Gary King (1961)

Hello, my name is Gary King and I went to Cleveland High School around 1961 than moved to Renton. I actually dropped out of Renton High School and joined the Navy when I was seventeen.
I was not a very good student; I was the class clown and always seemed to get in trouble. Once in the Navy I realized my mistakes and wished I had the chance to go back to school. My ship was one of the first ships to go to Viet Nam. My ship continued to go back & forth between Viet Nam and different ports for two years. I saw way more death than anyone should see at that age. Even though our ship was fired on many times, I feel lucky to have been in the Navy and on a ship rather than running through the jungle as were the Marines that we took down there. I did finish high school and went on to college afterwards.I am now an electronic component engineer, and own and run a recording studio.If I visit Seattle in the future I would be willing to talk to a class. Other than that maybe someone can just share my story with them.

I can't go back and have that time over, and neither will they. Enjoy your high school days and work on your future careers. Your quality of life depends on it. I thought I was funny and did not need or have to do homework or class work. Well, the laugh is on me, cause I have been struggling ever since. Every day, life was hard when I didn't have the foundation of reading writing and math skills. Once married I was embarrassed many times when I couldn't even help our daughter with her homework. She was in grade school doing what I did in high school when I dropped out. At the work place in meetings, there were times I had a good idea but could not get the nerve to speak up, thinking I would sound stupid or people would laugh. If I did speak up, I did not have the skills to convey the idea correctly, so even though it was a good idea, it would be tossed off to the side. I still feel like I am still me, the guy that was there at Cleveland High School, playing my trumpet in the band, just older. Yourself never changes, you are still you, not some old person once you grow older. But I know when I was sitting there the last thing I wanted to hear was some old guy telling me how important school was. That use to make me go the other way and say to myself "Well that is you buddy not me, I am just going to work on cars, I don't need this crap." Yes, that was pretty much my attitude. I hope there is a class clown or someone who just feels lazy that listens to this.

I was happy to serve my country in Viet Nam, and it did change me forever. Cleveland High School is where all my friends that I grew up with, graduated while I was in Viet Nam.
Thank You to all the teachers that tried to set me on the right path that are probably all dead and gone now.

US Navy Viet Nam 1963-1966

Gary King
8 Appomattox
Irvine, Ca. 92620



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