Patricia Merifield ("Pat")
Married name: Patricia Reifers
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Pat Merifield is a champion ice skater. Some of her medals are displayed here, on the Mar-Ken website. She writes:
The test medals were for figures only and were judged by three judges from your club. These were 8 tests. I never received cards for the 5th, 6th and 7th. I joined the Follies before I took the 8th.
Even though I graduated from Mar-Ken, most of the time I was on the road with the "Ice Follies" and did my school work via correspondence thanks to Mrs. B. The times I did spend in the building were some of the best.
Miss Pitts started me on a life-long love affair with literature. Mms. Marceau gave me the spark to continue French at U.S.C. (in spite of having to sit next to Freddy Bartholomew and his roving hands.) Mr. Fox was the best science teacher. I even learned to dissect a frog without flinching. As I remember, Barbara Jean Wong was his favorite student. There was a field trip Mr. Fox took us on into the desert. We were miles from anywhere and Barbara Wong had to "go," so Mr. Fox spotted a big Joshua tree and stopped. Barbara got kidded about it for days. Of course our collective "senses of humor" were a little juvenile in those days.
Mrs. B was considered an "ogre" by some but a lot of us "show biz" kids had very poor direction from home. Too many divorced parents, "show biz moms," etc. I may have been a little leery of her but I listened to her and she helped. She seemed to know we all couldn't be stars and that's why she was so determined that we get an education.
Her son Kent was around a lot. I don't know what he was supposed to be. Sort of a "vice-principal" I guess.
At that time only Hollywood Professional was accredited. When Mar-Ken finally made the grade, I was the first graduate to go on to college. There was a magazine at the time called "Scholastic." The accreditation of Mar-Ken was mentioned in it and my picture was on the cover.
After the war I was out of the country for several years. Venezuela, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Puerto Rico. Got back to the States and finally made my way back to my home State; Washington. Except for a few jaunts to Honolulu and the Caribbean, I've stayed put here on Vashon Island. Guess I finally got the "sand out of my shoes."
I keep thinking of all the bunch I knew – not well because I was on the road most of the time.
From the October 28, 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
MOVIE NEWS: Mae Ross is busy rehearsing at the new Pan-Pacific ice-skating rink for her forthcoming appearance at the Food Show. We'll all be there to take a squint at 'ye, Mae! Pat Merifield and Donna Atwood will also appear in the show.
From the November 24, 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
MOVIE NEWS: Mae and June Ross and Pat Merifield are skating in an MGM short entitled "How To Skate."
From the December 16, 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
"The Art of Skating," M.G.M. Short in which Mae Ross did a solo rhythm dance on ice will be seen shortly at Grauman's Chinese and Lowe's State Theaters. Petite Pat Merifield also is in the film.
•WHAT THEY ARE DOING FOR CHRISTMAS – Pat Merifield: Arrowhead
•WHAT THEY WANT FROM SANTA CLAUS – Pat Merifield: Angora sweater
From the January 24, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
WHO'S WORKING. Pat Merrifield and Buford McCuskor – Received beautiful write-up in the New York Times.
From the Mar-Ken 1940 Yearbook, as a Junior:
PATRICIA MERIFIELD - - emitted her first cry August 10th in Seattle, Washington. Pat likes rain, Fords, and red hair. She dislikes blondes and unpressed slacks. Her favorite song is "Temptation", her favorite colors are black and white. Pat's ambition is to become a surgeon.
From the September 27, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
•"New Ice Extravaganza Featured at Pan-Pacific" – The brilliant new Ice Follies of 1941 currently showing at Pan-Pacific Auditorium, staged its world premier September 6. ….. Mar-Ken's own Pat Merifield and Buford McCusker are fetching in an intricate duo of jumps and lifts.
•THE WORKING CLASS: Pat Merifield – Buford McCusker – currently appearing in the Ice Follies of 1941 at Pan Pacific Auditorium.
From the November 8, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
WHO'S WORKING: Pat Merifield and Buford McCusker in Huston, Texas at the Ice Follies.
From the February 28, 1941 issue of the Mar-Ken Journal (student newspaper):
Ice skating Donna Atwood and Marilyn Telfer have certainly been breaking records around the country. Donna just won the National Championship and Marilyn won the California skating Championship. Pat Merifield and Buford McCuskor are still touring the country with the Ice Follies. Other fine skaters in the school are Georgia and Betty Shattuck.
From the Mar-Ken 1941 Yearbook, as a Senior:
Patricia Merifield. This young lady is the logical representative for ice-skating competitions. She has been away from school practically all the year with the "Ice Follies" on a most successful tour in Canada and throughout the States. If Pat can find the time, she wants to study medicine, specializing in surgery.
All photos below, except for the yearbook photo, are from Pat Merifield's personal collection.
Senior portrait, 1941 yearbook
Graduation photo, 1941
Patricia Merifield's Mar-Ken diploma, 1941
Patricia Merifield's diploma case, 1941
Patricia Reifers (Merifield), 2003
Also see Pat Conlin's scrapbook.