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Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Join us in celebrating Union High

Time flies!

But you already knew that.

The time that has been flying by began a year ago, when I reminded you that the annual reunion of my former high school was at hand. It is now time for this year’s reminder.

The event will take place a little over one month from today, which should be sufficient time for even the most dilatory of procrastinators to begin looking ahead and planning to attend the 15th Willoughby Union High School dinner dance.

You may think you are not invited because you are not a graduate of Union High, but that is not the case.

Yes, there was a time when the party was limited to Union grads, but we have not had a graduation since 1957, so we are running out of graduates. We seem to lose few a people every year. I don’t keep a tally, but one of my 1946 classmates, Phil Granger, passed away just a few weeks ago, and it was not long ago that we lost Alva Brichford at the age of 102. If I am correct, he was at last year’s reunion, and he looked to be in pretty good shape.

Our fearless leader, Ed Glavac, puts on the reunion pretty much by himself these days, aided and abetted by his wife, LaVerne. Because of the diminishing herd of Union graduates, Ed has thrown open the doors to just about anyone who defines himself, or herself, as a "Friend of Union High."

That means that you can go, as long as you are decent person and behave yourself in public. I would presume that would apply to anyone reading this essay.

Now, if you are a faraway reader, for example, Wimp Moyer in Florida, Bob Smith in Mexico or Kim Advent in Argentina, you probably will not be able to make it. But, of course, you are welcome should you be in the area Aug. 6.

You may know Kim Advent as Kim Modzeleski, and if the name sounds familiar, it should. Yes, there is a Cleveland Browns connection. I recently appointed her head of our Argentina bureau. She reads this column on The News-Herald’s blog, as do the others listed above.

But I digress.

I will tell you more about what Kim is up to in a future essay, but right now I have to tell you what Ed Glavac is planing for this year’s reunion.

The 15th WUHS reunion will be Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Patrician Party Center, 33150 Lakeland Blvd., Eastlake. It is a place favored by the graduates because the food is good, the price is right and it is easily accessible.

The price is definitely right: $30 per person includes a fine family-style dinner, open bar (meaning free), a great lineup of door prizes and dancing to the popular Joey Tomsick Orchestra until the bewitching hour of 9 p.m.

Yes, WUHS graduates are early birds. The party begins at 4 p.m. and ends promptly at 9 p.m. so some of these folks can get home and get their sleep. I always hope it’s on a night when the Indians are playing a late ball game so I can go home and watch it from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. But that’s just me.

The lady of the house is fast asleep by then. I just wake her up to give her scoring bulletins.

You get a lot for your money at this party. I always send Ed a check for $100 to cover the two of us plus a little extra for the expenses, so he won’t have to cover any losses himself. But of course that is optional.

Checks should be mailed to Ed Glavac, 7465 Harding St., Mentor OH 44060. The ticket sale deadline is July 30. Casual dress is encouraged.

Special seating requests will be honored until July 22. Tickets will be available for random seating until July 30. All tickets must be paid for in advance. None will be sold at the door.

And here is another important item: You must enclose with your check a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Also, add your class if you attended Union High and all names and maiden names of attendees.

One more thing: the Union High Sports Hall of Fame, Room 107 in the former school that is now the Willoughby-Eastlake Tech Center in Downtown Willoughby, will be open Friday, Aug. 5 and Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. until noon.

Last year’s party was one of the best ever. I got enough lessons that night from golf pro Bobby Shave to last me until this year.

I hope he makes the trip from Florida again. I could use a couple more lessons.

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