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

  Class of '79 Newsletter

Vol. 7 -- October 2005

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

I: FINAL 2005 After-Work Get-Together at PANCHO'S
MONDAY, NOV. 7, 2005 at 6:30pm

* Who: MHS Class of '79 friends

* What: Casual dinner / socializing...our pre-holiday event ( No fee...just buy your own food/drinks)

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

* When: In less than 2 weeks! Mon., Nov . 7, 2005at 6:30pm

* Why: This is our 6th event at Pancho's...all arranged so you and other classmates can stay in touch on a semi-regular basis.

Stop by just once & see what you're missing — a lot of old Panther friends who'd really like to catch-up!

EASY TO FIND : Exit off I-77 at Massillon Rd. (Rt. 241...this is only a mile south of the Arlington Rd. exit). Head south for 1.5-miles.

LOOKING AHEAD: Next scheduled dinner is MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2006 at 6:30pm 

II. Where Are They Now ? ? ?
A real blast-from-the-past: JEFF HASTINGS !

Thirty-one years ago, right after 7th grade, Jeff's dad/family was transferred to Chicago...but we recently tracked down our former classmate—who has a lot of great memories from growing up in Manchester, loves getting our '79 newsletters, and was happy to bring us up-to-date on his life...

Family : Jeff and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 23 years, and have one daughter, Jacqui, 16 . He's lived in Elk Grove Village , Illinois for 25-yrs., and also owns a country residence in Bridgeton , Michigan .

Education : Schaumburg HS; Archigymnasium, Soest Germany; National Cable Television Institute; Harper College; U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Bureau of Export Administration; and a myriad of specialized certifications...

Occupation : Distribution / Facility Operations Manager, Toshiba Machine Co.; and President of Design Loft, Inc., which is an image design/transfer business, producing custom promotional & advertising products. Jeff's wife is vice-president of Design Loft, and also VP of Technical Image Products.

Previous places Jeff's lived : Schaumburg, IL, '74 -'79; Soest, Germany in '78 as a foreign-exchange student ; Tampa, FL., '79 - '80; and, of course, Manchester , OH , '60 - '74.

Previous Occupations : International Operations Mgr., Antec / Anixter Corp, '92 – '98; Distribution Manager, Anixter Corp., '86 – '92 Service Manager, and American Cable Systems of Illinois , '82 – '86

Daughter's activities : EGHS Varsity Poms, Concert Band (flute), American Tiger Karate Academy (Brown belt), AAU Regional Karate medallist '04, AAU Karate National Championship medallist '04, Junior Olympics Karate competition '04.

Hobbies / Activities : My favorite hobby is deer hunting and relaxing at our country home in Michigan . I'm very involved with music—as Volunteer Coordinator for the EGHS Music Parents Committee, and two different band projects of my own (I play the bass guitar). One is an all-original rock project & the other consists of classic-rock covers. "As I tell my daughter, Dad rocks and 'If it's too loud, you're too old.' Ha. All kidding aside, music of any type is just downright good for the soul!"

Hometown Memories? : " the first 14-yrs of my life! Manchester was a great place to grow up! As we lived on Sturgeon Dr , I was a stone's throw from the State Park , where a great deal of time was spent enjoying the outdoors."

Favorite Teacher? : " Mr. Dave Douglas -- Gym class rocked!"

We hate to ask (with the World Series, and all), but---any favorite sports teams? : "Silly question... But of course, Da Bears, Da Bulls, Da Blackhawks, Da Cubs and Da Sox. Bet you can't tell where I'm from! However, you'll still catch me rooting for the Browns and the Buckeyes! You can take the kid out of Ohio , but you can't take Ohio out of the kid."

Favorite CD or music group? : "My musical taste is very diverse. I have several influential favorites that make up my musical style. I listen to and can play the works of many different artists. My greatest musical influences are the Beatles (of course) and Clapton. My current projects are influenced heavily by SRV, ZZ Top, and more recently, Los Lonely Boys. Then there's country: Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn... When it comes to music, I could ramble on for hours! If you have a chance, check out Kevin and Marty are both former band mates of mine from back in the day."

Favorite TV show? : The Wonder Years and That '70s Show

Interesting places you've traveled to, or other interesting life-experiences ? "As far as travel goes, I've been very fortunate. Here, there & pretty much everywhere... Life-experiences? Too many to mention. What I have learned, though, is to live every day to its fullest, take care of yourself and take the time to spend with family. We are blessed with life on this rock for only a short time which can come to an end without notice. So, make every day count!"

Jeff would really like to hear from old friends and classmates at:

III. '79 Classmate Robbed at Gunpoint

Barb Carmichael (Wilson) has been employed at a bank branch in Manchester less than a year —but earlier this month, she found herself staring down the barrel of a gun. The armed-robber walked right up to her and announced his intentions, before leaping over the counter, taking thousands of dollars and escaping by bicycle to his waiting stolen-car. This occurred less than a mile from the Police station. The FBI's on the case, and when he's caught, the thief faces 25-years in prison.

 IV. End of the road for all Manchester sports? Nov. 8th is "D-Day" at the voting booth

Can you imagine Manchester without its historic football or basketball programs? They , along with every other sport and extracurricular activity in the district, will be eliminated if the 8.5-mil school levy fails (for a second time) on Nov. 8, 2005 . This news has been widely reported locally, but our out-of-town friends may be surprised by this development. Rising costs & cuts in state-funding have created an operating deficit which, by law, must be balanced. It's serious stuff, and this may be the closest the district has ever come to... a) cutting all sports, b ) a state takeover, c) a merger with another district. For a community which seems to revolve around Panther Pride & athletic domination, all of the above is unthinkable. UPDATE 12/05 : The levy PASSED

V. MHS First-Hand Report from "Hurricane Central"

Classmate John McDermott , who relocated from Texas to Navarre , Florida (on the Panhandle) just before Hurricane Dennis struck his new city in June, recently wrote : "Things are going pretty good here. This week I hope to finish enclosing the patio, which was a screen room before the hurricane. The new roof will be done next week (Dennis also), and the siding has already been fixed (Dennis again). Now if we can just finish out the hurricane season without any more damage, the world will be wonderful."

John is one of 11 classmates who now live in Florida; the others include Randy Simmons and Debbie Harvey (both in Naples, which was just hit by Wilma); Tracy Cooper, Dave Johnson, Darryl Johnson, Greg Eberhardt, Paul Borotkanics, Candy Brown, Ron Blakely and Marc Bayless. Keep all of these friends in your thoughts, as Florida has now endured 8 hurricanes in the past 15 months.

In Remembrance . . .

Stanley Knox, 51, the brother of classmates Doug Knox and Cathy Bauer (Dietz) passed away this week. ( Calling hours are Fri., Oct. 28 at Billows Portage Lakes .)

Mrs. Cathlene Lambert, 83, Jeff's mom, passed away late last month. It's been almost 25 years now since we lost Jeff in a tragic swimming-pool accident.

The mother of Mr. Gordon Staats, one of our first high school counselors, also died in Sept.

And, sadly, a relative of Gerald Crafton just shared that our former classmate's life ended at age 19.

They still remember Gerald as a friendly and funny guy, as many of us do, as well. A quarter-century ago, teen suicide wasn't quite the serious issue it's become today. But this month, the Manchester Alumni Association and Middle School PTA pooled funds to pay for assemblies which addressed the topic to grades 5-12. The speaker, Paul Dunbar, had many real-life stories to relate, much like David Toma when we were in school...with one exception — Paul's own teenage son had once committed suicide.

VI. Manchester grads "take over"

At times this season , the Browns have been unwatchable—but never un-READ-able! Panther alumni Steve King ('74) and Zac Jackson ('98) are primary staff writers for the team's official website, Many recall Steve's sports writing start at The Suburbanite; he's had an impressive career with many NE Ohio publications since then, and both of these MHS alums do a great job on the Browns site.

VII. "It's In Print...So It Must Be True, Right?"

Just after we talked with Mr. Ed Cowger for a retired-teacher profile in Sept . , we came across a 2004 paperback book entitled " The Ghosts of Zoar, Ohio." Apparently this little village is one big haven for spooks. Seventeen chapters of various ghost stories—real or urban legends?—fill the pages, capped off with the Cowgers' tale of their own supernatural resident, "P.J." Interested? You can get a copy at

VIII. The Legend Really Grows: A FOURTH Panther coach emerges with 300 wins

In our last newsletter , we noted that MHS football coach Jim France would soon (in '06) be joining basketball coach Gene Schindewolf and baseball coach Roger Taylor with 300 career victories. To our surprise, there's yet another Panther coach who has already far surpassed that total: tennis coach Wayne Sanders, also a 6th grade teacher. He took over both the boys and girls programs in 1982, and has continued with them until this year, when he decided to focus solely on the girls team. His overall dual-meet record is 395 - 413. Now coaching the boys team is Tammy Hercules( Dixon )'s younger brother, Vince, who's a 3 rd grade teacher at Nolley.

IX: The "Untold Story" from inside LeBron's Jury Room

Two of our '79 classmates have a mutual friend ... who happened to be on the jury during LeBron James' recent civil case. A promoter was suing the Cavs star for $15-million, claiming LeBron had reneged on a verbal contract he supposedly made in high school to allow this guy to produce a documentary, etc.

The jury came up with the necessary votes for LeBron's victory, but there was some real drama prior to the verdict. Our friend revealed that two jurors—one man, in particular—really "had it in" for LeBron, and wanted to "stick it to him." Guess even local sports heroes have their enemies.

X: Classmate's relative gets her book published... at93-years-old

Lynora Pavkov (Rumm) 's great-aunt, Helen Pavkov, was the subject of a really touching Beacon Journal feature earlier this month. She's the 93-year-old woman who's been writing poetry all her life, and always dreamed of having her works published. So the staff at HCR Manor Care Health Services in Barberton and some generous area businesses made it happen! Mrs. Pavkov's first book of poems, Through Sunshine and Shadow, was unveiled at a special signing-event held in her honor. Carrie Shearer (Pavkov), who's married to Bob, says that the elderly author is "a wonderful person, one of Bob's favorite great-aunts." With all the bad news we read, it was nice to see a kind gesture done for this special lady.

XI: MHS heading into football playoffs, despite first league loss in 10 years

Barring an upset loss to CVCA this week, Manchester (9-1) will return to the state football playoffs for the 15th straight season. Sadly, the team's 10-year league winning streak came to an end with a stunning loss to a large, senior-laden Tusky Valley team. The Panthers had previously won the PAC-7 conference title 15 times in the league's 16 years of existence. No wonder Coventry & East Canton wanted out.  

XII: Separated at Birth?? Mr. Jim France and Troy Aikman

Watching Troy announce a pro football game on FOX recently , the facial resemblance between the ex-Dallas Cowboys quarterback and MHS principal / football coach is uncanny. They could easily pass for father and son, or even brothers. Seriously, check it out...

XIII: MHS alum's son quarterback's Aurora to playoffs!

Most of our '79 classmates also knew Terrie Thacker (MHS '81) . Now her son, Wes Miller, a junior, is the star quarterback at nearby Aurora High School . The once-beaten Orangemen will shortly be making their first playoff appearance in five years.

XIV: Class of '79 connection = 3 Degrees from O.J.

1979 : We graduate, and O.J . Simpson retires from the NFL

1995 : O.J. stands trial for double murder...houseguest / witness Kato Kaelin is introduced to the world

2005 : Kato Kaelin comes to Cuyahoga Falls to shoot WBNX-TV promos with classmate Eric Stone

Kato's the host of a new courtroom show, Eye For An Eye. Although his biggest claim to fame is living in O.J.'s guest-house and hearing a mysterious "thump" the night of the murders, it's amazing how well-known and popular this guy is. He couldn't have been nicer, and the judge who traveled with him says Kato is not at all the party-animal his image may convey. 

XV: CLASS OF '79 REUNION-PHOTO DVD still available ! ! ! It's got 200 pics...only $5

Have you ordered your keepsake DVD , which includes over 200 photos from all four of our class reunions (5, 10, 20 & 25-yr.), plus some shots from high-school? This DVD has neat transitions and is scored with a collection of music from "our day. " Best part? It's only $5, if you live locally & we hook-up to put it in your hands...or $7 if we have to mail it to you. And someday, you can sell it on Ebay for at least that much! J Seriously, Suzanne McKenney (Newman) spent a lot of time on this order yours by emailing or mail a check to "MHS Class of '79", c/o 2411 Tenth St. , Cuyahoga Falls , OH 44221. 


Best Book Titles Ever :
Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot (by Al Franken)
Al Franken is a Buck-Toothed Moron (by J.P. Mauro)

Best TV Comedies (maybe EVER ):
Arrested Development (FOX / Monday)and The Office (NBC / Tuesday). Anyone else addicted to these ingenious shows? If not, give 'em a try and be ready to laugh out loud.

Best Website Name : (pretty accurate, too)

Best Current Commercial : "Comcastic".... How inspired is Comcast's old footage with Loretta Swit and the $10,000 Pyramid?

XVII: The Email Exchange:
Here’s a re-print of all classmates who’ve given us permission

Thus far, only about HALF of our ’79 newsletter recipients have written to give us the OK to list their email-address here. (Of course, there are also over 2 dozen friends who don’t have computer-access yet, so we’ve got extra work in printing & mailing their issues.) SAVE THIS LIST FOR FUTURE REFERENCE IF YOU’RE NOT LISTED BELOW , please email with your permission, and we’ll add you in our next class newsletter. These e-addresses are for your private use and convenience only, not for any junk mail or spam. Look thru the names and re-connect with an old friend; that’s what they’re here for.

Doug Abrams
Craig Anderson
Rick Bell
Brian Benton
Doug Bietko
Beth (Bjerre) Stewart
Carmen (Bonner) Mick
Brenda Booth
Chris (Boyce) Sourwine
Betsy (Breidenthal) Bradley
Betsy (Breidenthal) Bradley
Bruce Campbell
Barb (Carmichael) Wilson
Mark Chapman
Denise (Cummins) Mitchell
John Dillon
Gerald Drexler
Tanya (Eckroad) Bailey
Rita (Floreani) Schwartz
Bob Gegick
Becky (Gerry) Klingbeil
Sue (Giger) Stenger
Jeff Gill
Diane (Gillig) Bujorian
Barb Gionti
Denise Gordon
Jerry Gradisher
Dora (Grass) Sinley
Karen Greene
Kathy (Greene) Fiala
Karen (Greenfelder) Welsh
Sue (Guthrie) Snyder
Bob Haggerty
Blake Hamilton
Melissa (Hanzel) Midura
Jeff Hastings
Eric Havenhill
Eric Hendrickson
Tami (Hensel) Shepherd
Tammy (Hercules) Dixon
Scott Herman
Janet (Higgins) Butler
Karen (Hogarth) Buccigrossi
Lynn (Holtz) Barbee
Jennifer (Jenkins) Saxon
David Johnson
Cathy (Jones) Blackie
Monica (Jordan) Wagar
Jan (Justice) Jacobson
Leslie Kirby
Bob Kolar
Martin Kormanik
Tom Kritzell
Robert Laughery
Craig Longworth
John McDermott
Suzanne (McKenney) Newman
Dan Mendiola
Jerry Mickunas
Blaine Miller
Esther (Miller) Cole
Jeff Mitchell
Tom Mornewick
Holly Nagy
Charise (Neely) Gleason
Mike Novachek
Barb Nuspl
Tim Ott
Ann (Ovendorf) Trudel
Maria (Paonessa) Dockery
Carol (Partin) Key
Carol (Pastorius) Justice
Pam (Perkins) Benak
Carl Remy
Scott Roberts
Chris Rogers
Stefanie Shatrich
Tim Shearer
Carrie (Shearer) Pavkov
Valeria (Sheets) Headley
Chris (Sinley) Muller
Chris (Snyder) Kohanowicz
Randy Snyder
Terry (Steven) Dendak
Dave Stevens
Juliana (Stewart) Cheek
Cheryl (Stewart) Speer
Greg Still
Eric Stone
Paula (Surgeon) Ost
Michelle (Sutter) Adkins
Mary Thrall
Dana (Tomich) Zaratsian
Bob Underwood
Cheryl (Vance) Nash
Jeff Ward
Gary Weber
Tammy (White) Erebia
Ron Wiley
Cindy (Williams) Schuckert
Jill (Wisor) Milano
Mike Workman
Kathy Young


We’ve tried to stay accurate and up-to-date…so let us know if there’s any problem or changes!

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.