Episode 241

Published on:

3rd Sep 2022

Aberdeen High School Class of 1972 Tribute with Bruce Hilliard

Hey everyone! And welcome to the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show…the show that features recording artists and their work. That’s what we usually do but this episode is all about a party I’ll be playing in a week. It’s taking me back home to Aberdeen Washington or Warshington for the washing impaired.

Aberdeen, the town that put the Gator on the Animal House movie via Bill Murray who watched in person our hometown ritual dance, the Gator, performed at the Rocker by our beer soaked Schmenges flailing on the dance floor like freshly caught fish on a dock. He told someone at SNL and low and behold, the John Belushi Gator. 

Aberdeen was the childhood home of both football icon John Elway and Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers. William E. Boeing was a local and Nirvana sprouted out of a garage just down the street.

Most importantly to me are the friends and family that came with the magic of growing up there. I remember a happy childhood with neighbor kids everywhere. We were the baby boomers and we knew how to have fun. As a kid, I’d go to door of my buddie’s homes, knock politely and ask in my best Eddie Haskell voice if their precious child could come out and play with the well adjusted neighbor Bruce.

Then we’d go out and build a howitzer slingshot or blow something up. Hot air or hydrogen balloons with fuses, model cars with fuses, everything with fuses.

As I got into my 60s I found myself metaphorically going from door to door to see if anyone could come out and play. It seems in our old age we’ve become jaded and have seen and done it all. No one to play with anymore.

Until one day I received a call from Aberdeen friend Paul Koski asking if I’d like to take a three hour tour on his awesome boat with Ginger and Mary Ann. (I made up the Ginger and Mary Ann part but the boat was pretty cool.) Plus, I got to reunite with some people I hadn’t seen in a long time.

We did two of those boating day trips and had plans to travel to Finland to visit his relatives and see the sights. COVID put that on the back burner but last March we drove to Helena MT and back in four cold and snowy days. The goal? To deliver a car and visit with his brother-in-law and have fun. We did both. I’m so glad I got to know him beyond our teenage years.

He returned to his wife and home at Aberdeen Gardens to complete his new house. What was to be his final home I assume. He was killed working on it about a month ago in a tragic accident. He never moved in.

His friends gathered for a rememberance and there was still a sense of numbness. Those get-togethers can be so healthful and bring some smiles but for me there was a silver lining bonus of being asked to play a set at Aberdeen High School’s graduating class of 1972 reunion in a week. 

Now those guys graduated two years prior to my class of ‘74 but having known many of these classmates, my friend Paul being one, I said “yes, where, when” without hesitation.

So from my heart to all the Aberdeen High School Weatherwax graduates of 1972, here with us or gone, my song I’m Coming Home. There’s a line at the end: It’s not on a map, only a poet would know, I’m coming home.

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About the Podcast

Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show with Bruce Hilliard
Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.--Emile Coue
This is a platform, a stage for singers, songwriters and the creative to share their work, backstories and positive words.
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About your host

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Bruce Hilliard

Born in Seattle, raised in Aberdeen WA, Bruce Hilliard is a singer, guitarist and songwriter with a song list influenced mostly by pop/folk rock of the 60s-80s. He has been an opener for Heart, the Ramones, Dr. Hook, Wishbone Ash and Eric Burdon.
Early in his career Bruce completed Bachelor Degrees in Music and Journalism from Washington State University and, while never allowing a hiatus from performing and songwriting, joined corporate America in marketing and sales. That rocky road led him back to his passion and now records and performs live and with great appreciation to be back in his jam.
He currently resides in Mukilteo WA and hosts the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show. His musician interview based show has featured recording artists including John Oates; Grand Funk Railroad’s frontman Mark Farner; Steve Fossen, bass player and co-founder of Heart; drummer Carmine Appice; and Dave Bickler, lead vocalist (Eye Of the Tiger) of Survivor. The weekly half hour show has over 181 episodes and is becoming a strong platform for musicians of all levels to showcase their music and their backstories.