At Large In Ballard: The Beavers always win

By Peggy Sturdivant

I don’t know why I love quotes about beavers. My favorite is from a woman who had a run-in with one on her property, “I’ve lost all respect for beavers,” she was quoted as saying about the incident.

Let me go on record, I will never lose my respect for beavers. Have you seen their work by the pond at Golden Gardens lately? Which brings me to my second favorite quote (regarding the animal not any of the high school teams), “the beavers always win.” I recall that was a response from Seattle Parks in a 2014 interview.

Between the first settlers who logged Ballard for timber, and the large rodents who started and continue it, I would never bet against a beaver. In fact Ballard High School’s choice of the beaver as mascot could be a sign of its brilliance. Which brings us to the Golden Beavers. Hello BHS Class of ’67. You can finally join the Golden Beavers Association.

If you’re doing the math it’s obvious that membership begins when the graduating class is in its 50th year. Meanwhile the Golden Beavers Association celebrates its 30th anniversary luncheon. However to throw off our calculations the association was established by the Class of 1936 (but in 1987). The primary focus was, and is, to provide scholarships for deserving Ballard High School seniors.

On April 29, 2017 the Golden Beavers Association will hold their 30th scholarship luncheon, and if you’re a Golden Beaver you should be there.

Vice-President Dick Mitchell ’51 had passed along the Spring 2017 (Volume 31, No. 1) issue of The Golden Beaver Log, the association’s official news publication. I started reading the class notes and decided to call a few longtime contributors to find out if they were going to be attending the luncheon.

I started with the Class Secretary for the graduating class of 1933, Margie Nelson Conover. Her son answered the telephone for her and when I asked for her said, “My mom is 102 years old you know.”

I apologized because I mistakenly thought she was only 101, but she’d had a birthday in February since submitting her class notes. Conover lives at Ballard Landmark, the address for quite a few Golden (and not yet Golden) Beavers. Her additional class representative, Katherine (Kate) Blomeke Herndon, also lives there. Rather sadly they announced in Class News, “This is our swan song communiqué and we wish you all the best.”

Conover made a particular effort to keep up with others from their class through letter writing. “But so many have moved to California or are deceased,” she said. In the class notes for 1933 Conover and Herndon wrote, “Both of us are 101 years old and still on the go…However, Ballard has been displaced by cranes, condos, trucks and coffee houses.”

Conover expressed interest in attending the lunch but said she didn’t have anyone to go with. I could hear her son in the background, asking the date of the luncheon.

Next I spoke with Elizabeth Higgins, the eldest child of Caroline Heck Haga ’36, a member of the founding class. Higgins and her husband have recently moved in with her mother in Bothell, as Haga doesn’t drive anymore. “She’ll definitely be at the luncheon,” Higgins assured me. “She’s a big supporter and has been on the scholarship committee.”

On the advice of my friend Gerry Hansen ’49, I reached out to Karin Gorud Scovill ’44. She’s too busy to attend the luncheon this year as she’s clearing out her home for her sale, after relocating to Ida Culver. “It is a wonderful span of years,” she said of Golden Beavers, commenting on news of graduates dating to 84 years earlier. Scovill still does monthly lunches with other Ballard ladies from her graduating class and loves the achievements of the Golden Beavers Association. “It keeps the good work going,” she said of their scholarships.

Independently class reunions get planned, the Board of Directors meets quarterly. A committee reviews scholarship applications and The Golden Beaver Log is published twice a year. Their dues are $25.00/year of $100 for a lifetime membership. I hope members of the Class of 1933 went for lifetime membership.

In terms of community, longevity and thirty years of good works, I rest my case. The Beavers always win.


State Senator Reuven Carlyle will be feature speaker for the 11:30 a.m. April 29, 2107 luncheon at Ballard High School Commons. For more information contact Dick Lee at 206.391.5555or rjlee@seattleschools.org.

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