Sharon came over to our house, which was across the street from the high
school (swimming pool, actually), on Long Avenue, and I have recollections
of her, my sister, and other girls sitting on the lawn talking for a long
My names is Audrey Eberhardt Mathews. I went to school with Sharon from 7th or 8th grade at Chief Joseph Junior High School through 11th grade at Columbia High School. We were both Army brats although my dad was an NCO and hers was a Captain or Major.
I was not what you would have called a friend of hers, I knew her and she would always speak. She was beautiful even in JR High when the rest of us were gawky.
I remember an event I don't believe I ever told anyone about before. Can't remember the date but I was keeping the nursery in the Officers' Club at Camp Hanford for a reception for someone (my dad was enlisted so I didn't keep up with the affairs of the higher ups); Sharon's parents had made her attend as a mild punishment for something. She had become bored and walked around to the nursery where I was, we sat and talked until her parents came to get her.
I saw in "Valley of The Dolls" and one other movie, I can't even remember the name. I wish I had not lost my 59-60 yearbook, I believe both of our pictures are in it. I have discovered that we shared a birthday and did not even know it. I am also a January 24, 1943, baby.
I will always remember a person who seemed as sweet and kind as she was
beautiful. It really hurt to hear of her brutal murder. Sorry to run on so
but most people don't believe I went to school with her.
met Sharon in junior high school. Although I never had a chance to get to
know her as well as I wanted because I was too shy, she never hesitated to
talk to me or be friends. I was just a really shy "geek" in today's world.
She was wonderful in not being afraid to talk to people like me.
It was September 1955 my eighth grade year at Chief Joseph Junior High School, in Richland, Washington. My parents had moved the family to Richland in 1944 when I was two. After eleven years in Richland I had not known anyone who lived there to not be friendly.
Each day of the beginning of eighth grade was busy running from class to class. Lunch hour always so much fun, not saying classes weren't fun, some were. I always liked socializing in school the most. Within a few days I started noticing a student in the hallway that I hadn't seen before. When I went up to introduce myself, she introduced herself to me as Sharon Tate. She was in the seventh grade, a year behind me. Sharon said, "her dad was in the Army". The family had been transferred from a base in Texas to Richland. As we parted for classes Sharon smiled with what I would come to know as 'Sharon's famous smile'.
Sharon and I seemed to have an instant friendship. We we're always laughing about something. Our talks spun into boys, classes and all the normal things that teenagers talked about. As the next few weeks wore on Sharon got to know more of her classmates, me off with my classmates. From then on I cherished whatever time I had with her. Living across town from her, if I didn't see her at school, I didn't see Sharon much. The students when her name came up always talked about how pretty and fun she was. Everyone liked her. Her sweet smile was what always captivated me as well as her friendliness.
My next memories were when we both we're in High School together. (My being a year ahead) Sharon had endless dates. I was working at Skip's drive-in where she would come in at times with a date. It would always make me smile when the date she was with would order a coke, Sharon would order her usual glass of milk. I probably noticed this because I didn't like milk.
Sharon's parents Mr. and Mrs. Tate as I knew them, were always strict in
a good way. They we're always fun to be around. Time with Sharon in High
School was usually limited to whatever her schedule was at the time and mine.
One of my other memories was visiting the Tate's home. Mr. and Mrs. Tate always welcomed everyone. You knew where Sharon got her friendliness when meeting the Tate's. Patti Tate, Sharon's baby sister, was born when I was sixteen.
I couldn't wait to meet Patti, the new addition to the Tate family. Sharon
was so proud of her. I made arrangements with Sharon to visit one night.
Other students were there when I arrived. Mr. Tate was talking to everyone.
Everyone one was captivated by his talking about his travels in life. Debra,
Sharon's five year old sister was already asleep. Patti was being held by
different ones of the visitors. Delightfully my turn came to hold Patti.
Sharon was smiling away.
Sharon's popularity had grown leaps and bounds through out her time in Richland. Princess her Sophomore year to being crowned Miss Richland. It was so exciting when she won. Sitting there watching her being crowned was delightful to see the young girl I met so full of joy. Sadly her father was transferred to Italy. The family left not long after her crowning.
Sharon and I did not keep in touch when she left Richland. When I heard from other students she was back in the United States acting in "Beverly Hillbillies", I didn't miss an episode as soon as I knew. Could not believe that her parts we're small. Sharon was so naturally beautiful, that I didn't like seeing her with all the makeup she wore when she was on the "Hillbillies". Then came "Valley of the Dolls". Thankfully she looked more natural I thought. In my heart of heart's I knew Sharon was going to make it as a star.
Tucked away back in my memory is probably many other situations or private things that Sharon and I talked about.
Thankfully I spent time with Sharon at a time of very formative years that will always bring a smile to my heart, as she did for everyone.
Patti Jones Ahrens ('60)
That Sharon was beautiful goes without saying. She was tall, slender, loved to dance and beautiful as was I, but she had the courage and the self-confidence to take it places and where she wanted to be and I admired her for that very much!
Debra, that you have lost all of your female members from your family is
so sad, but you are a beautiful person also for keeping your beautiful sister
memorialized. You are to be commended and your page is wonderful.
I was in Florida when the tragedy that ended her life happened and when then news came on and I heard about it, I burst into tears and I could not believe it. I just KNEW they HAD to be talking about a different Sharon Tate. Then they flashed her picture and I knew they weren't wrong. The shock was hard and the tears were bitter! My hubby at the time and his parents could not understand why I was crying so over some Hollywood person!
I told them I knew her, but they did not understand. The mother-in-law, who was a witch (and that is spelled with a capital "B") scoffed at my tears over a tawdry movie star and that is when I turned on them and let them have it. We were never friendly at all after that. And I did not care--at best I could only be civil when they came out here to see us.
Thank you for carrying on Sharon's legacy.
Wow, what memories surface with just a little bit of encouragement. I lived
two doors down from the Sheeran's and was between Kate and Peggy ('62) I
didn't know Sharon through school (I went to Carmichael) But my parents belonged
to the Officer's Club and Sharon and I met there. We were even in a few "style
shows" together, she was so graceful. We had a few sleepovers, and then 'boom'
her parents were transferred. I had never known anyone who had to move away.
I later married a military man and moved oh, so many times, I don't think
that a move went by that I didn't think of Sharon, though. The world lost
a beautiful, inside as well as out person that horrible day.