The paint color may be different, but is still the same school for Mike Farrell, who graduated in 1950. "They moved the auditorium," said Farrell, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series M*A*S*H, chuckling with fellow alums outside the building on Hammond Street. "I'm sure of it."
Inside, Thora Birch, who graduated in 2000, reminisces. "I was really thrilled to go to the same school with my brother," said the Golden Globe-nominated actress, taking a seat beside her mom and brother Bolt. "I had a very interesting time here. I learned a lot. I appreciate everything my teachers did for me," he said.
This year marks the 100th for , so it was only fitting that close to 100 alumni fill the school's auditorium on Friday for a centennial celebration. The special event began at 9:30 a.m. with an interactive presentation, featuring costumed students narrating the history of the school, followed by an all student and alumni group photo, then classroom tours.
The impetus behind the celebration was Tracy Cook, chair of the Centennial Committee, who took on the role as the school's historian in January 2008 when she was looking for an old photo of the former Sherman School for her third-grader son.
"This absolutely could not have happened if the alumni had not been willing to take phone calls, be pestered with emails and respond to me with their anecdotes with life at the elementary school," said Cook, whose next step is to create an official alumni organization.
"We need to archive them, tell the stories about West Hollywood," she said. "These people were born in the 1920s. They are filled with a lot of great stories."
Watch the video for a glimpse of West Hollywood Elementary's Centennial Alumni Invitational.