William "Bill" Wershing, Jr.
What fun to get the opportunity to look back over the past 40+ years and to share those experiences with my fellow 1959 graduates of Catalina HS. I look forward to hearing about each person as they contribute to this project.
I have to admit that I haven't been in contact with anyone from our graduating class, with the exception of Ray Lindstrom and that was at least 30 years ago. So much for the promises we all make at graduation that we'll stay in contact "forever". But now we all have the chance to redeem ourselves.
I first met Carolyn, my wife of 40 years, in Los Angeles where I was spending time at the beach spending my college money, which as things have turned out, was a good investment. Indeed, when we met I was out of money and on my way to Chicago to replenish this fund. We "dated" via the phone and "snail-mail", as we lovingly call it today, until I returned West. This didn't take long, as I remembered that I definitely didn't "do" snow! I wound up briefly in Los Angeles, then to Phoenix where Carolyn agreed to marry me. We've been buddies ever since, a blessing we both share.
Over the course of our lives, we had two fine boys, John and Scott. John was killed in an accident at the end of his sophomore year in college. He will always be missed, but was a real gift to our family and our lives for the years we had him. Unlike his dad, Scott doesn't "do" the heat of Arizona, so he moved to the Pacific Northwest about 6 years ago to enjoy the milder climate of Portland. And although we always try to convince him that Phoenix is his home, he assures us his plan is to remain there. Scott married a lovely gal named Julie, and they remained married up until just recently. Although only they will understand all the "whys and wherefores" of the breakup, they do remain great friends. There are no grandchildren to brag about, which is somewhat of a disappointment, but perhaps at a later date.
Our corporate gypsy lives have taken us from Phoenix back to LA, and then far east to the "other" coast New York. However, after determining that the gypsy life wasn't for us, we returned to the Phoenix area and have been happily settled in Tempe, our home for over 30 years.
I have spent my entire career in Sales and Sales Management, specializing in developing new programs. I have been with Sigler & Reeves, Inc., the regional Carrier Distributors, for almost a decade. I came on board to establish the A/C Parts Division, and have just hung around to operate it from then on. I continue to work on new areas for the Company, and am thrilled that at age 63 I am offered new challenges and can make things happen.
As for hobbies, I lift weights, swim, bike, and power walk. The latter three are holdovers from my racing career, which I took up when I got sober (one addition traded in for another) in my late 30s. I had a decidedly undistinguished racing career (cycling, road racing and triathlon) for two reasons: First, I have no particular talent for any of the above or grouped together, for that matter. Secondly, I never raced weighing less than 230 pounds. I guess the only redeeming factor was I raced over 200 times (the last time at age 62), and never finished last (although I came close a bunch of times!). Makes one wonder why I have bothered.
My hope is that this finds each person from the class of 1959 as satisfied with their collective lives as I am with mine to date, and will remain excited about what the future has in store.
UPDATE FROM BILL...MAY, 2008
Just a note to tell you I have enjoyed the CHS1959 website. It is one of the better sites I have seen of its type. It is nice to see so many people have done well. It seems an extraordinary group, although I guess the folks serving "30 to life" don't brag about it on the class website.
It is hard to believe 48 years has passed since we got sprung. I image the statute of limitations is up on most of my better ideas and they wrote off the detention hours (weeks or months) I owed. Just as well as I'm pretty sure I was falsely accused and the student court couldn't grasp that.
In a move that surprised me, I retired in January of this year. I always swore I wouldn't retire, but I was increasingly playing the "if I had time game". It became evident I needed a sabbatical and since we don't do that in the private sector, I retired. I'm back in the weight room, on the bike and training for a ½ marathon, and returning to the pool. I did this once before, 17 years ago, but my goals are much less lofty now. Don't fall off, don't trip and don't drown. I'm happy to say that so far I have met my goals.