2015 Hall of Fame Inductees
Hitoshi G. Sameshima
Mr. Hitoshi G. Sameshima was born in1921 in Pasadena and graduated
from John Muir
Technical High School in 1939. He was selected in the category of
Government Service. At Muir he was in the Japanese Club and on the
track team with Jackie Robinson. He remembered when Jackie left a
baseball game in his baseball uniform and ran the 100 in his
baseball uniform and cleats and won the race. After Muir, he went to
the University of Southern California (USC). He was at USC when the
Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1944, throwing his life and his
family into chaos. In his junior year he and his family were
relocated to the Gila River Relocation Camp (concentration camp) in
Arizona where they spent the next 3 ½ years. He was allowed to leave
the relocation camp to attend the University of Denver in Colorado.
In July 1944, shortly before his final exams, which he completed
early and passed, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to
Military Intelligence School in Minnesota. Because of his Japanese
language skills, he served as a POW interrogator in the Philippines.
He felt much discrimination interrogating Japanese prisoners of war
as they felt he was being a traitor. After the war, he was sent to
Tokyo as part of the occupation services and served as translator
and court interpreter for the 8th Army Judge advocate General during
the war crime trials.
While serving in Tokyo, he met and subsequently married Utako
Yanagihara in 1947. They moved to Pasadena and his daughter Linda
graduated from Muir in 1969. Both Utako and Linda pre-deceased
He worked for Los Angeles County and retired in 1985 as
a Supervising Deputy Purchasing Agent, responsible for purchasing
material and goods for all the county hospitals. After the 1971
earthquake in Sylmar, CA, he personally inspected the damaged
structures, including the Olive View Hospital, to verify that the
contents needed to be replaced. He was active in several
organizations in a leadership role, including: President of the
Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Club of Southern California;
Volunteer and Docent at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM);
the Go for Broke National Education Center; the Crown City Optimist
Club; the VFW Post 1961 and the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Center.
He served as a docent at the JANM for 24 years and received their
Outstanding Volunteer award in 1994.
In 2011, he was among the group of Nisei (2nd
generation Japanese-American) veterans from World Wat II to receive
the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony that he proudly attended
in Washington, D.C. This award was given collectively to the Nisei
veterans for their dedicated service in the U.S. Army in the 100th
Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the
Military Intelligence Service.
Hitoshi received an honorary degree from USC in May, 2012, along
with eight other Japanese- American former students and eventually
earned his degree from the University of Denver.
In addition to his many activities, Hitoshi was on the Southern
California Community Committee of American Heroes: Japanese American
WWII Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal, which was a
traveling display and was shown at the JANM in 2013.
Hitoshi passed away on May 15, 2014 at age 93.
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments in
the field of Government Service, John Muir High School and the John
Muir High School Alumni Association are proud to induct Mr. Hitoshi
G. Sameshima into its Alumni Hall of Fame for 2015.
Accepting his award wase his niece, Cynthia Yuge (Muir
c/o 1972) and her sisters Joyce Yuge, (Muir c/o 1964), Carolyn Yuge,
(Muir c/o 1962) and (Nadine Ishizu, (Muir c/o 1960).
Nolan (Smith) Shaheed
Nolan Shaheed graduated from John Muir High School in 1967 and
was selected in the category of Performing Arts. At Muir he
played in the Band, was a member of the Barristers Association
(Law Club), was a member of the Tri-M Society (Modern Music
Masters), and ran track and cross country.
At Washington Junior High School in Pasadena, he played
the violin but he thought the it was kind of a sissy-fied
instrument. Then he heard Louie Armstrong on the radio and asked
his parents to buy him a trumpet. The rest is history.
At Muir he became interested in running track, but due to low
grades, his parents pulled him from track and insisted he bring
his grades up. Suddenly his trumpeting began to suffer. His
trumpet teacher (Bob Rithauler) said he would be better in the
trumpet if he started running track again and the teacher was
correct. “It seemed like the better I ran, the better my trumpet
playing got,” Nolan admitted on a 2011 radio interview.
Nolan is an accomplished jazz trumpeter and music
director. He has played with many of the great musicians of the
20th century including Count Basie, Stevie Wonder (he was his
Musical Director), Marvin Gaye (he was his Musical Conductor),
Diana Ross, Jeannie & Jimmy Cheatham, Anita Baker, Teddy
Edwards, Phil Collins, Freddie Hubbard, The Duke Ellington
Orchestra and Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra, Eddie Harris,
Francisco Aquabea, Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines, Ray Charles
and many, many more.
Nolan suggests that meeting with and working with his
mentors that influenced him and his career has also impacted on
his success. He specifically mentions the respect he has had
from the following individuals: Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie,
Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Natalie Cole.
When he is not playing his trumpet, running cross county meets,
directing and producing plays, he will probably be in his home
studio and conducting private sessions for some of the top jazz
musicians based in Los Angeles. Since he mastered studio
engineering, a number of jazz luminaries have produced their CDs
in his studio. Some of these include stellar songstress Barbara
Morrison, master pianist/organist Bobby Pierce, outstanding
drummer Alphonse Mouzon, extraordinary bassist Henry “The
Skipper” Franklin, phenomenal saxophonist Azar Lawrence,
internationally acclaimed saxophonist Bennie Maupin and many
Today, Nolan has mastered both of his passions; music
and running. His double life includes smashing a 1500 meter
world record in 2011, at age 61, and being dubbed by some as the
greatest middle distance runner of all time when he ran the
equivalent of a 4:46 mile. Also, he holds the world records in
the 800 meters and mile and American records in the mile and
3000 meters. Our very own trumpet master, Nolan Smith Shaheed,
suddenly started beating familiar distance runners and Olympic
hopefuls, inspiring USA Track and Field to name him Athlete of
the Week that same year. As a senior citizen, he continues to
run two hours a day, break track records, and baffle us with his
amazing endurance. The common denominator in both of his
passions seems to be discipline. You have to be disciplined to
master a musical instrument and also to master a sporting event.
Somehow, he manages to balance both careers with humble dignity
and tenacious talent.
Nolan is a multi-talented jazz musician who has
excelled at every dream he has pursued. He is an example of
excellence, a diverse force of energy that has kicked dust into
the faces of opponents on the track fields and an inspiration to
those of us who aspire to higher heights. He helps us
understand, by example, that with discipline and passion you can
pursue and conquer your goals and that all dreams are possible.
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments in
the field of Performing Arts, John Muir High School and the John
Muir High School Alumni Association are proud to induct, Mr.
Nolan Shaheed into its Alumni Hall of Fame for 2015.
James Henderson, Jr.
Mr. James Henderson, Jr (Jim) graduated from John Muir High
School in 1970 and was selected in the category of Community
Service. At Muir he served as part of the Rufus Mead Auditorium
Stage Crew; volunteered many hours operating equipment for
school, community, and other public events; He was a member of
the Muir Varsity played baseball team. After graduating from
Muir, he came back and acted as an assistant coach for the Muir
Varsity team for two seasons. He attended PCC and worked in the
evening as a student assistant in the PCC Telecommunications
department. He was a Reserve Police Officer for the City of
Pasadena for 5 years, officially beginning his adult commitment
to community service.
Jim’s career path took him through the ranks of Pacific
Bell Telephone Company (AT&T) where he became senior network
technician and ultimately a Senior Engineer and Manager for the
Southwestern Bell (SBC) Southern California digital network.
During his early career days, he volunteered many hours to his
church and began teaching many of his elders, peers, and
children about computer technology.
In the 1990s, he continued this volunteer work in
schools, setting up Elliot Middle School’s original computer lab
with the help of his computer club. This lab was funded 100%
through his and his friends’ efforts and donations. He did the
same for Sepulveda Middle School and the Los Angeles Center for
Enriched Studies (LACES) in the Los Angeles Unified School
District; fixing older out-of-date computers; donating newer
computers; and setting up networks in classrooms that were not
initially equipped for this type of technology. He also took
time off during his work day to teach the students how to use
the computers to publish newsletters, yearbooks, poetry books,
etc. Known as “Mr. Jim,” students looked forward to his visits
because they knew he was there because he cared.
Upon his retirement from SBC Global (now AT&T) in the
early 2000s, Jim really became a community advocate and has been
continuously committed to his work in various communities. He
does not see himself as an advocate; he really does the work for
the love of his community, his dedication to others, and his
commitment to serve in whatever capacity he is needed. A few of
his most recent community accomplishments include: (1) chairing
the committee to produce the annual “Monterey Hills Jazz
Festival” since 2006 (2) Designed and taught the curriculum for
parent computer workshops for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,
Foothill Alumnae Chapter, (3) volunteered and served as head of
the security taskforce for the Delta Heritage School, (4) works
with senior citizens at his sister’s church teaching them
computers, (5) and serves as a board member on the Arroyo Seco
Neighborhood Council for Los Angeles City Council District 1 and
14 (6) working with Councilmember Jose Huizar’s and his Field
Deputies on many projects for over 9 years and (7) served as a
board member for the Monterey Hills Federation since 2005 which
is an organization that represents the community of Monterey
Hills to the city and state agencies to raise funds and plan
events for the community.
In addition to his community work (a full-time task) he
is Owner/President of HJR Computer Consultants and volunteers
much of his time teaching his customers to use the equipment he
installs. Jim has been quoted as saying: “I never knew that I
would have so much fun working with and helping others. This
work has really enhanced my life.”
Jim Henderson is President of the Muir Alumni
Association and has done an exemplary job in continuing his
excellent community service at the home of his alma mater. He is
a true Mustang. He is the glue that holds the Alumni Association
together and has done as much to help the Association achieve
success as anyone else has.
He fills in for vacant positions, serves as co-chairs for many
committees, plans and conducts Board meetings, attends and
supports all Alumni activities and special events, helps plan
Homecoming activities, attends reunions and hosted Alumni tables
to recruit new members. Additional positions he holds include
Website Manager for the John Muir High School Alumni Association
and MPYD. He has developed, revised, maintained and updated
those website as needed. He has acted as Co-Chair of the
Communication Committee, serves as Membership Co-Chair and works
tirelessly to help advertise and increase membership by many
media including Facebook, Twitter and others. Another one of his
many functions is acting as a liaison with the John Muir High
School administration. He attends many of their events and
meetings representing the Alumni Association and reporting back
to the Alumni Board.
He also acts as a “mentor” to Alumni Board members by
helping them with input on their Alumni-related problems. His
mature attitude and leadership towards discussing and voting on
Alumni business has been the guiding light to making intelligent
decisions by the voting members of the Alumni Board and has led
to the many successes of the Alumni Board.
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments in
the field of Community Service, John Muir High School and the
John Muir High School Alumni Association are proud to induct Mr.
Jim Henderson into its Alumni Hall of Fame for 2015.
Dr. Ricky Gutierrez
Dr. Ricky S. Gutierrez left John Muir High School in 1971 and
was selected in the category of Education. At Muir he played
baseball and “B” football and he was in the M.E.Ch.A. Club. The
M.E.Ch.A. experience was empowering and motivated him to pursue
a college education and strive for social justice. He remembers
the Turkey Tussle games and also the band, drum section and
their Friday romps through the hallways on Pep Rally days.
Growing up in Pasadena, he delivered papers for the
Pasadena Star News, served as an altar boy at St Andrews Parish;
played Little League baseball and played guitar in a garage band
known as the Soulful Crusaders. He was one of the founders of
the Chicano group known as the Casuals. He did not graduate with
his class but was and continues to be an important part of the
1971 class family. He dropped out of school to serve our
country. He earned his G.E.D. in 1970 while serving two tours of
duty in the United States Navy. While his fellow class members
were preparing for and attending the prom, Ricky was preparing
for a deployment to Viet Nam.
After three years, Ricky advanced through the enlisted
ranks promoting to Second Class Petty Officer. During his
service, he received the National Defense Service Medal, the
Viet Nam Service Medal, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal, the
Republic of Viet Nam Meritorious Unit Citation/gallantry Cross
with Palm, the Navy Unit commendation Medal and the Navy Good
Conduct Award. Ricky was honorably discharged from the Navy in
Ricky’s ascension to becoming an educated person was
slow in developing, believing that an education is one essential
component to success. Ricky enrolled in Spokane Falls Community
College in Spokane, Washington and graduated in Liberal Arts in
1982. Upon his graduation, he continued his undergraduate
education at Eastern Washington University earning his B.A. in
Psychology in 1984. He was the first in his family to earn a
Ricky worked for ten years in the Mental Health field, four
years with court committed and voluntary psychiatric patients
and six years with those adjudicated as not guilty by reason of
insanity. He wanted to continue his education and enrolled at
Washington State University in the Criminal Justice Program and
earned his M.A. degree in 1995. He then received a coveted
fellowship to pursue his studies at the doctoral level, and
earned his Ph.D. in Political Science in 2002.
He taught classes in policing and juvenile justice and
co-authored many published manuscripts.
He accepted a position as a tenured-track faculty at California
State University, Sacramento in 2000.
In May, 2006, Ricky was promoted to Associate Professor and in
2010 was promoted to full Professor where he currently holds
His research interests include Social Justice,
Police-Citizen Encounters, Juvenile Justice, Social Capital,
Prisoner Reentry, Criminal Justice Program Education, Minorities
and the criminal Justice System, Mental Illness and the Criminal
Justice System, Correctional Theory and Practice, Criminal
Justice Pedagogy, and Criminal Justice Policy.
These interests have been taught by Dr. Ricky in a wide variety
of schools and colleges including: Cal State, Sacramento,
Sacramento, CA; Lewis-Clark State College in Coeur‘d Alene, ID,
Washington State University, Pullman WA; and the U.S. Navy,
Naval Air Station, at Point Mugu, CA.
Throughout his career, he has had many varied
experiences including Faculty Coordinator of a mentoring and
student advising program. He has many professional affiliations,
and has earned many awards and honors. He has many grant
proposals in his field; is an author/co-author of many
publications in books, articles and technical reports; and has
presented many papers at professional conferences.
He is a prime example of a person who, faced with
adversity when all odds were against him, succeeded in life and
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments in
the field of Education, John Muir High School and the John Muir
High School Alumni Association are proud to induct Dr. Ricky
Gutierrez into its Alumni Hall of Fame for 2015.
Rodney D. Wallace
Rodney D. Wallace was selected in the category of
Government Service. He was and always has been a
loyal supporter of Muir. At Muir, he was a member of
the Mighty Mustang Band.
He attended Pasadena City College (PCC) and the
American Academy of Dramatic Arts to pursue his
dream to be a Professional Actor. He and others
faced a pattern of institutional bias in the casting
of productions at PCC, so they created their own
troupe, “The Black Dramatist” and travelled around
the city, performing one-act plays from 1973 to
He was hired by the Pasadena Unified School District
as a Counselor Aide in 1974 and assigned to Madison
Elementary School. He was instrumental in the
development and implementation of several programs
providing youth alternatives to “anti-social
behavior.” One such program was an after-school
Drama Program where students developed, wrote and
starred in a musical production. It was during that
time, he realized his calling to mentor and teach
At the same time, he was being encouraged to seek a
job in law enforcement where he could broaden his
outreach to youth. He eventually yielded to the
call, and after navigating a few institutional
hurdles, was hired by the Pasadena Police Department
in 1978. Rodney D excelled as an “Officer on the
Beat” and also played an integral role in creating,
implementing and revitalizing several programs that
helped to strengthen the relationship between the
police and the community. Some of his
accomplishments are reflected in the School Resource
Officer (SRO) program, Drug Abuse Resistance
Education (DARE), Summer Youth Leadership Conference
(SYLC), Junior Public Safety Academy (JPSA), Youth
Emergency Services (YEW) camp, Police Activities
League (PAL), and the Police Explorer Post. He rose
through the ranks of the police department to the
level of Lieutenant and for a few brief months,
Interim Police Commander.
Rodney D was on the Board of the Pasadena Police
Officers Association (PPOA) where he held the office
of Vice President; he is a founding member of the
Pasadena Black Municipal Employees Association (PBMEA);
sings in the Men’s Choir at First African Methods
Episcopal Church; is a founding member and current
President of the Men of First AME (MOFAM). He is
also a Past President of the San Gabriel Valley
Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law
Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and is the Past Vice
President of NOBLE National—Region VI.
He has received several honors throughout his career
but he is most proud of being chosen one of the
Alpha Phi Alpha “African American Fathers of the
Year” for 1993 on the strength of an essay written
by his daughter Leslie Nicole. He was selected as
one of the Pasadena “Community Legends” in 1999; the
San Gabriel Valley Council of Learning for Life
“Explorer Post Advisor of the Year” in 2000; the
Pasadena Branch of the NAACP “Community Involvement”
award in 2007; the Learning for Life “Badge of
Courage” in 2009 and the First AME - Pasadena “Man
of the Year 2014.” Rodney D was also just selected
as a recipient for the 2015 “One Caring Adult
He retired from the Pasadena Police Department in
2013 after 33 years of service during which he
earned the lasting respect and gratitude of the
community as well as colleagues on the Department. A
Lieutenant said on the occasion of Wallace’s
retirement: “He embodies what Martin Luther King,
Jr. Talked about in his speech “The Drum Major
Instinct.’ Dr. King emphasized that a true leader is
motivated by a sincere desire to serve others. A
true leader resists the ‘Drum Major Instinct’ which
is a selfish desire to be out front. He does not
seek the spotlight recognition or
self-aggrandizement. He regards leadership skills as
gifts from God to be used to serve others, not to
Since he retired he continues to counsel, teach,
advise and assist youth to realize their potential
to fulfill their dreams.
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments
in the field of Government Service, John Muir High
School and the John Muir High School Alumni
Association are proud to induct Mr. Rodney D.
Wallace into its Alumni Hall of Fame for 2015.
Dr. Bruce Bond
Dr. Bruce Bond graduated from John Muir High School in 1972 and
was selected in the category of Writing (Author/Reporter). At
Muir he was ASB President in the Fall of 1971, played the lead
of Tony in the Muir production of West Side Story and was
Salutatorian for the Class of 1972. He participated in drama, a
Cappella choir, track, Blazer newspaper, and inner I literary
magazine and many other activities. He recalls most strongly his
many friendships with fellow classmates. Muir has figured
strongly in his life in shaping his values and increasing his
understanding of how language works and does not work to forge
meaningful relationships. Also, his involvement with the track
team and theater program at Muir have enriched his awareness of
himself and his world, given him increased discipline,
sensitivity, knowledge, and once again a wealth of core
friendships that sustain him still.
Bruce received his B.A. in English from Pomona College
in 1976 and M.A. in English from Claremont Graduate School in
1977. After receiving an M.A. in Music Performance from Lamont
School of Music at the University of Denver in 1982, he worked
as a classical and jazz guitarist for many years. Subsequently,
he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver,
specializing in Modern Poetry. He has taught at several
universities, including University of Kansas, Wilfred Laurier
University in Canada, and Wichita State University, prior to his
current position at the University of North Texas.
In addition to his writing and teaching, Bruce mentors
several students in obtaining their graduate degrees, serves as
a judge for poetry contests and grants applications, lectures at
professional conferences and performs on acoustic guitar at
local venues. As the Director of Creative Writing at the
University of North Texas, Bruce Bond laid the foundation for
its nationally recognized Ph.D. program in Creative Writing by
instigating the program’s official status, degree plans specific
to the discipline, curricular reform, a creative writing budget,
the Visiting Writers Series, national publicity, a creative
writing admission system, student recruitment, the promotion of
students for national awards and several national searches for
Dr. Bruce Bond is one of the foremost
contemporary poets and has published over 800 poems in leading
literary journals and anthologies, such as Poetry, The Yale
Review, The New Republic, Harvard Review and Raritan. His poems
have been selected four times for inclusion in the annual
anthology, Best American Poetry, and he has published over ten
full-length books of poetry with several more forthcoming
through at least 2017.
Bruce has won multiple awards for his poems, including
the 2015 Crab Orchard Award in Poetry for his book of poems Gold
Bee, and received the Kesterson Award for outstanding Graduate
Teaching in 2009 from the Department of English at the
University Of North Texas (UNT), where he is currently Regents
Professor of English. He also received the UNT Foundation
Eminent Faculty Award in 2012 and the UNT Creative Impact Award
in 2010. Additionally, his work has been nominated numerous
times for the Pulitzer Prize, the Pushcart Prize and the
National Book Award in Poetry, which are the highest awards in
creative writing. Bruce has served as Poetry Editor of the
American Literary Review since 1995. He is one of the most well
respected poets and has international recognition, with his
poems being translated into several languages.
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments in
the field of Writing (Author/Reporter), John Muir High School
and the John Muir High School Alumni Association are proud to
induct Dr. Bruce Bond into its Alumni Hall of Fame
Waraire Boswell graduated from John Muir High School in 1993 and
was selected in the category of Business. At Muir, he played on
the Boys Varsity Basketball team.
After Muir, he attended Cal State, Northridge in Northridge,
California and majored in Radio/Television film. After college,
Boswell worked at Fox Sports, United Talent Agency, and William
Morris and later for AmenRa Films as an Executive Associate. His
work became so prevalent amongst his colleagues and associates
he parted ways from the agency and began making custom menswear
full-time. In 1999, Boswell began creating clothing for himself
(he is 6’7” tall), regular height consumers and hard to fit
athletes. He quickly began picking up contracts for wardrobe
i.e. Soul Food the series (Boris Kodjoe, et.al.), My Wife and
Kids (Damon Wayans), Best Damn Sports Show Period for FOX
Sports, and movies and even commercials. Boswell later attracted
the attention of Hollywood agents and attorneys and began
offering custom suit services to former agency-co-workers,
associates and clientele. When press junkets are done, Oliver
Stone and Norman Lear look no further than Waraire Boswell to
fit them in royal, age appropriate fashionable attire.
Be it LeBron James, Tyler Perry, Oliver Stone, Kobe Bryant, D.
Wade, Chris Bosh, Raphael Saadiq, Doc Dre, Matt Kemp, Magic
Johnson or any other hot celebrity, producer or executive that’s
fashionably outfitted, look no further since Waraire Boswell is
the source of information for events and award shows such as The
Golden Globes and the Grammy’s. He has served as an independent
correspondent for Minolta and BSN for New York Fashion Week.
Boswell was celebrated for his talent by Fresh Faces in both
Southern and Northern California. He is considered a very high
ranking designer and his fashions are regularly seen in trade
magazines, such as GQ, Vogue, Esquire, and Vanity Fair. Boswell,
owner of wb-collection has been credited as a fashion expert. WB
Collection outfits select professional athletes, Hollywood
agents, entertainment attorneys, actors and socialites within
the industry. WB Collection, the label name for his clothing
line is available at several upscale boutiques; The Custom line
is available only by appointment. Both lines are extremely
popular. Boswell has bucked prevailing fashion trends with his
clean, yet whimsical fashion.
One look at the amount of detail in his suits, shirts or denim
and you’re forever hooked. Most recently after Carmelo Anthony’s
wedding reality saga that Waraire outfitted Anthony and his
“posse for,” Waraire Boswell began becoming the go-to for
celebrity as well as not-celebrity wedding party attire. He has
been featured a couple times in the frontier magazine for A-List
weddings. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better;
Waraire Boswell did two collaborations for ready to wear lines
with NBA players Chris Bosh and Brian Boswell with former NFL
Player and USC Trojan Alumnus Brian Kelly.
These two lines demonstrate that his talent is broad and he’s no
one hit wonder and knows how to do casual as well as dress up
for the regular height athletic and tall male body types. What
continually sets the WB Custom brand apart from its
contemporaries is the design’s uncanny ability to provide a
unique look to clients of various heights and shapes. One’s size
puts no limitations on construction. The brand has a diverse set
of customers that range from a variety of backgrounds and
professions from all around the globe. He is able to create
custom designs that can adapt to anyone’s signature style. From
flamboyant celebrities to conservative businessmen alike, anyone
can find solace in WB Custom.
In 2005, Boswell was awarded Mercedes Benz Classic Designer of
the Year and GenArt Fresh Face of the Year. In 2005, Boswell was
showcased alongside Diane von Furstenberg, JLo, Simmons Jewelry
Company, and Marc Jacobs for the ”Pret a PSP” show for the
much-anticipated PlayStation Portable. Waraire Boswell has black
labeled (made private label collections) for many A-rated
designers and although often copied, they never are able to
impeccably replicate nor channel his inner creativity.
No matter what he touches, it’s an amazing masterpiece. Although
Waraire is clearly a creative fashion genius, he literally has
never stepped into a fashion design school, yet makes items that
rival with the best the design world has to offer. He is
internationally available, recognized amongst the Who’s Who in
the World of Couture Fashion and he’s a true-blue Mustang that
needs to be acknowledged for the changes he’s made within the
greater Altadena/Pasadena community via volunteerism with Male
Teens as well as his contribution to the world of Fashion.
The best is literally yet to come for this icon!
As a result of all his outstanding accomplishments in the field
of Business, John Muir High School and the John Muir High School
Alumni Association are proud to induct Mr. Waraire Boswell into
its Alumni Hall of Fame for 2015.
Eugene "Gene" Patton
Brownfield Service Award
1964 - 1985
Mr. Eugene “Gene” Patton is this year’s recipient of the sixth
annual Jim Brownfield Service
Award that began in 2010. This award was started to honor former
Muir teacher and coach, Jim Brownfield, who gave much of his
time and energy to Muir students and staff. The award is given
to non-alumni that have given dedicated service to the Muir
community for at least five years.
Gene is being honored because of his tireless efforts to improve
John Muir High School, its students, and the community. Gene’s
love for Muir began when he was hired in 1964 as a Custodian He
loved Muir so much that he sent all four of his children there:
Bonnie c/o 1970, Sissy c/o 1973, Sidney c/o 1977, and Courtney
c/o 1985 and current JMHSAA Board Member, and now some of his
grandchildren attend as well. He supported Muir for more than
two decades, from 1964 through 1985.
While working at Muir, and even afterwards. Gene
encouraged many students to stay out of trouble, and go to
class, including those attending other local schools. One
student wrote that “I have fond memories of Gene at John Muir
High School where he worked for many years. Gene would always
talk to me and give me positive advice and encourage me to do
what is right, get my education, and make something of myself. I
was not the only one.” Another student wrote: “Mr. Patton was
more of a father to me than my own father. He not only cared
about me, but he cared about all of us.” Gene would also come on
campus and check on his children and others he knew to see if
they were going to class, getting good grades and behaving in
class. He always encouraged students to make something of
themselves, to become good productive citizens, and to get
involved in their communities.
He would also bring food from home, because he noticed
certain students were not eating lunch every day. He would tell
those students to meet him at or near the Custodian’s Office,
and discreetly hand them a sandwich or something they could eat.
He would also take donations from friends to buy football, track
or basketball shoes for those kids who were not able to buy
their own. He did this strictly in confidence. He did not want
anyone else to know what he was doing. It was always between him
and the student.
He was also involved in many community action groups,
and volunteered his time at the Hut, and Teen Post, which were
teen centers where youth were able to hang out and shoot pool,
play basketball, listening to music and other activities. Many
of the students who frequented these centers were students at
Muir at the time. These clubs were supervised by Ralph Riddle,
who was a member of the Pasadena
Police Department, Ed Kirkwood, Jack Powers, Jalonne Hunt, Ralph
Allen and Gene, just to name a few.
These people were well respected in the community.
When Gene was a guest judge on the Gong Show (until its
cancellation in 1978), sometimes the judges would write
different messages on cue cards, which were seen on camera, and
once Gene had JMHS written on his card. He also was widely known
by his stage name “Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine.” He was a
television personality, dancer and stagehand who worked at NBC
Studios in Burbank, CA. He was the first African American to
join the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage
Employees Local 33. He appeared in The Gong Show Movie, released
in 1980 and had a cameo as himself in the film Confessions of a
In 1976, Gene, while working on the Richard Pryor Show,
went to the producers of NBC’s Prep Sports World to advocate
that the Turkey Tussle be televised. It was televised and that
was the first time that Muir had beaten PHS in 10 years.
He knew much about Muir’s history from an athletic
standpoint. He would mention names like John House, Rod Sherman,
Harold Busby, David Buchannan, Jerry Procter, Willie Campbell,
Howard Williams, Gilbert Blades, Ronnie Pritchard and many
others. He would often accompany the football and track teams on
the bus to their games and meets. He was there to offer support
and encouragement. This developed to the point where Ben
Steelhead and Walter Opp, who were the head football and track
coaches at the time, would include Gene at every meet or game,
home or away.
In 1996, Gene received an honorary degree from the
University of Arizona for his support of the University.
It is very clear how important Gene was to Muir, and how much he
influenced those who knew and came in contact with him. He loved
John Muir more than anyone, and he bled the Blue and Gold,
because he was John Muir, and John Muir is Gene Patton. He was a
Muir “icon” and truly a Mustang at heart. He passed away on
March 9, 2015.
As a result of his outstanding service and dedication
to the John Muir High School “family,” the John Muir High School
Alumni Association is proud to award the 6th annual Jim
Brownfield Service Award to Eugene “Gene” Sidney Patton.
Accepting this award for him is his son Sidney Patton and his
daughter Courtney Patton Jackson.
2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for
Saturday, November 5th at 1:00 PM
(Location to be determined)