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This week in history - from The Marysville Globe archives

10 Years Ago 1997

June 5, 1997, 18-year-old Tyler Ray graduated from the M-PHS. Three days later he almost graduated to the other side. Rays near disaster began with something he had done many timeshiking alone. The 14-mile hike up Three Fingers Mountain, although a challenge, was possible. He had done it before, and Monday was 75 degrees and sunny. The night before, his dad had suggested he buy a Ground Positioning Satellite system with his graduation money. The tracking system establishes location within 40 feet. Someday, sure, but why now? Its not like Im ever going to get lost, Ray said. He took food, a change of clothing and of course a map and compass. He got up early, started hiking at 6:15 a.m., and by noon was near the top. Then, standing still atop a glacier that was 200 feet from the summit, with ice blue sky capping bleached snow, Ray slipped. He quickly picked up speed, sliding downhill toward a precipice. His training kicked in. Without thinking twice, he grasped his hand axe, slamming the point into the ice to arrest his position. He kept sliding and out of fear punched his knuckles into the icy snow. Heart beating wildly and knuckles scrapped raw, he finally caught himself before plummeting over the cliff. He knew it was time to go back, he said. So Ray picked up what he thought were his tracks and followed them down the mountain, Making things worse, he spied bear tracks only hours old. By the time he realized he had followed somebody elses tracks he was down into the Boulder River valley, lost and disoriented. He kept following a creek hoping it would cross a road. I thought it was a different creek, he said. By the time the creek reached the Boulder River he suddenly realized he was in a wilderness area and there would be no roads. I was lost and I knew it, he said. Ray kept on struggling through the heavily timbered streamside with little clear going and no trails. He finally stopped about 8 p.m. I set up three fires in a triangle and ate some food, he said. Getting only about an hour or so of sleep before the cold woke him, he spent most of the night spooked at the sounds of the night. Rays REI coat that would have kept him warm was being repaired. A turtleneck shirt and vest were the only barrier Ray had from the cold night air. The morning that wouldnt come finally did, and he arose for another day. I never thought of death that night because I knew I had survival skills, he said. I sure prayed a lot. He put moss on a fire to increase the smoke and went looking for a place he could be seen by rescuers. He found a clearing in the middle of the wilderness instead. A sign long since worn blank by the weather hung between two trees on a rusty wire. There was also a huge rusty meat cleaver buried in a tree. I was so glad I didnt find that before night, Ray said. All I could think of was Freddy Krueger and the Friday the Thirteenth movies. Ray quickly left the clearing and found a large rock higher up above the river. He hadnt been there long when he heard a buzzing in the distance. Then he glimpsed a helicopter scooting down the canyon about 100 feet above him. At first I was excited, he said. But then I realized that not only didnt it see me, it didnt see the smoke either. After four or more passes the helicopter finally sighted him waving his reflective space blanket. It turned in mid-air and faced me, he said. Then it turned on its sirens. As soon as the copter signaled Ray, it banked away and left. Ray was confused and didnt know weather to leave or stay. He knew that at least help was on the way. Soon enough he heard faint cries in the distance. Excited, he started to crawl through the brush toward the sounds of another person. When he saw the unknown rescuer, the only thing he could say was, Boy, am I glad to see you. The helicopter came back after refueling, picked them both up, and minutes later arrived at the rescue camp. My mom couldnt say anything, all she did was cry and hug me, he said. I was really embarrassed. Rays dad stoically hugged him and clapped him on the back. It took his neighbor, Marysville Fire Chief Greg Corn, to give him the message plain. When he saw me he came over and as he was saying how glad he was to see me, he kept punching my arm, he said. Ray points to several lessons. I will never go hiking again by myself and next time maybe Ill bring my coat, he said, laughing nervously. He also knows what his next purchase will be. One GPS system good for finding your way out of jams. I just never really had any excuse for getting lost, he said. Im an experienced, skilled hiker and I did what I never thought Id do. My dad was right when he told me, there are two kinds of hikers: those who have got lost and those who havent got lost yet, he said. He wants to be a trail guide. Maybe help other novices through the wilderness without killing themselves. But one night the tables turned on 18-year-old Tyler Ray. The one thing I feel I learned for the first time was how precious life is, he said. And how short it can be.
25 Years Ago 1982

Principle John Garner told those attending the 1982 graduation ceremonies that history was in the making. The Class of 82 is the largest class to ever graduate in Marysville since its inception in the early 1900s, Garner said. And that may have explained the enormous crowd packed into the Quil Ceda Stadium to watch the seniors graduate. Garner also gave his two basic philosophies about education. One is the fact that good homes make good schools, Garner said. And the Class of 82 certainly exemplifies that. And the greatest kids graduate from Marysville-Pilchuck. After the Senior picnic at Lake Sammamish a ranger came up to assistant principle Kellen and said, this is the greatest group of kids weve had here in I dont know how long. And the manager at the Everett Yacht Club, following our senior breakfast, said This is the greatest group Ive ever seen. Yeah, we know, Garner replied. Were not surprised at all. Student speaker Russ Boring told fellow graduates that their diplomas symbolized the shapeless mass of education they had in the past. What we do with that education is up to us, he explained. Senior Paula Peddycord took her classmates on a journey down Memory Lane. She recalled what it was like to be a sophomore, being subject to the kidding and problems every other sophomore class goes through and somehow survives. She noted the history making events during this time, which included the re-instatement of the draft, the Russia invasion of Afghanistan, the eruption of Mount St. Helens and the hostage crisis. But by their junior year, the approximately 400 students had learned to adjust. The highlight of the year was the school musical, Oklahoma. We were WESCO champs in girls softball and the Colby Curfew was enforced. No longer would we spend our Friday and Saturday nights cruising up and down the avenue. Among the key national events were the freedom of the hostages, the inauguration of Ronald Reagan and the death of John Lennon. As the class became seniors, Peddycord said it was time to think about vacations, trade schools and colleges. We began to realize our high school career would soon be over. Here we are tonight, the largest school to ever graduate from M-PHSWe will remember our teachersand our parents, who without their love and support we wouldnt have been able to do what we did. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

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