Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

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, June 14, 2013

Getting to work as annual Union celebration approaches

I take my obligations seriously, and every year about this time I am obliged to help Ed Glavac muster up a crowd for the annual Willoughby Union High School dinner dance.

I have promised Ed I would help him with this undertaking because, except for my annual input, he does all the work.

Like Ol’ Man River, Ed just keeps rolling along. Nothing deters him in his determination to make the annual event a success, even though Union High hasn’t has a graduating class since 1957.

Obviously, there is a smaller pool of the usual suspects every year, so restrictions on the party-goers have been eased.

No longer do you have to be a Union High grad to attend. The event is now open to anyone who wishes to have a good — and a very inexpensive — time with a couple hundred like souls and get home in time so as not to miss the 10 o’clock news.

I suspect Ed gets a lot of help from the lady of his house, LaVerne. Nevertheless, there is much work to be done, yet everything seems to fall into place by party time, which this year will be Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Patrician Party Center at 33150 Lakeland Blvd. in Eastlake.

It all starts at 4 p.m., which is far too early for us. We don’t feed the dogs until 5:30. But we get there as quick as we can, gulp down our food before it is swept from the tables, and sit down for a fine evening of dancing, entertainment and prizes.

It’s all over by 9 p.m., so depending on where the Indians are playing that day, you will probably get home in time to watch most of the game. (At Miami, 7:10 start.)

Ed and I have been friends since high school, when he was a star running back on the football team and the coach, Pat Pasini, would not even allow me to have a uniform because he said I was too small and might get hurt.

The only thing that got hurt was my feelings, but I outgrew that and eventually forgave Pat for his insensitivity. I found plenty of other activities in which I never got hurt, leading to a well-rounded childhood and an ability to shoot pool on virtually equal terms with Earl Anderson (the present mayor’s father), Ralph Cage (the sheriff’s brother), Don “The Schemer” Knight and the other denizens of the place we knew fondly as the Rat Hole under the former police station on Second Street.

But I digress.

Let me first dispense with the details, because I am sure you will want to make plans to attend the extravaganza. We are able to attend each year because the lady of the house extracts a solemn promise that I won’t leave her sitting alone while I work the crowd, talking to old friends – a former act of rudeness that I have managed to overcome.

Don’t laugh. Two of our very dear friends don’t attend any longer because of this obstacle.

The cost is a mere $25 per person, and the banquet is open, in Ed’s words, “to anyone interested in our community activities.” He is talking about legal activities, of course, not numbers running or bootlegging. (That is a lame attempt at humor, and I’m sorry I said it.)

A delicious family-style dinner is promised, with an open bar (meaning free), first-rate door prizes, and dancing to the popular Joey Tomsick Orchestra, playing old favorites and a few polkas.

Dress is casual, and reservations should be made by July 25. No tickets will be sold at the door. Send your check made out to WUH Reunion to Ed Glavac, 7465 Harding St., Mentor OH 44060, and be sure to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope, the year you attended Union High (if appropriate), maiden names and names of all attendees. (Donations are appreciated!)

If you do all that, I will see you there.

Now, here’s the surprise — the Betcha Didn’t Know feature of this column.

I have a very good friend who is the highly regarded chief executive officer of the Lake County Council on Aging, an agency that does a world of good for Lake County’s senior citizens.

He, along with top executives of Lakeland Community College, Holden Arboretum, the Lake County Historical Society, the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation and Lake Health System, are in partnership to promote what we call “Leave a Legacy” to encourage people to remember non-profit organizations in their wills.

We put on programs all over the county. If your organization needs a great program for a meeting, let me know. It will be arranged.

Now, here’s the fun part. The CEO of the Council on Aging is Joseph R. Tomsick. He is one and the same as the leader of the Joey Tomsick Orchestra that will be playing at the Union High reunion.

Betcha Didn’t Know that! (And I put it in caps because it is the title of one of the four programs we put on for service clubs [Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, etc], libraries, senior citizen centers, retiree organizations, garden clubs or anyone else who will listen.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home