Monday, April 23, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Wow! Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time at the Rittman High School Class of 1987 20-year reunion.
Classmates were greeted with pop tunes of the past complimented by a rotating slide show from the same genera. Becke Huffman and Hope Arbogast Frady manned (womanned?) the sign-in table as classmates filed into the upstairs banquet room of Rawiga Country Club. The unspoken yet prevalent anxiety of 20-year changes was quickly dissipated with Becke’s and Hope’s big smiles and bigger hugs.
If stories from the past and laughter were the ammunition of a small band of revolutionaries, the country of Rawiga would have quickly fallen prey to a coup. Most of those in attendance showed within a half hour of that first shot. Introductions of spouses/dates and even more hugs broke the ice. Tales of remember-when quickly came to life, each one feeding upon the other as ’87 Rittmanites hopped from group to group.
According to at least two attendees, the master of ceremonies, Vic Marinello, was worth the price of admission. Vic was charged with running the raffle and other general announcements. Vic was voted most talkative back in the day. Some things change. Some don’t. With quick quips and light jabs, Vic had everyone laughing as he gave away throughout the evening a very respectable table of raffle items. At one point he used his skills as an auctioneer to auction a book filled with stories of Ohio’s haunts. Greg King won. Vic’s reply, “What are you going to do with a book, King, add it to your collection”.
Ron Craddock was the man with the music plan. Crad worked for weeks “acquiring” the appropriate music for each stage of the reunion. From 80s fluff to the mullet days of hair bands, lacy frills and jean jackets, Crad played it all. Breaking genera for culture, a brief stink of classical chamber filled the room during dinner. Post meal, Air Supply, REO Speedwagon, and the like prompted several near-40somethings to reenact the days of slow dancing in the gym of Rittman Middle School.
Classmates spent the hours after dinner rekindling old friendships, exchanging contact information, and vowing to keep in touch.
Many, many thanks go to the planners of the reunion. John Leatherman took charge and got the ball rolling and coordinated party planning, collecting of funds, mailing, purchasing and/or begging for raffle prizes, decoration, and set up. Mike and Deb Knapic deserve much praise for their forethought of times to come. Their planning from the 15-year reunion left organizers of the 20-year with enough funding to make a lot of this reunion possible. And yet even more thanks to Crad, Todd Brewer, and Vic for helping with setup on the morning of the reunion.
I’m certain I’m missing a few additional but very necessary praises of gratitude for making RHS Class of ’87 20-year reunion a great event. To any of those I didn’t mention, thank you.
On my personal soapbox, just a few words. I’m going to use myself as an example.
There are some, probably most, who fear for one reason or another coming to such a gathering. Judgment from others probably tops that list.
It’s like this; people continue to change. (Yes, my prophetic ability astounds me, too.) Not one person at our reunion is the exact same as they were when we graduated. The physical changes are the most apparent. Heck, I’ve gained two pounds since I earned my diploma. Two pounds times 30, that is. And maybe, just maybe, I’ve lost a hair or two.
Ya know what? No one cared. Sure they noticed. You would have to be blind and memory repressed to not, but no one cared.
No one passed judgment upon me based on the physical aspects of my body, or my marital status, or job title, or salary base. No one used stories from the past to tease me with a malicious intent. They shook my hand, they hugged me, and they asked with sincerity about my life and person who I’ve become.
I’m willing to bet that every person in attendance had the same experience.
So for any of those who didn’t come because you were embarrassed about change, know this: It’s our friendships, our shared memories, and our similar experiences that bind us as a group. Mix in twenty years of maturity and what you get is nothing more than fantastic stories and a lot of laughs. That being said, and speaking in extremely oh-so-male language, get past it and come play with us at the 25-year reunion.
I will be placing photos and video of the reunion on the RHS Discussion Board over the next week. As quickly as possible, I’ll make sure that all of those photos are available for download should you want them. I would encourage everyone with additional photos to email copies to me and I’ll post all photos in one big slide show and download link.
Monday, July 16, 2007
If you haven't yet paid for a ticket, there is still time. Heck, go ahead and just show up and give your money to John Leatherman at the door. However, we would prefer that you at least let someone know if you're coming. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org if you know. But if not, hey, just show up.
Cost: $25 per person
Payment: Please make all check payable to:
C/O Class of 87
P.O. Box 448