High School Hall of Fame
October 23rd, 2011 by Regina Brett
Last night I was inducted into my high school Hall of Fame.
Yes, little Ravenna High School has one. I didn't know until I got the call.
My grade school Immaculate Conception was torn down. My high school was closed and a new one opened. Then I find myself in the Hall of Fame.
Am I getting old or what?
It was a delightful night at the Ravenna Elks Club. My mom, my brother, Tom, and his wife, Tish, came to celebrate. My husband, Bruce, introduced me.
They gave each inductee just two minutes to speak. How do you thank a whole town for raising you in two minutes?
I wanted to thank Mr. Maske, my choir teacher, who taught me to make every day joyful.
Mr. Roberto, my biology teacher, who reminded me weekly: "There's no such thing as a free lunch, Brett." Mr. Ricco, my 9th grade English teacher, who taught me to love words.
I needed to thank all the neighbors on Sycamore Street for keeping our neighborhood safe and fun and for giving us their leftover candy at Halloween. The Ciprianos, Triscorris, Profios, Policanos and Cunninghams loved us as their own.
I wanted to mention those hard workers at Darwal furniture factory four houses down and Rotek ball bearing plant five houses up for working so hard to feed their families, guys like Mr. Mendiola who walked a mile to work every day because a disability kept him from driving. What dedication.
I did get to mention a few of the people that leave imprints on your heart, guys like Hank Irussi, who walked all over town and lived at the library. The caboose man, who waved to us from the tracks behind our house and always threw us candy. The librarians, who fed us food for our hearts, minds and souls.
Small towns like Ravenna are full of people who make a big difference.
You don't really go back to your roots. When you have strong ones like the ones they gave me, those roots are always with you, holding you firm, long after the caboose has disappeared.