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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, May 29, 2014

'Outsiders' invited to join us for Willoughby Union High reunion

When I was a freshman in college (don’t hold me to that, I might have been a sophomore) I read an essay by Santha Rama Rau titled “I Return Home to India at Age 16.”

It was a story of how much she had learned about the world, and how much our horizons are expanded when we get away from our own little areas and experience life on a larger scale.

Her essay must have made an impression on me, because I have never forgotten it – or the lesson it teaches.

The lesson: The world does not revolve around a point on the globe.

Let us now fast-forward some seven decades. For sure, the world does not revolve about a point on the globe for any of us. As we mellow, our focal points on the globe keep changing.

Before college, I went to Willoughby Union High School. At that time, the world revolved around that school experience – for me, at least.

The school doesn’t exist any longer. The building is still there, and it was home to many of us for years. But it has not produced a class of high school graduates since 1957.

No matter. We keep having our marvelous dinner-dance reunion every year.

Those never-ending reunions are still being held, thanks to the persistence and dedication of Ed Glavac, who graduated a year before I did. He was a 1945 graduate of Union High, and he keeps on relentlessly holding reunion parties.

He has another one scheduled this year for Aug. 2 at the Patrician Party Center at 33150 Lakeland Blvd., Eastlake. It will be the 18th such reunion.

But we are running out of graduates. So in order to have a really nice reunion, we have to open the doors to non-graduates. Were it not for those “outsiders,” we could hold the “reunion” in a phone booth.

No. Cancel that. I don’t think they have phone booths any more.

At any rate, in order to keep holding our annual reunions, we must, as Ed says, allow them to be open “to anyone interested in our community activities.”

That could include, if you give it some thought, you. I presume you are interested in our community activities.

Otherwise, why would you be so interested in anything I have to say? (You don’t have to answer that).

Thus since we have now established that you are interested in our community activities, here is what you must know, and do, to attend the Aug. 2 gala event. And by the way, bring some friends.

The festivities begin at 4 p.m. and conclude at 7 p.m. The lady of the house and I won’t be there that early because we don’t feed the puppies until 5:30. But we will be there. I hope they save us a plate of food.

The cost is super-reasonable – $25 per person. That includes a delicious, family-style dinner, an open bar (that means free), door prizes, a 50-50 raffle and dancing to the very popular Joey Tomsick Orchestra.

When Joey isn’t playing the accordion he is executive director of the Lake County Council on Aging. So he does have a real job, and it is a pretty impressive one at that.

The dress code is casual. Special seating requests will be honored until July 22. No tickets will be sold at the door. You (all of us) must pay in advance.

For reservations, mail your check payable to WUH Reunion to:
Ed Glavac
7465 Harding St.
Mentor, OH 44060

The ticket sales deadline is July 25. And this is very important: You must include a self-addressed and stamped envelope. Also, if you call Ed at 440-953-0510, he will tell you how you can put an ad in the reunion program. If you attended Union High, please note your class year. If there are maiden names you would like the committee to know about, please let that be known with your entry fee.

One more thing: The event cannot function without financial help. So if you would like to include a few extra bucks with your reservation, Ed assures me it would be appreciated.

Also on Aug. 2, which is a Saturday, the school building in Downtown Willoughby will be open from 10 a.m. until noon, so that Ed can lead a tour of memories that includes a visit to the Sports Hall of Fame. He may also have one of his old “59” football jerseys on hand to show you.

If you peek around the corner into the hall, you may find a very flattering plaque with my picture on it. It has nothing to do with football.

When I went out for the team, our coach, the legendary Humbert F. “Pat” Pasini, wouldn’t give me a uniform. He said I was too small and might get hurt.

That is why I went to college and took up typing. The full story is much too long to tell here.


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