The rare opportunity to meet the first official graduate from Neah-Kah-Nie High School, Larry Cox shares his thoughts after 63 years of alumni status.
By Brian Cameron
“I was visiting some former classmates of mine and we thought it might be fun to stop by the school,” said Cox. “I was very pleased all the names are there on the wall and was pretty happy to see my photo up there.”
Cox graduated from the then-brand-new Neah-Kah-Nie High School in summer of 1954. Now at 81 years old Cox reflected on his time at the Wheeler High School and how during his senior year they moved he and the rest of his class over to the new facility.
“We were all really impressed with the new building,” said Cox. “It wasn’t over the top and really seemed like a classy place.”
Cox was a little confused as to why, way back in 1954, they chose to give him his diploma first as he can remember at least two or three others who’s name was first alphabetically in his class.
After graduating Cox spent the next 17 years going back and forth from the University of Oregon, plywood mill work and a few years enlisted in the US Army, but eventually he got his degree and went to work for the State of Oregon for over 20 years.
These days, according to Cox, he doesn’t make it down to the North Coast that often but will at times try to make it for the Wheeler High School reunion but admits he usually has an annual stay at Waldo Lake during that time, but randomly he will be able to attend this year’s event which is scheduled for mid September.
When Cox isn’t staying at the lake he is an avid skier, sailor and hiker which can sometimes be the primary focus he chooses to follow, and admits he hasn’t been to a NKN reunion in 30 years.
“We enjoyed all the attention we got from the women at the front desk,” said Cox. “It was a pretty neat thing to see my face up on the wall after all these years, and the school looks great.”