Back in the day: Tom Robbins' lost 1974 high school commencement address
August 30, 2023
When I was the editor of the newspaper in Oak Harbor nearly 40 years ago, I was given a copy of a commencement address by author Tom Robbins that was delivered to a handful of graduates at the Off Campus School in Oak Harbor on June 7, 1974. The Off Campus School was an alternative for students who previously dropped out of regular high school. Press reports called the program “hotly controversial.”
I tucked the speech away back then and recently found it in my files. I wondered how Robbins came to be on Whidbey Island that night. The Off Campus School commencement was a very small even...