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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.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How does he do it?: So much fun for so little

It’s like I was saying...

That, as you probably noted, is a grammatical inexactitude. I should have written, “It’s as I was saying.”

However, it’s a novel way of getting started. But I’m not writing a novel.

I am writing a follow-up to last week’s piece about the reunion we attended for people who attended school in Chester Township, which I did for five years before we adjusted our sights, or is it sites, and moved to Wickliffe.
This week it’s about the ex
travaganza that Ed Glavac puts on for people who attended Willoughby Union High School, which I did for four years.

Ed once had a fairly large committee working on the dinner-dance, held each year at the Patrician Party Center at 33150 Lakeland Boulevard in Eastlake.

But nobody has graduated from the former school in Downtown Wiloughby since 1957, so he is valiantly carrying on alone, with the only help I am aware of coming from his wife, LaVerne.

Because of the scarcity of graduates, Ed has thrown the doors open to anyone who is interested in attending. A factor that should attract the interest of non-WHS grads is the bargain price for the evening.

Here is what you get: A fine, family-style dinner in the tradition made noteworthy by the party center.

Open (meaning “free”) bar all evening. More door prizes than you can shake a baton at. A 50-50 raffle that is guaranteed to send at least one guest home smiling. An opportunity to dance the night away on the polished ballroom floor.

And speaking of shaking a baton, the bandleader for the festivities is the popular Joey Tomsick, who plays romantic dancing numbers and just enough polkas to keep the folks prancing on the floor.

And yes, I believe the maestro is the same Joe Tomsick who is the newly installed CEO of the Lake County Council on Aging. If not, I will stand corrected. But if it’s the same guy, he must have checked the average age of the people on Ed’s invitation list and figured there was a logical tie-in between WHS grads and the COA.

I mean, the reason the event is held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. is so some of the rapidly aging WHS boosters can get home before dark.

The early starting hour is the reason we are late in arriving every year, because we don’t feed the dogs until 5:30. But once that is accomplished,  we head down Vine Street with precipitancy so that we don’t miss any of the marvelous dinner.

For us, that is the only drawback – the early starting time. But since everyone else approves, who am I to be a stick-in-the-mud (one of my Grandmother Sherman’s favorite expressions).

The date is Saturday, Aug. 4. The best news I have saved for last. It is the price. The cost of the entire evening is a mere $20 per person! I don’t know how Ed does it. All that food, drink, a live band, door prizes and everything else that goes into the evening! I maintain you can’t accomplish all that for $20 a head.

I know Ed was a great football player in high school, but I don’t think he majored in accounting.

If you are interested in going, here’s what you have to do: Make out a check for $20 per person to “WUH Reunion” and send it to Ed Glavac, 7465 Harding St., Mentor OH 44060. The deadline is July 25. And be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. At these prices, you can’t expect Ed to pay for a stamp.

If you attended Union High, include your class year. List the names and maiden names of all attendees. Tickets must be paid for in advance. None will be sold at the door.

And if you want to sit with someone in particular, Ed will have to know by July 22. His number is 440-953-0510.

Dress is casual. See you there! This is the 16th year for the reunion. Will there be a 17th? I hope so.
A footnote: On the day of the dinner-dance, Aug. 4, the Union High Sports Hall of Fame will be open on the first floor, Room 107, of the school, from 10 a.m. until noon. It is worth a visit.

The handsome brick school building is one of those local treasures that hasn’t been torn down. It is now the Tech Center in the Downtown Willoughby triangle.


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