SGM Big Bear High School Education Foundation Alumni Newsletter
January 10, 2007
And the awards keep coming!!!
I opened the Press Enterprise on Tuesday, January 9, and there in the
headlines was the All State Selections for Small School Football for 2006.
Of course, Junior quarterback, Kriss Proctor was selected to the All State
first team along with teammates Christian Metzer, and Martin Mosley. The
honors continue for this 14-0 CIF championship team. Kriss was selected as
the player of the year in San Bernardino County and several of his teammates
were honored as All CIF players. Coach David Griffiths was also honored as
the coach of the year in San Bernardino County. The 2006 Football team
will go down in history as a year never to be forgotten in Big Bear Football
lore. Way to go boys, you made us proud!!!
The stories keep coming:
And playing football in the snow in Big Bear tales continue:
Congratulations of course on the successful Football and Cross
Country season. I was a little startled by Jim Emminger's note. I
don't have anyway of checking the records but when I was teaching
there in the early '50s we were always concerned about the
possibility of snow for a football game. At that time we played the
games on part of the Peter Pan Golf Course where the highway went
across from the Big Bear City side to the Fawnskin side--no bleachers
that I remember. Everyone was on the side line. I do not remember a
specific game when it snowed but everyone always said that Big Bear
never lost in the snow. There were apparently games played before
1951 where it had snowed or the field had snow on it and the story
that went around was that Big Bear never lost in the snow. We all
believed that it was true. If the sky looked a little dark we
considered that a good sign because we knew that if it did snow we
were going to win.
Received this e mail from Betsy Drews in early December:
Is this the one and only Al Waner from BB High school? I got this address
from Tracy Bradway e-mail and I wondered if it were the Al Waner we knew
from BB? I am sitting up here in a log cabin up by Mt. Adam and Hood in the
great state of Washington. We have several inches of snow, and more is
falling, at the moment. Before I go on and on, I guess I should see if you
are indeed my former principal. That would be something!
I wrote to Betsy:
Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Drews
Betsy wrote back:
Yes this is your former principal. You are
where????? Do you live on Mt. Adam or Hood in the cabin or are you just
visiting? How is your mom? Wow, talk about a voice from the past??? I
would love to hear more.
Hello. Yes, I do live in a log cabin very close to Mt. Adams, with my
significant other, John. We have enough snow to cover Snow Summit, quite
well, as a matter of fact, for the whole ski season! I am about to learn to
cross-country ski within the next day or so, partly out of necessity, and
partly for the sheer fun of it. We have to park the cars about 1/2 mile out
from the house and walk in with groceries and such, just like I did at Camp
Oakes! I guess I have been well broken in..hee...hee....
I responded and asked Betsy to share more. Here was her response:
Hmmmmm....... I have lots to share with you, but since we did just hike in
with the groceries and it is soooooo cold in the cabin, it will have to wait
until the morning , when I can sit up in a chair without turning into a
In brief, Mother is doing well and still working in the school district
here in Washington. Dad has divorced her and moved on in his life .
My brother, Tom, is married to the woman who created "Word" for Microsoft,
he has three children, and he works for Boeing up in Seattle.
I am divorced and have no children. I am also almost completely deaf.
Have a wonderful night and I hope to write a bit more tomorrow.
Greetings from the grand state of Washington, once again, where we have more
rain than foggy Londontown and more fishermen than Maine.
Today I received another letter from Betsy: I hope you get a chance to read
the rest of this wonderful story. Thank you Betsy for sharing. Al
If you enjoy a sloppy, wet, snow to sink your skis in, than this is the
area for you, of course not all folks around this part enjoy that kind of
"fun" and instead choose to throw the kayaks on the old Toyotas and drive
down to the White Salmon River to do a little extreme water sports. Not my
cup of tea......hmmmmmm speaking of, that does sound good right about now
since I am sitting in the cabin that has a temperature that rarely goes
above 50 degrees in the main room, and a tushy freezing 40 degrees in the
Big Bear was my place to shine, and I did shimmer for awhile since my move
here to the Columbia Gorge, but since then, I must admit, the glow about me
has all but faded.
My brother, Tom Drews, went on to his crowning glory in the new school,
achieving high academic marks and popularity among his peers as he lead the
local cross-country to many wins. After High school a move to Seattle to
attend the University led to even bigger jumps for him in Microsoft and
Boeing. He and his Wife, Ann, remember sitting in a little room , with
less than 25 people , to conduct a meeting with Bill Gates!
I did not fair as well as my "big brother" and have come to appreciate the
wonderful teachers of Big Bear who went the extra mile and looked at the
students as individuals who had individual needs. It is a wonderful gift to
be able to gather up the minds of a student body and support it as a whole,
but, yet, remember that within that structure remains the individual parts
that make it move, not unlike the clockmaker working on a delicate clock.
When I think of these wonderful artisans, names come to mind like Mr.
Stalcup and Mr. Chilcoat, who sometimes unorthodox techniques were the fuel
that set the rocket to space. Thank you teachers of Big Bear!
What I did not achieve academically, in Washington, I tried , in vain, to
make up for in softball, swimming, and track and field, and even though I
lettered in these things, it was never mastered. Never the way the sports
were mastered in Big Bear!
After High School, I made a move back to Fullerton and attempted to attend
a bible college, but I became disenchanted after 1 yr, and returned to
Washington and took a job as a chair lift operator up on Mt. Hood.
Mt. Hood, to all those who understand, is not skiable, unless you enjoy a
sloppy, wet, adventure, in which by the end of the day your three layers of
clothing will have come to mean nothing....hee...heee....
Well, that's all the news from the Columbia Gorge for now, and if it's fit
to print....runs the presses Al...Ha!
Be back with more soon.
Hi Al, once again.
My life is entertaining, I'm not sure about exciting, but I can certainly
squeeze a lot of life out of a moment.
My mother, Janet Drew, yes Drew, not Drews, as she has dropped the "S" off
of her last name since her divorce, wishes to extend a merry holiday season
to you and yours. She has also requested information on the Mrs. Waner. For
some reason Mother is too shy to write herself, so I guess that leaves me in
charge. Mother will turn 70 next year and that is the year she has finally
decided to lay her library books down to be shelved, in one final gesture to
all booklovers. She has enjoyed her many years as the librarian here in
Skamania County, Washington.
My story is much too long to write in one sitting, and will, indeed be
finished for you soon. In brief, No, their is nothing to be done for
bilateral hearing loss and nerve damage. It is hereditary and over many
years of searching I found both my natural parents, One who is deaf, and
several brothers and sisters, also many who are deaf. The last few years
has been a great challenge for me, I was nearly beaten down from the disease
of Lupus, but during the uncertainty of it all I traveled the entire US and
Canada, to make sure the beauty of this world would not escape me. Somehow,
somewhere along the way the disease went into remission and lays dormant
inside me, hopefully for the remainder of my blessed time. I went through
Times Square with cheering arms, the widest smile, and the most eager dog,
who stuck her head out of the window for the New York City Firefighters to
touch as we snuck between taxi drivers on the crowed street. On the way
back, John and I stopped through Roswell, New Mexico, where my natural
father resides, and shared two days of hugs, tears and laughter, as we made
our way through the UFO gift shops, and White sands to watch the Stealth's
fly overhead. I was told of great tales of Elvis, New Orleans, and many
famous musicians my father and Uncle played for down in the deep south. I
learned my Great, great relatives came across on the Trail Of Tears and
eventually became cattle ranchers in Texas.
Oh, what happy ears and heart I had!!
Oh, time to go to take Dijon, the mustard-colored dog to the doctor.
PS: Yes, that would be wonderful to have people write me, since I cannot
hear. I have wondered about Neal, Scott, Dennis Hall, Jeff Howell, and many,
many others. Thank you, Thank you!!!! I will send pictures soon. Please tell Neal "Hi" !!!!
I love to hear from the students of the past and would love to hear from
you. This email goes out to about 600 Big Bear Alumni. Tell me where you
are living and what has happened in your life. Al
Well, I hope you have an opportunity to write an email to Betsy. Her e-mail
is firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope you get
an opportunity to write to her.
As many of you know we have been working with the Harris
Publishing Company for more than a year in developing and printing an alumni
directory for Big Bear High. I received a call this last week and the
directory is now complete and will go on sale in the next couple of months.
If you have not been contacted by Harris Company and wish to purchase a
directory please let me know and we can have you get in touch with the
The SGM/BBHS Foundation is planning a capital campaign
to raise funds for the endowment that will greatly increase the scholarship
money offered each year to the graduating seniors of the High School. You
will be hearing more later.
Hope you have a Happy New Year. Al