Thank you to everyone who came out today to the Member Appreciation Day at the school. We had a great turnout, with a big span of classes represented: from the 1950s to the 20-teens! It was a real delight, sharing refreshments, memories, and stories together, and being able to give out some door prizes to a lucky few. The Archive Room was a popular spot, with several grads doing bonafide research in this historical treasure trove. We hope all participants had an enjoyable afternoon.
The March 2020 meeting of the Association's Board of Directors has been canceled. The Board normally meets at R.A. Long High School and RAL, as with all other Washington schools, will be closed until late April 2020 due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
At this time, we expect that the next Board meeting will be held as scheduled on April 28, 2020, at R.A. Long High School.
Leslie Stiebritz lived a long and industrious life. Born September 11, 1913 in Elk, Washington, Leslie passed away on October 28, 2017 at the age of 104. His family moved to Longview when he was 16 in 1929. Leslie arrived in Longview before his family by riding in a boxcar tending to his family’s personal belongings and farm animals. The rest of the family came to Longview in a car, meeting Leslie at the Kelso Train Depot a week later.
Jim was born in Libby, Montana, son of James and Bessie Mitchell. He attended R.A. Long for 4 years from fall 1945 to graduation in 1949. He married Marianne Peters (also an R.A. Long graduate). They had two children: James and Monty.
Jim says his vocational education experiences in Machine Shop and Auto Shop at R.A. Long High School were very helpful during his career in managing manufacturing companies, and with his hobby of restoring antique automobiles.
Over the years, many children have imagined and dreamed of being a firefighter. Sirens, lights, excitement, and danger can be definite draws.
The Firefighters Prayer, perhaps, says it all: ”When I am called to duty, God wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save a life, whatever be its age”.
Al Gillespie, a 1970 R.A. Long graduate, began his firefighting journey in 1977 as a volunteer. Three years later, he made it his career, and its trajectory took off like a wildfire.
Jim grew up in Longview and met his good friend and fellow R.A. Long Hall of Famer, Dan Little, on the way to their first day of kindergarten. They attended school together from kindergarten through college and remain good friends.
Jim and Lisa are the first married couple to be honored for Lifetime Achievement in the R.A. Long Hall of Fame. Both graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1985. Lisa was a cheerleader for four years. Jim was a varsity wrestler for three years and served as Team Captain, received Most Valuable Player, and placed in state his senior year.
The R.A. Long Volleyball program has a rich history of excellence. During the peak of their success in the 1980s, they qualified for the state tournament every year except 1986. Seven years after the Lumberjills’ first State Volleyball Championship, in November of 1990 under the guidance of first-year R.A. Long Head Coach Jackie Schlecta, the tradition extended into the next decade. The Jills were the 1990 2A State Volleyball Champions.