The Smoke Signal

Will the Real Orlando McCurry Please Stand-Up?

Gracyn Taylor, Journalist

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McCurry’s signed yearbook photo from 1970.

Who is Orlando McCurry? That is a question people from Ripon High School have been asking since 1970.

McCurry is supposedly a man who graduated from Ripon High School in the year of 1970, but no one has never seen him and almost no one has ever even heard of him.

“His attendance was terrible,” former RHS student and teacher Jim Tornell joked.

He appeared in the 1970 RHS yearbook, has a Facebook page claiming to have graduated from RHS, and even was announced as an alumnus at this year’s game vs. Sonora. Witnesses say a middle-aged woman claimed to be McCurry’s wife and signed him on the roster as an RHS alumni at the game.

Jim Tornell attended Ripon High School at the same time that McCurry did, and he seems to know much more about this mysterious figure than most people.

“I know that he was enrolled in all of the most difficult classes and that he may have even taken a class at MJC,” Tornell said, “He also spent a lot of time at Caswell Park, and he even had two good friends named Dave and Joe”.

When asked about who Orlando McCurry was, Tornell was hesitant to reveal too much information about him.

“I can’t reveal much without talking to his closest friends first. I don’t know how much they’d want me to reveal to you,” Tornell stated.

Not many people from Ripon have ever heard of McCurry, but when asked about him, they were surprised to hear the story of his appearances.

“I had never heard of Orlando McCurry while I was attending RHS and never knew anyone who had graduated with that name. This is the first I’ve heard of it. To me, it’s funny that the story of this “fake” person has been able to stay around since the 70’s. It certainly is an interesting tradition that I’m sure not very many people have ever paid much attention to,” RHS 2009 alumni Kory Parks says.

Some alumni had heard of McCurry, but didn’t recall knowing a lot of information about him.

“I remember hearing this story when I was in high school. I know the story has been passed on since like the 70’s and that no one knows who he really is, but that is it,”RHS 2009 alumni Alyssa Gress said.

The story of McCurry is certainly a mystery that not a lot of people have noticed throughout the years at Ripon High.

“I share him with my classes sometimes,” Tornell stated, “but most people don’t know. Those who do heard it from me and every once in awhile those people share the story with others.”

The legend of Orlando McCurry has lived on for years and has caught the attention of a few students and teachers at RHS.

“I think it is cool to see people follow up about the story of Orlando McCurry. It is neat to see kids interested in him,” Tornell said.

Will people of Ripon ever know who Orlando McCurry is? Or will he forever be a mystery to the people of this town?

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Will the Real Orlando McCurry Please Stand-Up?