Having graduated as a valedictorian from Arcadia
High School in 1974, I read with great regret of the ongoing
controversy concerning our "Apache" mascot.
In my experience, the name and character were
most often invoked -- in pep rallies, sporting events,
publications, and the like -- to inspire "Apache Pride".
As a member of our state-champion marching band,
I will never forget the hush and gooseflesh that immediately
descended upon the crowds on the street whenever we sounded-off
in unison "Pa-TCHEE!"
We at A.H.S. identified with the Apaches just as
we from First Avenue Junior High School had with the Spartans
and as many of our alumni, at U.S.C., would with the Trojans.
These historic warriors were emulated out of respect, not
I believe current Principal Plourde deserves
respect, not contempt, for his having literally gone far out of
his way to seek the counsel of an Apache tribe, which I read is
itself of two minds on this sensitive issue.
Although I will always look back with pride on
my "Apache" memories, if the true Apache people are indeed
offended by this application of their heritage, which is their
birthright, then it is the responsibility of the rest of us to
respect their wishes.
The vast majority of us at Arcadia High School
never meant anything but respect, for the Apaches or ourselves.