DOWNEY - On May 27, Downey High School's 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony was held in the school theater to recognize this year's four inductees: George Cade, Alan M. Shiller, Bob Dye and James Hetfield.This tradition began in 1999 with former principal Allen Layne, who himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. Now under the direction of Tom Houts, 74 graduates and honorees have been added to the growing list of notable individuals over the years. George Cade (class of 1946) recently died after a fruitful life of serving the community. During his years at Downey High, Cade played on the state championship football team. In his place last Friday, daughters Jeanne Brewer and Jani Lopez recounted his numerous involvements with the city, including owning Downey Welding and Manufacturing, Inc. and volunteering with Rotary Club of Downey. Alan M. Shiller (class of 1971) currently serves as a marine science professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution, then completed further studies at MIT. Shiller's interest in the environment began in high school when his English teacher encouraged him to read "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson. He then became the first president of the Ecology Club, which still exists today. "Mistakes are not the end, but part of the process. It's what's inside that counts. In fact, you might even say 'Nothing Else Matters,'" said Shiller, jokingly incorporating one of Metallica's hit song titles in recognition of James Hetfield. Bob Dye (class of 1956) admitted that he was never outstanding in terms of academics. "I was not a good student. All I wanted to do was chase the ball," he said. However, Dye's passion for basketball is evident through his successful career as an athlete and coach. After playing at Fullerton College for two years, he went on to Idaho State University. Dye is now a member of the university's Hall of Fame. As a coach, Dye started at St. John Bosco High School and climbed his way up to Boise State University, not before breaking records at Santa Monica College, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Bakersfield. Despite Dye's retirement from coaching, he still enjoys watching sports and shares his experiences with aspiring coaches and athletes. James Hetfield, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Metallica, received a special induction into the Hall of Fame for his two years at Downey High. "I was a misfit," said Hetfield, whose rise to fame inspired many fans at the ceremony. "I hid as much as possible in my music. To be back here in the Hall of Fame is completely surreal. High school was not the best time for me, but music was my savior." Soon after Hetfield's amateur garage band days, Metallica was formed in 1981. With more than 100 million records sold worldwide, the heavy metal band has won nine Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility. "Get your inspiration from wherever you can and live life to the fullest," said Hetfield.
********** Published: June 2, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 7