Germantown High School * Philadelphia, PA. * Class of 1957


George Fetherman

The School Years

***I find it hard to think about GHS without thinking of "John Story Jenks Elementary" and "Roosevelt Jr. High". It was a package deal. There were a number of us who basically went all through school together. Of course there were also new friends and classmates met along the way.

***Thinking back now, they were good times, though I would have argued that point back then. But to me it was like life has been in general. Some really good times, some really bad times and a lot of those in between times.

***One constant through school from third grade on was music. Started out with a coronet, but soon switched to drums. In every school, I was either in the orchestra or band or both. Played in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra while at JSJ & RJHS and had my own 14 piece dance band while at GHS.

***Was also involved with the "Boy Scouts" (a patrol leader) and then the "Civil Air Patrol" a cadet 1st Lt.). Not to mention our little GHS fraternity, originally called "ITK" (I Tappa Keg) then changed to "ITA" (Iota Tau Alpha).

***Because of these varied activities, my friends were not only from GHS but from a half dozen or more schools around philly including a couple from "Tyler" Temple's Art School. This also meant different ages too.

***I have a hard time zeroing in on the different academic classes. I guess because they were just part of the daily routine. Just like getting up and going to work. Which of course is something else I've done almost since I can remember. There was collecting papers and scrap metal for nickels and dimes, then delivering groceries for the A&P up the street from were I lived, then delivering papers (both the Bulletin & the Inquirer) and then working in a drug store for five years, starting at age twelve.

***Luckily for me and all of us, along the way there were more good teachers than bad ones and more understanding teachers than self centered $%^*#!@*&.

***I look back on those years fondly now and appreciate the time and effort that most of the teachers put into trying to help us along the road of life. Even though I can still feel some of those pot holes.

***But the most important thing to me is, the friends and classmates that have touched my life and in so doing, improved the quality of it.

Thank You All,
George W. Fetherman

Life After GHS

after GHS .........

***In 1958, it was off to active duty in the US Navy. I was already in the reserves and was required to do two years of active duty.

***At first I was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Leyte CVS-32. She was home ported in Quonset Point, RI. I had put in for this ship because Eugene Mitchell and I had been planning to go to the New Port Jazz Festival. So now there was still a good chance of making it.

The ship had gone up to Quebec City, Canada to participate in the city's 200th. anniversary celebration. Since the US Navy considered me indispensable, they got a plane out of a hanger, woke me up at 0300 (3 am) and flew me to Quebec.

***Even though I missed the jazz festival, Quebec City was a very interesting place and it was a good and enjoyable experience. (Have actually been to Quebec City three times, the first while in the navy, then played there a few years later with a band and then in the early seventies for a vacation. It's amazing how different a place seems depending on the reason you're there.)

***As it turned out, the Leyte was on her last legs and due to be decommissioned at the end of the year. By around September most of the crew had been transferred away and just a skeleton decommissioning crew was left. In another month I was gone too. Transferred to the commissioning crew of the latest and greatest new aircraft carrier the USS Independence CVA-62.

***My two years of active duty were spent on the flight deck of aircraft carriers, a very dangerous, but extremely interesting place to be. Would not trade the experience.

***After leaving the navy in May of 1960, I joined the musicians union local 77 in Philadelphia and as we use to say, put my name on the board. "Available Drummer contact George Fetherman - GE 8 9742"

***From that I got my first job in a road band The Chancellors. (The other sites of bands I've played with can be found on my home page)

***For the better part of the next 21 years, I was a road musician. Initially playing clubs. But by the end of the 60's was playing hotel lounges. The lounges were much better gigs (jobs) than the clubs.

***During this time I also managed to get married twice and have three kids, two boys, one girl. Sadly my daughter (Jane) died when she was eighteen. My oldest son (Louis) became a lifer in the US Army and is still on active duty stationed in Washington state. The youngest son (Eugene) has dedicated most of his life to being a pain in the ass and currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (He is very talented with computers though.)

***The first marriage lasted nine years. Then she found someone else she'd rather spend her time with.

***My second wife (Margaret) and I celebrated our 30th. anniversary on 5 August 2003. We've been living in Pinellas County Florida (Tampa Bay Area) for 22 years. We came here with a band. The band broke up and we decided to stay.

***Since then I've worked day gigs to earn my living but continued to play music on a part time basis. Currently I work for a freight forwarder (DHL Danzas) with the title of Customs Clearamce Clerk.

***Started playing with computers in the early 80's and maintain well over 1000 web site pages. (My original site, which was started as an "E Scrapbook" of the bands I've played with. The USS Independence site which is by far the largest and still growing. The USS Independence Reunion Association site and of course now this GHS Class of "57" site.

***Look forward to seeing you all at the 2004 reunion.
***George Fetherman

Click Here To Return To Home Page

Special Thanks to Lois Addison for Scanning Yearbook Photos &
Special Thanks to Katherina Kripl Bonner for sending Lois Her Copy of the June 1957 Yearbook
& to George Palmer for sending Lois His Copy of the January 1957 Yearbook.

This Page Updated 07/03/04 gwf