Case in Point


This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Terry Lee Gilmour of Ellensburg: RIP (eulogy: Ellensburg Daily Record)

I was saddened to learn of the recent death of my high school chum, Terry Gilmour. Even though he was a year ahead of me in school, we were pals on several levels. Gilmour was a role model for many of us and his appointment to the Coast Guard Academy (he could have gone to the Air Force Academy, as well) in l960 put him in an elect group of Ellensburg High School graduates in those years to have appointments to the service academies.

Terry’s obituary noted his athletic prowess and the success of the EHS football teams of l958-1959-l960. TG was selected to the All Yakima Valley Team in l959.What the obit doesn’t say is that Gilmour and his crew were so good that when we second stringers had a chance to finally play the next year we lost every game (l960). We didn’t know a football from a baseball. Poor Stub Rowley went from being the coach of the year to being a nursemaid to a bunch of losers.

In early l960 Steve Kelso (class of ’60) and I formed a trio consisting of banjo (me), guitar (Kelso) and bongo drums (Gilmour). I think Gilmour named us “The Anonomy Trio” (as in “anonymous”). We played around town during the winter and spring months, and then in late spring we took off for Seattle and the big time — to record on Dot records, known in Seattle as Listen records. We drove to the big city in Kelso’s new Chevy convertible confident that we were Ellensburg’s answer to the Kingston Trio or the Limeliters. We stamped three records, one for each of us. The fame of the hungry i boys eluded us, but I still have my record and a picture of us performing and it has been behind glass for 50 years!
Terry graduated from EHS, went back east to New London, Conn. and the Coast Guard Academy and I graduated a year later. We stayed in touch for a while. Eventually Terry and I went on to the University of Washington and drifted apart. Our paths crossed years later as we were both in real estate and I was aware of Terry’s success in investing.

Terry Gilmour was a star to many of us in the late l950s and early l960s and we aspired to be like him. Ellensburg has lost another of its prized sons in an untimely death.

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