Monday, July 20, 2009

A weekend back "home"

Headed off to Akron, Ohio over the weekend to visit with the folks. Actually, my Dad was receiving an award from my old high school... an honorary alumni award, and my Uncle was receiving a lifetime achievement award from the alumni.

My whole family (my Mom, my two sisters, and me) all graduated from Coventry High School, in the Portage Lakes, just South of Akron. Dad graduated from Archibishop Hoban High School in Akron. Since my sisters and I were involved in sports and music for the schools, Dad began getting involved in various aspects of our school like. He coached little league baseball, was the announcer for football, basketball, and other sports, is a school board member, etc. Since he's done a lot of that for the schools and for us, he was nominated for an honorary alumni status, and received his award on Saturday night at the All Class Reunion, held at the (new) high school.

Backing up a little, being that I grew up in the Akron area, and listened to Akron and Cleveland radio stations, I had forgotten how much I missed the drive time (5:00 pm) songs that played on the various stations to kick the weekends off. As we were getting close to the Cleveland area, on the Ohio Turnpike, I was able to dial in WNCX 98.5 FM, and, since it was 5:00 pm, I was able to hear the trilogy or "Born To Run" (Bruce Springsteen), "This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" (The Kings), and "Bang On The Drum All Day" (Todd Rundgren). Man, I miss that. Sure, the Detroit stations do the same thing on Friday at 5:00 or 6:00 pm, but it's not the same. When you grow up hearing those songs (whether it was on WNCX or WMMS), and then move away, you miss that stuff. It was funny to even hear Kid Leo on WNCX. "The Kid" used to be a staple on WMMS back in my day.

Back to the All Class Reunion... while it is a nice concept, having all graduating classes gather at one place at the same time, to catch up with each other and see old familiar faces, it is lost on the younger generations (myself included.) Sure the younger classes have their separate reunions, you just don't see these classes participate in the All Class Reunion. I have to admit, this is the first year that I have attended, and the only reason for me going was to see my Dad and my Uncle receive their awards. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been there. It was exactly how I pictured it... a lot of white hairs and bald heads getting together. Don't get me wrong. These people really enjoyed getting together and seeing each other again. I would say that the majority of the people there were over the age of 55, and the younger in attendance were there to see their parents or other relatives receive awards. The Class of '59 were having their 50th class reunion that weekend, which included showing up at the All Class Reunion, and the Class of '49 was celebrating their 60th reunion, complete with balloons at their tables. I was the only person from the Class of '82 in attendance... out of about 175 graduates. While I see the purpose for the All Class Reunions, I feel that, at least for my school, unless some of the "underclassmen", or younger graduating classes taking an active roll in helping to organize and promote this reunion, I'm afraid that it will die a slow death, due to the lack of interest. I'm guilty of the "lack of interest" piece of the puzzle. Maybe it is because I don't want to be reminded that one day, in the not so distant future, I'm going to be one of those "white hairs or bald heads" in attendance.

It was a great weekend, and I am proud of my Dad and my Uncle for their accomplishments over the years, and what they've done for the local schools and the community.

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