Liberty Patriots’ claim to fame

Allison Rafert, Staff Writer

When picturing a celebrity, most of us imagine someone on a distant concert stage decorated in expensive clothing with hundreds of fans screaming at their feet—not our 48-year-old uncle. But for some Liberty Patriots, this description is actually representative of their family member.

Junior Vy Nguyen’s uncle is Quavondo, a fashion and celebrity photographer who has photographed people like Marshawn Lynch, Olivia Holt, and Kanye West at his Los Angeles studio. Quavondo is the creative director for Cliché Magazine and has recently entered the short film industry.

“He’s my fun uncle,” Nguyen said. “I didn’t realize he was that good of a photographer until he started posting pictures of people on his Instagram account that I knew.”

Thanks to her uncle’s celebrity connections, Nguyen has even met some famous people herself.

“We went to Disneyland, and he brought some of his friends from some NBC show,” Nguyen said. “I couldn’t tell you which show, but it was very casual.”

The fame in junior Brigitte Larkin’s family comes from her uncle, Michael Wilton, the guitarist and co-founder of Queensrÿche. The heavy metal band has been nominated for two Grammys, and their hit song, “Silent Lucidity,” has nearly 16 million views on YouTube. Wilton even has a collection of 100 guitars and a signature beer.

“Even though he’s still on tour a lot, he always makes it back for family holidays,” Larkin said. “Up on stage, he looks really rockish, but when he’s at family dinner he’s in a sweater and jeans, and he just looks like a normal person.”

Having a famous relative has not impacted Larkin’s everyday life greatly, especially since Queensrÿche was most popular in the eighties and nineties, but that isn’t the case for everyone in her family.

“My mom, Wilton’s sister, said when she was in high school it was hard because everyone would try to be friends with her and get tickets to his concerts,” Larkin said.

For senior Hannah Norton, her mom, Molly Shen, the local news anchor for the 11 AM, 3:30 PM, and 5 PM weekday KOMO 4 News, is widely known in our community.

“I’ve been to the studio with her a lot,” Norton said. “When my brother and I are there, we sit in chairs on the side and just watch.”

Spending time in the KOMO news room has given Norton opportunities to volunteer in the Make-A-Wish telethon and be featured in back-to-school commercials. Norton has also met many of the other anchors and meteorologists at KOMO, like Steve Pool.

Due to Shen’s local fame, she is often recognized when out with her family.

“A lot of the time, people stop her in public,” Norton said. “Sometimes they know exactly who she is, and other people are really unsure and wonder where they know her from.”

Even with these famous relatives, our Patriots humbly acknowledge that their bloodlines have brought them no fame, giving all of Liberty equal opportunity at stardom.