When kids know best Giving some love to those dog days Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins

My name is Rick, Class of…..

web1_RickHouser.jpgBy Rick Houser –

As the school year passes, and the seniors move toward the stage to accept their diplomas announcing to the entire world that each individual has completed all the required courses of curriculum from kindergarten through the 12th grade. Through all the happiness and tears that come with the end of a school year, there is still one final event that today most seniors and graduates pass up, thinking they are young and too busy to stop and enjoy this. That is a school’s annual Alumni Dinner.
My generation and folks from the baby boomer age are far different than today’s immediate and much needed “gotta have it right now” group. I’m not pointing out a fault here but more of how the way things and kids are today. If all will please for a moment or two take a step back and take a look at what the Alumni is and how they go about it. Truthfully an Alumni is operated pretty much the same as always and really there isn’t much that can be done to change the approach.
About six weeks before the dinner the names of graduates from the current year and as many years back as the Secretary and other officers can find addresses for are gathered and invitations are mailed. This day the research and other electronic storing data needed is put to use and very helpful. To all the young students, I did say data and electronics. Yes older folks have learned how.
The Alumni is made up of a gathering of the school’s students who have in common that one thing and that is they all graduated from that school. All those in attendance appear at the school’s gym and begin to mingle with the other folks in the gym. Strange as this may sound, former students from graduating classes of different years normally find out that they enjoy talking to these new and friendly faces. After a half hour to an hour of socializing, the meeting is called to order and the president asked for the evening’s meal to be blessed and then directions are given so all can approach the meal in an orderly manner. Along with the eating the socializing continues and friends, old and new, warm up to each other.
When the food is all consumed and all the empty but clean plates, plastic silverware, and the empty cake or pie dishes are disposed in the huge garbage cans, all those in attendance, even though they are still talking, begin to keep an eye out for the president to call the room to order and then they have to begin listening. When this happens, everyone looks to the president and listens for what has been printed in their programs to be verbally explained.
Most of the time the meeting begins with various acknowledgements. First, who traveled the farthest to attend the Alumni and someone from California or Oregon speaks up. Then, who has been out of school the most years since graduating. This can and has been interesting sometimes as longevity will mess up the math on this. Next is the honoring of the current years graduating class. I would think more would attend as many have parents who are Alumni, they are given a gift for graduating and just showing up, and most of all they get their meal free. That dear graduates is the one and only time you will ever see a free meal from your Alumni Association and maybe anywhere else for the rest of your life. (Take advantage and enjoy it. You are the guess of honor.)
Now all the honors move along quickly and any and all announcements, but there is one event that I doubt there is a person in the gym who hasn’t come to hear or been patiently waiting for. That is the one and only “Roll Call.” An alumnus appointed by the Alumni officers to present us all is called to the microphone. Now the gym does quiet down even more and the announcer normally goes back to the oldest graduate and asks the year they graduated. Once this is established the years begin to move forward with the slight cadence of an auctioneer.
As the years advance towards the present-day, the number of Alumni’s per year will usually increase. When a year is called, the graduates from that year stand and one by one give their name and say it proudly so that all the others know they are still proud to have harvested that diploma all those many years ago. Some even become so happy with broad smiles that infectiously bring on smiles to the rest of us. As the years roll on and gets closer to my year, I get my chair turned to a proper position so that I can effortlessly move from the chair and to my feet, and as I look over the crowd I too smile and not even trying, I hear my voice in a louder tone tell all just who I am. Then I slowly take my seat and let the rest of the years go on by. However, I sit there satisfied that they all heard me loud and clear.
When that last year of graduates stand and gives their names and all can see the announcer has finished, there is applause from all. We all came and visited, ate a nice meal, listened to stories, and most of all told them we too graduated from that school and that will have to last until next year, when I can repeat my stellar performance. For years I didn’t miss Alumni dinners and for years I didn’t go. Now I go every year and look forward to seeing the people I was raised around and then can figure out some of why I am who I am. These days it is great to see those folks from days gone by and after a few minutes talking I remember exactly why I wanted to attend the Alumni and why I hold these people as my good old friends.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser74@yahoo.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved