Hometowns of Harry Everett Smith
Alumnus Harry Smith attended Anacortes schools for most of his childhood, but graduated from Bellingham High in 1943.
Speaking as the author who believed there needed to be a book – Sounding for Harry Smith – it is worth discussing (or arguing about) where he was from. Who gets to claim nearness to fame everywhere underground: Anacortes vs. Bellingham?
Harry and his family on both sides had attended schools in the Pacific Northwest going back to the 1890s. Orcas Island was home to all of Harry’s grandparents in the decades before his birth.
Smith’s parents moved to Oregon in the early 1920s where Harry was born in Portland. Based in Estacada in infancy … before toddling to Fairhaven, Harry Smith ultimately spent most of his childhood in Anacortes. Harry excelled at Whitney School, the Columbian Jr. High and remained an under-seen force at AHS before essentially dropping out of the class of ‘42 in his senior year. Wallie Funk remembered: “there was a picture in the high school annual showed him; he was shorter than most, except intellectually. And that may have been one of the problems he had. He was way ahead of his class. When you are that age you don’t understand why someone is different from someone else ...”
Relocating to Bellingham, he entered the class of ’43 and involved himself in clubs, plays, and independent studies. He envisioned himself as a composer of symphonic music, and in a sense he more than achieved that vision, recognized in the form of his Grammy for lifetime achievement.
(Note: BHS had an Alchemist Club and Harry wasn’t listed as a member)