The Eatonville High School Class of 1959 will celebrate its 60th reunion this year, with events scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 3. There will be an informal lunch gathering at the Eatonville Arts Festival, a possible tour of the old high school building in the afternoon, and an informal, catered dinner at the home of Sharon and John Erickson in the early evening. 

To get your name on the catering list or for more details, call Sharon Erickson at (253) 847-2538, Kathy Mettler at (360) 832-4922, or Lee Kramer at 206-932-8662.

“We had a small class 36 graduates. Most classes were in the 50 to 60 person range. I haven’t been able to fact check this, but it’s my impression that at one time we had the highest number of our class who completed four years of college.” Lee Kramer said,. “It reflects rather well on the quality of the faculty. As kids we were quite fortunate.”

Kramer said it was his impression that at the time, the district got a lot of its funding from timber sales within its boundaries. He said it was a small district, people-wise, but land-wise it was a larger one.

He said the world to a high school graduate in 1959 is “kind of a different ball game” than in 2019.

“When I was graduating, just in the area of race relations, there were no Asian kinds, and no black kids, and if you were Native American, you hid it. Now, with social media, we’re much more connected.”

Job prospects were different for high school graduates then.

“I was on a path to college, but even if you weren’t, things were looking pretty good,” he said. “There was a lot of optimism. Job prospects and the job market are a little different—- I don’t think things were positive as they were .”

He went on to Whitman College in Walla Walla, and wound up with a degree in French literature but spent his career in marketing.

“I have to credit Al Smith my high school adviser, who taught French. He said, ‘Why don’t you apply to Whitman?’ I said I couldn’t go there — it’s too high end,” he said. “But he said I was just the person for it, and it gave me a really strong base in liberal arts. I spent my junior year studying at the Sorbonne.”

Kramer said he thought he would go into the Foreign Service, but I didn’t like the idea of spending 30 years outside the United States. 

“I wound up in marketing and had a very successful career doing that and doing what I love,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was a passion, but it was something I enjoyed.”