Maria McLeod: …Tell me a story about you and Walt Seil. I know you guys ran around together, and I’m sure there’s a lot of stories. Some you could probably tell, some you can’t. [laughter] But what’s a memorable moment with your friend Walt?
Bill Evans: Well, of course, we graduated in the same class. On graduation night, we – big stuff – I was president of my senior class – so we tried to arrange a party. But we graduated on June 3, 1941. It was a Tuesday night. It was raining to beat heck. Usually, the first part of June, I always remember the rain. We didn’t get good weather constantly until July.
…So I had a class meeting the day before we graduated, and I said, “It’s our last time together as a group. How are we going to celebrate?”
Well, a lot of them had family parties on graduation night. I had a graduation party, too, with my family. But we all decided well, after the party is over – and it’ll probably be over about ten o’clock – we’ll meet back at the high school and go to a party in Seattle. We’ll find something that’s really good to do. So Walt and I and another fellow, I don’t remember who the other fellow was, but we had our dates, and we met back at the school at ten o’clock. And we went to Seattle. We thought, “This’ll be great! We six will do something that nobody else does.”
So we went down to Boeing Field. We were going to rent an airplane and take our first flight over the city. Well, we got down to Boeing Field and, of course, Tuesday night, ten o’clock, everything was pitch dark! There was nobody there.
“So what do we do now?”
“Well, let’s be daring.”
And there happened to be a bottle club on First Avenue in Seattle, with entertainment and so forth. But it wasn’t a club like you think of nowadays. But still, you had to be 21 to get in. Of course, we looked like we were eighteen. [chuckles] So we got stopped at the door! And that took care of that.
“What do we do now? It’s midnight!”
“Well, there’s all-night shows.”
So we went to an all-night show. We parked Walt’s car up on somebody’s rooftop parking downtown. We went to the nearest all-night show. We enjoyed the show. And our dates were kind of worried, because they’d never been out this late before.
MM: No, that’s probably about two in the morning by that point.
BE: By the time we got out of the show, it was almost dawn. The girls were hungry, naturally – like my wife – and so we went to breakfast. My girl lived in Upper Preston. There’s a Lower Preston we all know, but in those days … and still, people live up there. It’s further up toward Echo Glen, fairly close to that. And it’s a little Swedish flicka that I went with. Her mother was at the door when I brought her home, and the sun was shining bright. And she was a sweet little lady.
She said, “Now, Bill, you know that Frances is younger than you are.”
“Yes, I know.”
She said, “And we live in a community where everybody sees everything that goes on.”
I said, “Well, nothing went on. Things didn’t work out, and we ended up at an all-night show and went to breakfast.”
She said, “Well, please don’t bring her home in the daylight anymore.” [laughter]
“I promise.” [laughing]
MM: Did the other guys get in trouble, or the other girls? Do you remember?
BE: I don’t remember, because I was sweating enough! [laughter]