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Manchester High School
437 West Nimisila Road
Akron, OH 44319
(330) 882-3291

  Class of '79 Newsletter
 

Vol. 3 -- March 2005

Class of '79 Newsletters are written & edited independently by MHS '79 grads, with no implied endorsement from Manchester Local Schools.

I: UPCOMING Class of '79 Gathering at PANCHOS It's our 3 rd...how many have YOU been to?

MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2005 at 6:30pm

* Who: MHS Class of '79 friends We make everyone feel welcome...join us!

* What: Casual dinner and/or drinks & socializing (No fee...just buy your own food/drinks)

* Where: Pancho's Southwest Grille, 4325 Massillon Rd. in Green (private dining room)

* When: Monday, April 4th, 2005 at 6:30pm

* Why: 'Cause it's fun to get-together for a couple hrs. with classmates, including some we haven't seen in decades!

IT'S EASY TO FIND : Exit off I-77 at Masillon Rd. (Rt. 241...this is only a mile south of the Arlington Rd. exit). Head south on Massillon Rd. for 1.5-miles. Pancho's is on the left. Planning ahead: next date is Mon., June 6th at 6:30pm

II: The "Contest"... Yada-Yada : MHS Trivia Quiz -- To Win SEINFELD on DVD!

HOW TO ENTER : Send your replies to ericmhs79@netzero.com by April 15, 2005 . The most correct answers wins you a new set of Seinfeld DVDs. If there's a tie, we'll draw a winner. These aren't all that hard, if you were coherent between 1975-79...

1) When we staged our well-publicized student walkout, what 2 teachers' jobs (primarily) were we trying to save?

2) We had 3 different principals during our 4-years at MHS. Who were they?

3) What brainiac was our class valedictorian?

4) Which Rod Stewart song did Brenda Nipper lip-sync during our senior Gong Show?

5) Doug Miller started at varsity quarterback for more years than any QB Jim France has ever coached. How many?

6) Name ANY exchange-student Manchester hosted during our years at the high school.

7) Rebels that we were, the MHS students launched a boycott—demanding an improvement of.....WHAT?

8) Which teacher was unusually fond of "Star Trek" : Mr. Biss... Mr. Armenti... or Mr. McDowell?

9) What was our SeniorProm theme/song? -or- What school became our arch-rival in the All-Ohio Conference?

10) Where in downtown Manchester can you still find the 12-seat old-fashioned soda counter we "dined" at growing up?

III: New Middle School: 3 -Decades after WE OPENED IT!

2004-05 marks the 30th year since we were the FIRST class to occupy the new Middle School. Only two of our former teachers remain on staff: Mr. Bob Farkas....and Mrs. Denise Pierson, who came to us mid-year in 7th grade as "Miss Culbertson" to fill-in during Mrs. Brokaw's pregnancy-leave. The Brokaws' only daughter, Nicole, is all grown up now, and gave birth to triplets just days after her father passed away suddenly a few years ago. In talking with various faculty, students & administrators, the consensus is that Mr. and Mrs. Brokaw were two of the finest people, and most dedicated educators, Manchester has ever known. Both are greatly missed.

* Judy Brokaw Scholarship Fund: An ex-student helps to generously fund a memorial scholarship given each year in Mrs. Brokaw's honor. If you'd like to donate, contact Mrs. Young at the high school.

* Former principal Carl Arnold was also a beloved figure in Manchester, and in 1980 told one of his new teachers (in the presence of a Class of '79 grad) that OUR class was "the most mature group of kids" he'd ever had. Sadly, Mr. Arnold died suddenly in his office only months later.

* JUKEBOX Heroes: Our first year in the Middle School, we led the Student Council's purchase (for $300) of a vintage jukebox...which belted out lunchtime favorites like "Philadelphia Freedom" and "Black Water" for a whole lotta years! Mr. Brokaw said later that it was the biggest fundraiser the school ever had. (It sure beat selling those little bags of potato chips.) The jukebox was finally sold in the late '80s, at a small profit over its initial price, with the investment going back into the Student Council fund.

* Five '79 alums had the chance to talk with our Middle School secretary, Mrs. (Vera) Cormany, earlier this month. Now 82, she still lives in Manchester and looks great. Mrs. (Mary Ellen) Stephens, our H.S. guidance office secretary, was at the same gathering, and said she now volunteers twice a week in the library at Nolley.

IV: Mystery Solved! "Whatever happened to . . . DAVE DOUGLAS ?"

Intense. High-strung. Intimidating. Many words describe our Middle School boys Phys-Ed teacher, Mr. Dave Douglas, a man not easily forgotten! We shared some hilarious memories of Mr. Douglas at our recent 25-Year Reunion , and NOW we've learned that, contrary to rumor, he's (thankfully) alive and well!

Mr. Douglas continued teaching in Manchester until nearly 1990, retiring with about 30 years of service. He had his "All-Star Trophy" business on the side, as well, and owned quite a few rental properties in extremely rough areas of South Akron , which he continued managing for a few years, before selling them and relocating to a southern state. At last word, he's working in the landscape industry.

Few may recall that Mr. Douglas took over as Athletic Director in '72 after the death of legendary football coach "Swede" Olsson. Douglas was a major force behind organizing the All-Ohio Conference , which Manchester left the Suburban League to join when we were in high school. (West Holmes...Triway...weren't those fun vacations?) He continued as A.D. until Mr. Don Adey's brief tenure began in Fall 1976.

Douglas, of course, had an innovative and well-respected teaching system; but is also fondly remembered for his black spandex wardrobe, calling everyone by their last-name only, occasionally pinning an unruly student up against the wall, some zealous faculty-vs.-student volleyball games; and, especially, those bizarre slideshows we saw in his Health class. [Talk about being "scared straight!"]

V: WHERE ARE THEY NOW...? Ann Ovendorf / Carl Remy

Catching up with : Ann (Trudel) Ovendorf. . . musical mom in Michigan !

"I have been married 20 years to a wonderful man, Daniel, and we have two blessings: Eric (12) and Allison (6).

I received my B.S. in Business Adminstration/Marketing in 1985 from Akron U and worked for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for 8-yrs. before "retiring" early to become a full-time mom. We have lived in Michigan for 11 years, where I've enjoyed raising our children, teaching piano and leading the children's choir at church. We are all doing well. Thanks for your effort in getting the class reunited!" Give Ann a shout at: melodiemi@yahoo.com

Catching up with : Carl Remy . . . Globe-trotting Marine docks in The O.C.

Carl attended Portage Lakes JVS for 2 yrs., and after high school spent 20 yrs. in the U.S. Marine Corps, working in Aviation Supply, and as a Water Survival Instructor and Recruiter. The military career kept him on the move, from S. Carolina ...to Iwakuni , Japan ...to Sacramento , CA ...to Yuma , AZ ...and Okinawa , Japan . He's been married to Mimi for almost 13 years, and they've lived in Lake Forest , CA ( Orange County ) for over a decade--with four kids between them, ranging in age from 18 to 20. Carl now sells Val-Pak direct mail advertising to businesses, and his wife sells prepaid legal services. The Remys traveled the furthest distance to be at our 25-Yr. Reunion in Oct.

* Hobbies: I like to play golf occasionally, work out, and boogie-board

* Favorite memory: I enjoyed my high school days & friends. It was all good. Manchester was a nice place to grow up.

* Favorite teacher: Mr. Harp--he didn't take any @#$% and made sure I did my work! Thanks Mr. Harp. Semper Fi

* Other notes of interest: I've traveled to Bolivia , S. America (visiting pre-Incan ruins near Lake Titicaca ), Korea ,

Thailand , Guam , Norway , the Philippines , Hong Kong and was aboard the USS Belleau Woods for 6 months.

* Biggest "pet-peeve" of the past quarter-century: Political Correctness

* Favorite TV: The History Channel / Favorite music: Journey, Foreigner

Drop Carl a line at: carlwremy@hotmail.com

VI: "ALL RISE!" From MHS to Summit County JUDGE ....?

Most everyone in our class knows Todd McKenney ('82), one of Suzanne's younger brothers. What you don't know is: Todd was asked to complete the term of a local Republican judge when the seat recently became vacant. Now an area minister (after getting his OSU law-degree & practicing for about 4-yrs), the deal was signed-and-sealed...until politics came into play and Todd decided it was best to decline the appointment. He is, however, considering an election run for Judge in 2009 when his kids are a bit older. So if you see him on the ballot... rock the vote! (Incidentally, can anyone think of a better candidate for such a position than Todd? He was his class president, a down-to-earth and well-respected friend, and now an excellent Bible teacher, we're told.)  

POLITICS, Pt. 2: Mike Workman's older sister, Carol (Klinger) Workman, is a longtime member of City Council in Cuyahoga Falls , the 2 nd-largest city in Summit County . Never afraid to speak her mind, Carol's been a strong leader and ally for 4-term Mayor Don Robart. At least five '79 alums live in the Falls---now you know you've got an MHS contact.

VII: Manchester Panther athletes ..... IN THE PROS! How cool is that?

It may not be the NFL or NBA, but several recent MHS grads will play professional basketball & football locally:

Nate Schindewolf ('96) , the 6'5" son of Gene, is one of the greatest players in MHS history, scoring over 2,000 points & twice named Ohio 's top Div. III player. He played college hoops at Miami & Akron , & now will play guard for the AKRON LIGHTNING, a first-year franchise in the new 20-team International Basketball League (IBL). Their home season begins April 17, 2005 at 1pm vs. Vancouver , & the games ($8) are played at Stow High School . (Road games include Dayton , Youngstown , Battle Creek , Grand Rapids & Macomb County , MI , if you want to catch Nate when he's in your area.)

Rob Adamson ('98) has signed to quarterback the CANTON LEGENDS in their inaugural season of the Atlantic Indoor Football League (AIFL). Coach France says Rob had the strongest arm of any of his QBs, and it helped him lead MHS to its only state championship game, a 5-overtime loss in '97; then direct Mount Union College to two straight Div. III national titles. As a starter, his teams went 20-1 in high school, 25-0 in college. Rob was once signed by the San Diego Chargers & later the Carolina Panthers, who sent him to play a season for their NFL Europe team. The Legends kick-off in April at the Canton Civic Center , and also have road games in Erie & Johnstown, PA; Charlotte , NC ; & Richmond , VA.

Eric Rector ('00) , another standout Panther QB, was just chosen in the 3 rd round of the AIFL draft by the JOHNSTOWN RIVERHAWKS, located just east of Pittsburgh . After MHS, Eric went on to set career records for completions and passing-yards at Malone College .

Kathy Eckert (Hale) '78 , a multi-sport athlete from our era, was also just named Operations Manager for the AKRON RACERS, the premier team in the National Pro Fastpitch softball league. Kathy works directly with GM Joey Arrietta, who coached several of our MHS girls at the Univ. of Akron . The Racers roster includes 3 players who won '04 Olympic gold medals.

VIII: Were you a . . . . MINUTEMAN?

The High School held its 30th annual Minuteman Banquet earlier this month, honoring students who'd been nominated by teachers as having displayed various leadership skills. As Mr. France said, "Basically, these are just some really good kids." Some of our classmates were asked to assist with the banquet. It's a nice program which has endured 3-decades.

IX: The Email Exchange Say "Hi" to an old....er , former classmate!

UPDATE, Jan. '06 : For over a year, we've gathered email addresses and requested specific permission to list them here in our "Email Exchange" section. After sharing them in increments throughout '05, we re-published the entire list in Vol. 7 of our newsletter .

To be listed , SEND YOUR NAME & EMAIL ADDRESS (and any other '79 friends') to: ericmhs79@sbcglobal.net

 X: AREA H EADLINES for our OUT-OF-STATE (and out-of-TOUCH) Classmates

Former MHS principal (and good-guy) DENNIS LAMBES may just dread going to work some days. Lambes is now Superintendent at Northwest Local Schools in Canal Fulton, where 14 students from NW high school were just sentenced for a series of break-ins at a 91-year-old man's home. The worst evidence? A tape-recording in which they threatened to kill the man if he gave any resistance. This comes about a year after a drinking-party scandal, in which it was publicly alleged that star athletes involved continued to play, while cheerleaders were suspended. Ah, kids these days...  

Student Walkout: The Next Generation... A group of us happened to see a '79 classmate last week on the same day his son took part in the big Hudson High student walkout. It brought back memories of our own MHS traffic-stopping protest from the late 70s. The difference? Hudson 's kids were supporting their popular principal who'd been non-renewed; and seven police departments converged on the students, dousing them with pepper-spray! Ah, adults these days...

It's official: Cleveland has been crowned the Poorest Big City in America —meaning, more families live in poverty. And it's unfortunately headed toward least-intelligent city, as well. A recent Plain Dealer story said only 41-percent of Cleveland students graduate from high school. And when it comes to black males...it's a shocking 19-percent! If that doesn't make you appreciate your Manchester education, nothing will .

XI: Life's Funny Moments: Eric Stone PUNK'D by Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx

"After Jamie's recent 'Best Actor' victory, I had this flashback: As a local TV producer for The WB, I deal with visiting stars from time to time. Back in '98, Jamie was in Cleveland for a stand-up comedy performance, and his sitcom was still airing on The WB. So we spent the afternoon taping promos with him behind the Rock Hall; and told him we'd see him later at his show with our backstage-winner. My wife & I arrived late at The Palace theatre, unaware our tickets were front-row, center...and right on top of the eye-level stage. As we slowly walked down the long aisle, realizing we were probably the only white folk in the sold-out building, Jamie stops his routine...and says, "Oh, look what we got here. I think you two are lookin' for the Clint Black concert down the street." Of course, the bros and sisters erupted. Then, as we squeezed thru the front row to our seats, Jamie comes over with his hand out (like to say 'no hard feelings'), and when I reached out to shake, he gave me his trademark "palm-toward-the-face" gesture & "Eeerrrchh" sound-effect, which had the crowd roaring. Pretty funny at the time...and something to always remember—from an Academy Award winner."

Our Sincere Condolences...

The Class of ' 79 extends its heartfelt sympathies to Tom Kritzell, who lost his father last month; and to Chris Rogers , whose mother passed away just two weeks ago. Many of you may remember Mrs. Suzanne Rogers, who was a popular and caring secretary in the Manchester school system for 35 years, primarily at Nolley . Also, Ray "Butch" Thacker (and sister Terrie) lost their mom this month, as well.

Congratulations x 2

Manchester Alumni Association president Todd Lindeman ('89) and his wife Stacie are the proud new parents of TWINS --- a boy and a girl. Mom and Dad may get a full night's sleep again....around 2007.

REMINDERS / WRAP UP:

  • Ya gotta eat—do it with us at Panchos on Mon., April 4, 2005 / The planning's done, just show up & enjoy!
  • Forget the taxes.....Email your MHS Trivia Quiz answers by April 15th
  • We're interested in news from YOU and your family—drop us a line! NEXT ISSUE: May 2005
  • What classmate would you like to see profiled in an upcoming issue?
  • Missing Vol. 1 or 2 of our newsletter? CONTACT US AT: ericmhs79@sbcglobal.net
  • Notify us if your e-address changes! We'll have no way of knowing otherwise
  • The full-schedules for our MHS "Professional" athletes are on-line. Just search on their team or league

MHS Class of '79 Reunion / Newsletter Committee : class president Monica Jordan (Wagar), Tanya Eckroad (Bailey), Beth Bjerre (Stewart), Barb Carmichael (Wilson), Bob Kolar, Tammy Hercules (Dixon), Suzanne McKenney (Newman), Dana Tomich (Zaratsian), Sue Guthrie (Snyder), Eric Stone.

Editor's Note: Class of '79 Newsletters are written & edited independently by MHS '79 grads , with no authorization or implied endorsement from Manchester Local Schools. Our purpose is to stay in touch with our classmates in the years leading up to our 30-Year Reunion in 2009, with interesting news items and nostalgic memories. We hope this effort will encourage participation in class activities, and make it easier to locate everyone when necessary.