David came to CA in 1963 as a Seventh Grade boarding student from Kansas City. “CA was the best thing that ever happened to me.” He lived in both Howard House (opened in 1960) and Stevens House (opened in 1964). He fondly remembers his dorm masters Bob and Pat Simms, Dylan Evans, and Mr. Frank Slevin. Roommates included 1969 alumni Don Dodge, Charles Cavness, Monte Pearson, Gary Chavez, and ’68 alumnus Jeff Baker. As David recalls, boarding students maintained curfews at 10:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11:00 p.m. on Friday, and midnight on Saturday. Of the approximately 90 boarding students, 30-40 went home for the weekends.
As a full-time boarding student, David was on campus over the weekends, eating all his meals with Harry McGinnis, who ran CA’s food service program. David’s memories of Harry include breakfasts at 7:00 a.m. Friday evening “Steak Night” once a month was a favorite among the boarding students. Other staff on campus with whom David cultivated strong bonds were operations staffers, Joe Marino and Elio Sotolongo.
Faculty who left a lasting impression on David are Dr. Tom Fitzgerald, 9th Grade Government and Baseball Coach and Cam Witherspoon, Social Studies and 8th Grade Basketball Coach. David still stays in contact with them. Other faculty to influence David were Assistant Headmaster Tom Lee and Upper School Math teacher, Tom Wood. Bob Simms, Athletic Director and coach of many sports, and Pat Simms were also a huge part of David’s CA experience.
A highlight of each spring at CA was the Annual River Trip, a three-day Memorial Weekend tradition. Hatch River Expeditions of Vernal, Utah supplied the rafts and guides. As David remembers, CA’s Kayak Team spent all winter building kayaks for the trip with Ernest “Tap” Tapley in his woodshop in the old Welborn barn. David recalls Allen Cranmer and Peter Stonington among the students who built kayaks for the trip.
David attended ASU with Mark Reed and had a brief radio career, and he said it was tough on family life. David lived two years in Denver at which time he served as Alumni Board President. He recalls Alumni Board Meetings at Chuck Froelicher’s home in Denver. He then returned to Kansas City with his wife, Cindy, and started a very successful career in insurance.
Giant Relay Day Memory:
David was part of the Alumni Relay Team in 1977. It was the second year that alumni were invited to race against the students and faculty. This tradition continues today. David’s leg of the race was running up Pierce Street to the old soccer field, behind the gym next to Pinehurst Country Club, and via Wright Field to Woody’s Pond. He remembers it as long run.
To read David’s letter to alumni on May 2, 1997, click HERE