episode reminded me of The Stars My Destination, a science fiction novel by Alfred Bester, as if the author had foreknowledge of our times far before that period.



Above: John MARShall Middle School, 7th-9th grades, 1961-1964
In 7th Grade (1962) my lovely classmate Shelly Smith lent me a copy of David and The Phoenix by Edward Ormondroyd. In the story, the Phoenix was a very old bird being pursued by a scientist, while David accompanied him, and at the end of the story the Phoenix built a pyre and rose again as a new bird from its ashes. It reminds me of coming back from unemployment using a resume. Years later in 1993, when I saw the Wing-Robe of Orion rise in the East at Christmas to pursue his love Andromeda across the sky, I knew it was the Phoenix, and that it was Jean and I, too. Recently I thought I saw the Phoenix in the clouds. Sometime around 1992 I saw Shelly Smith again, by accident in a Quik Trip near John Marshall, and she was even more beautiful than she had been in 7th grade, with long, lovely blonde hair and shades, and she informed me with a smile that she had changed her name to Shelly Shanks. The Beatles were going strong by 1964. I remember sitting in a classroom in 7th grade when an announcer came over the public address system with the assassination of President Kennedy. I started exercising systematically in Junior High School, and remember doing 20 pull-ups in 9th grade, which was tops at that session. At West High later on I reached up and did a single pull-up with just one arm, surprising myself and my gymnasium coach, who had never seen it done before. For some reason, Latin was taught in Junior High, and I studied that, but my favorite courses then were American History and World History.


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North High Class of 1967 Reunion in 2007
The North High Class of 1967 Reunion Newsletter


YouTube selection from the 1967 North High Reunion in 1977.
A fragment assembled from the 30-minute DVD version available in 2007.

Press for North High Class of 1967 Reunion News.
Left: In front of the North High Theater with the 40th Class Reunion, beneath the Tower ghost, in a lab smock.

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