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Bob's reunion story and one pic published in the Star (6-25-09)

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  • Bob Friend
    Dear Old-Schools Friends-- My brother Mark, who lives in Waterloo and is a Star subscriber, called me this AM to tell me the Star today printed the story
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2009
      Dear Old-Schools Friends--
      My brother Mark, who lives in Waterloo and is a Star subscriber, called me this AM to tell me the Star today printed the story (along with one of the  pix) that I submitted just two days after the event (Monday, June 15).  I really had figured that if the story was not printed by last week it would not be printed at all -- so I think we should be thankful it was published, albeit a bit belatedly.
      I will shortly be sending out an e-mail asking for help re the folks shown in the Corunna pic.  I will list the names I know and hope some of you can fill in the blanks.  I am still trying to get caught up after being out of town for a week, but ASAP I will do likewise re the E.R. and W.R. group photos.  Thanks for bearing with me!
      Here is the comment I wrote today after reading the story online:

      As the author of the article and the co-chair (& photographer) of the reunion, I would like to thank Lindsay Brown and Dave Kurtz of the Star for finding space to run my story and photo. Had I known I would have a few days before the Corunna School photo was published, I'd have tried to identify those pictured.  I am now sending out an e-mail to some other attendees who may be able to assist in this effort, and I will send the Star a brief letter when I have all the names.  I had to pose the other two schools' group photos also, and we just beat the rain; I am sorry for the omission of the names, but we did the best we could under the circumstances.  Anyone wanting to view all the pix I took on June 13 can go to http://fotobyfriend.smugmug.com/gallery/8663581_Cah8U ; I will continue to work on adding captions as time allows.  Thanks to all who attended the reunion -- it was great to reminisce with so many old friends.
      For those of you who can access the Star online, here is the direct link to the story:
      For those who cannot, I have copied it below:
      By Bob Friend
      Thursday, 25 June 2009 00:00


      “Wow! Is that really you? It’s been over 50 years since we last spoke!” Comments such as like this were frequent in Waterloo’s Francis Thomson Park June 13, where former students reminisced at the Richland Township Schools Reunion.

      Over the years since my boyhood in rural DeKalb County, I had often wondered whether it would be possible to find enough of my fellow “old-timers” to have a get-together. Earlier this year, in an e-mail exchange, a fellow Waterloo High School and West Richland School classmate, Janis (Myers) Sproat (now of rural Butler) asked me what I thought about staging such an event — and that was all it took to get the ball rolling.

      Over the months leading up to the reunion, Janis and I worked diligently to locate and contact alumni from East Richland, West Richland and Corunna. Since I live quite a distance away (northwest of Chicago), I concentrated on such things as media contacts and designing the promotional flyers, which Janis had printed locally and then posted in various supermarkets, churches, libraries, etc. In addition, she called many people personally, and I performed numerous Internet searches with some success. Although not everyone we reached was able to attend, we were pleased with the turnout — approximately 75 (plus spouses and other guests).

      An adjunct event was a tour of the old East Richland School, now owned by Don and Pam Sebert of Auburn. Don spent grades one through eight at the school. After I shot group photos at Thomson Park, a number of attendees drove to a well-planned open house hosted by Pam at East Richland. This is the only one — of the three old schools — still standing, and the exterior is pretty much the same as at the time of its construction (1914). West Richland’s roof collapsed some years ago, and the building today is largely rubble. At Corunna a monument now marks the site of the old school.

      Many expressions of heartfelt appreciation were expressed to Janis and me for organizing this event. But others contributed as well, especially Janis’s husband Ron, along with Connie (Roop) Combs and her husband Claude. Janis and I are also thankful to all those who attended — some coming from far and wide — to be able to reconnect with their old classmates.

      Will we do it again? Well, keep your eyes on the local papers and bulletin boards in a couple of years or so —

      Alumni from Corunna School, part of Richland Township Schools,
      pose for their updated class picture June 13 during a reunion at Thomson Park in Waterloo.


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