Anaheim High’s Connection to Jerry Lewis

A bit of fun trivia has come to light with the recent death of Jerry Lewis. Did you know that Anaheim High has a connection to this comedy great through Class of 1933 graduate Marie Wilson?

Katherine Elizabeth “Maybelle” Wilson – a.k.a. Marie Wilson –grew up in Anaheim. An inheritance helped her fullfill her dream of becoming a Hollywood starlit. Maybelle dropped her family nickname and transformed herself into radio, TV and film star Marie Wilson, a voluptuous blonde bombshell who earned three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Marie earned national recognition for her role in “My Friend Irma,” the title role of a radio series that became one of the most popular shows of the late 1940s. The radio show evolved into a TV series from 1952 to 1954, which then led to two movies titled, “My Friend Irma” and “My Friend Irma Goes West” featuring the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

More about this famous Anaheim High graduate is available via this link.

A History of Anaheim Principals

The first regular high school classes were held on the second floor of Central School beginning in 1898.

The appointment of Anaheim High’s first alumnus principal has inspired the Alumni Association to take a closer look at the men and women who have filled this top position going back to 1869.

Robert Saldivar, a Class of ’96 graduate, is Anaheim High’s newest principal and its first alumnus to fill that position.

He follows in the footsteps of 23 other men and woman who have led the high school, starting with James Miller Guinn in 1869.

Click here to see a complete list of Anaheim principals and view available photos and bios.

Click below to see a gallery of available photos:

Gallery of AHS Principals

Sources: AHSAA Archives, Anaheim Library Heritage Center, “One To Twenty-Eight – A History of the Anaheim Union High School District” by Louise Booth, Natural History Museum Foundation, Los Angeles County, WorldCat record id: 23250333, and the description of Papers of James Miller Guinn, 1824-1918 (bulk 1870-1918),Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, WorldCat record id: 299167713.

C. P. Evans – Anaheim Principal – 1898-1900

1898-1900 – C.P. Evans

C.P. Evans, who for 33 years was a teacher in the public schools in different parts of California, was the person who convinced the Anaheim school board to begin classes for 9-12 graders on the second floor of Central School in 1898, the year considered the offical start of a high school in Anaheim.

Evans was born in Cleburne County, now Calhoun County, Alabama, June 30, 1857. His father, W. H. Evans, was a Methodist minister who, in the fall of 1871, brought his family to California and settled in Farmington, San Joaquin County. He later became connected with the public schools of the district as a teacher and afterward followed the same occupation in Modesto, Stanislaus County, where he died in 1875.

C.P. Evans was still a child when his father located in Modesto, and he received his education in the public schools of the district. In March, 1876, he received his teacher’s certificate and taught school near La Grange for four years. In order to gain the advantages of special training and equipment he entered the State Normal School at San Jose and was graduated in 1883. His previous work had been so successful that it was with no difficulty that he obtained schools and he taught in Santa Barbara County for a number of years.

Eventually he went to Orange County and spent two years farming land near Anaheim. He then became principal of Loara Elementary School.

At this point in time, high school classes were not being taught in Anaheim after the departure of Anaheim’s first school principal James M. Guinn, who became the superintendent of Los Angeles schools in 1881.

Class of 1899

In 1898, Evans convinces the school board that classes should extend past the ninth year and high school classes officially begin on the second floor of Central School. Evans becomes principal and, assisted by Miss Helen French, they teach a student body of 39 student, 17 boys and 22 girls in grades nine through twelve. He serves as principal from 1898 to 1900.

He next accepted the position of principal of the National City High School and, afterward, taught four years in the Julian high school. In 1908, he returned from Julian to National City and bought 10 1/2 acres near town and planted lemon trees. His ranch was considered one of the finest and most attractive properties in the section, situated on an elevation just outside of the city and commanding a fine view of the surrounding country.

Evans made substantial improvements to the property and installed every modern appliance to facilitate his labors, constantly implementing new and progressive methods, helping increasing his crop output each year, helping him net $10 an acre annually.

Evans married, in 1878, Miss Alice M. Fincher, a native of Missouri, and they had one daughter, Alva P.

He was a member in the Masonic order, being connected with South West Lodge, No. 283, A. F. & A. M., of National City, and was master of the lodge, while he is also well known in the affairs of the Woodmen of the World.

During the long period of his identification with school teaching his ability and force of character made him an important factor in educational expansion in the state and, although he has abandoned direct connection with school interests, he has nevertheless begun a work which is being carried forward to completion along modern lines of progress.

Adapted from “A History of San Diego County”  –  S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1913

Chester R. Shirk – Anaheim Principal 1962-1968

1962-1968 – Chester Shirk

Chester Shirk’s career with the Anaheim Union High School District began in 1938 when he came to Anaheim High as a math teacher and coach.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Shirk returned to Anaheim in the Fall of 1946.

When population growth spurred the District to build more schools, Shirk was assigned to serve as a vice principal at Western Junior High, serving under Principal R. Kenton Wines.

Western was a junior high from 1954 to 1957. The first year for a complete senior high school was 1959 with the first graduating class in June 1959.

He then served as principal of  Brookhurst Junior High, which officially opened Nov. 12, 1956, at 601 N. Brookhurst Ave., on land that had been used for Anaheim High farm and agricultural classes.

Shirk served as principal for just the first semester before he was called to help tranform Western from a junior to senior high school and became its first principal, a position he filled until coming to Anaheim High in 1962. He served as principal until 1968.

During his tenure at Anaheim High, Shirk was elected president of the CIF Southern Section Council. He served in that position from 1966-67. For many years, he was one of the leaders in the council and a representative of the powerful Sunset League.

Documentary of Historic ’56 Football Game Endorsed by AHS Hall of Famer, NFL Coach Jim Fassel ’67

With nearly half of the $24,000 goal realized for initial funding, Anaheim High’s Jim Fassel (’67) is working with film maker Paul Molina to push for the final amount needed to turn a documentary of  the historic 1956 CIF championship football game into a realty.

Click here to view Jim’s promo!

With hundreds of hours of research, filmed interviews and footage already in place, “A Last Hurrah” is closer to being realized. The documentary is aimed at PBS audiences, and a special Orange County premiere of the film is being planned for sometime in 2018.

All donations are tax deductible if made through the AHSAA. Mail to P.O. Box 389, Anaheim, CA 92815. Please write “A Last Hurrah” in the check memo line.

Let us know your donation is in the mail by dropping a note to anaheimalumni@yahoo.com.

Depending on the donation amount, acknowledgment gifts are available, including premiere tickets, a copy of the game film and program, or even a film credit if you want to see your name in lights. Donations will also be acknowledged on the project website: www.alasthurrahmovie.com.

Questions may be addressed to Paul Molina at 651-492-2011 or alasthurrahmovie@gmail.com

Click here to see photos from Anaheim High’s recent 60th anniversary celebration of the game with former players, cheer, yell leaders and fans.

Thanks for your support of a project that immortilizes Anaheim High’s football program led by Hall of Famers Clare Van Hoorebeke, Mikey Flynn and other legendary Colonist players.

 

 

Football + Fassel = New Fitness Center at AHS

Jim Fassel with Colonist athletes who will benefit from new fitness equipment.

What do you get when you add an alumnus who grew up on Anaheim High’s athletic fields with access to Grade A exercise and training equipment? Happily, for AHS, the answer is a new fitness center, a first for the Colony campus.

Three semi-trucks filled with state-of-the art weight room, training equipment, furniture and more has been donated to Anaheim High by alumnus Jim Fassel (’67). Ultimately, the donation will fill two refurbished rooms remembered by some alumni as the auto and machine shops. These large workspaces will house equipment valued at more than $100,000 to create a fitness center and a top-notch training room. Fassel has also funded new flooring for the facility that will be named the “Fassel Family Fitness Center” once approval is received by the AUHSD.

Bud Fassel working on a pair of shoulder pads.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Anaheim athletes were shaped and guided by Jim’s father, Bud Fassel (‘39), who served as right-hand man to Clare Van Hoorebeke in his role as equipment manager. But Bud did much more than care for athletic equipment, according to Gerald “Woody” Woodward from Class of ’59, who serves as AHS Alumni Association president.

“Bud counseled, guided and supported the young men who were part of the Anaheim High athletic program,” said Woodward. “He cared for the kids and was a father figure to us all.“

Woodward said there were many occasions when Bud asked his wife to pack extra sandwiches in his lunch that he shared with students too poor to afford lunch.  He also hired students to work in the equipment room so that they could afford to buy lunch or pay for the medical insurance that the student-athletes had to purchase. “He was one of the most caring and generous people I have ever known.”

AHSAA President Gerald Woodward congratulates Luis Amaya, recipient of the Bud Fassel Memorial Scholarship.

Bud’s impact was evident when, in 1992, hundreds of former students and athletes attended his funeral to honor him for his more than 25 years at Anaheim High. His contribution to Anaheim High continues today through an annual Bud Fassel Memorial Scholarship.

Bud’s son was among the outstanding athletes produced by Anaheim High. From the days of playing football at AHS, Jim went on to a successful career in the world of football. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1997, and he took the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001. Most recently, he served as head coach, manager and president of the Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League, winning several UFL titles during the league’s existence. He also works as an ESPN sports announcer.

Jim’s son, John Fassel, is also walking in his grandfather and fathers’ footsteps. Once a ball boy for his father at the University of Utah in 1976, John was recently named interim head coach for the LA Rams, taking a break from his usual position of special teams coordinator.

Once the new fitness and training centers are complete, the Colony community will be invited to the grand opening in 2017 to celebrate this outstanding donation by one of Anaheim’s favorite sons.

Colonists Connect at 2015 Membership Mixer

Cynthia and Mickey

Cynthia Roybal holds up her ’73 yearbook showing a photo of herself and a historic photo of AHS football great Mickey Flynn ’57.

The Anaheim High School Alumni Association 2015 Membership Drive Mixer was held Monday, June 15, at alumni-owned M3Live restaurant and event center in Anaheim. The event featured entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, entry into an opportunity drawing for special prizes, a silent auction, memorabilia display and a no-host bar.

The mixer kicked off the Association’s seventh year of supporting today’s Colonists. Thanks to alumni generosity and community support, the AHSAA has donated nearly $100,000 to Anaheim High and its students.

Thanks to M3Live owner Musa Madain from AHS Class of 1984, who helped sponsored the event and to all who donated great prizes for the opportunity drawing and silent auction.

Coach Brant Cowser (1925-2014)

BRANT COWSER (September 1925 – March 2014)

Across four decades as a teacher and a coach, Brant Cowser made an indelible contribution to Anaheim High School, and was an important member of the Colonist varsity football and boys basketball programs during the school’s legendary heyday. By every measure, he was Blue & Gold through and through. [Read more…]