WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
LOVE OF FAST CARS
Bill Murray '69 is a lifetime fixture of Terwilliger Heights, and continues to live in his ancestral home. "I only transferred to Woody High (from Benson Tech) for my Senior year (class of 69)," adds Bill. Sadly, his sister, Kathy Murray '69, died in a tragic fall in 1972. Following his time at Wilson, Bill spent the next five years at Portland Community College and then Portland State University, "majoring mostly in draft deferment and building race cars." He met and dated Debbie Rubstein '70 while at Wilson, and they remained good friends throughout her life until she passed away in 1993. Following college, Bill was employed by Debbie's father, Ariel Rubstein at Celebrity Attractions working in his business, presenting classical concerts and ballet. After two years with the company, Bill decided to resign and returned to his first love, automobiles. He opened his own business at the age of 25, a garage in Sellwood and named the enterprise Master Mechanics Incorporated. He has owned and operated that business ever since.
Bill tells us that he has been fortunate to have been able to race sports cars for the past 36 years, achieving some notoriety in the process. "In 2002, I organized a group called Pacific Motorsports Management and served as the company's first President. This group has built and is now operating a new 2.4 mile Road Racing track, Oregon Raceway Park (oregonraceway.com) in Central Oregon." (Coincidentally, two of Bill's business partners, Phil Blackstone '63 and Tom Miller '64 are also Wilson High grads). Last year Bill reactivated a division of Master Mechanics called S.T.A.R. Projects to promote driving events at that track and other Northwest tracks.
In 1982 ("after years of market research"), Bill married a school teacher from Milwaukie: Theresa Kraus an O.C.E. Grad. They have two children, William Scott Murray and Victoria Rose Murray. They divorced in 1990 and shortly thereafter she moved to Texas. Bill raised both children until his daughter, Vickey, moved to Texas to attend high school. His son Billy graduated from Wilson in 2004 and is now getting his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University where he is deeply involved with the Society of Automotive Engineers Program. Billy '04 has been living in Germany and competing with the O.S.U. formula car this fall (2009). Victoria will complete her degree in communications from Texas A. & M. Corpus Christi in spring 2010. She plans to continue her education in Europe.
Bill has stayed in regular contact with many of his lifetime friends from Wilson and Robert Gray. "It was good to see many of them again at the 40th reunion this past summer. Unfortunately, I / we have lost far too many along the way," adds Bill.
At 59 years old, Bill tells us that Life has been very good to him. "I often think that we of this generation have all been very lucky to have lived at this time, in this place, in this country, on this planet. We have, in so many ways, had the best of everything. As Robert Frost said, 'I don't know where it is likely to go better'."