Monday, June 25, 2012

Old Broncos: Moaning, Meaning and Money

Old Bronco alumni have been known to moan a bit about the mothball status of the old Jefferson High School building which was condemned as an asbestos pit by the EPA.  It will soon be demolished and interested alumni are welcome, according to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Richard Gates, to have a brick as a memento.

How will the memory of Adam Becker, Doris Marker, Gladys Brintlinger, and other teachers, coaches and school employees (cooks and bus drivers come to mind) be honored without the old building?  Good question.  The building has been a reminder of experiences and memories of significance in the lives of many alumni of Jefferson.  Memories have meaning.

I don't need the old high school to remind me of the message of Miss (Barbara) Macaulay to "be honorable".  The meaning of Coach Day and Coach Greg to me is set in my brain and my behavior.  No building needed. I agree with many that honoring a leader and administrator like Adam Becker in some physical way on the Jefferson Campus is necessary.  How might such a thing happen?


Alumni who believe in honoring a Jefferson person or memory should be wiling to invest in their belief.  What if the bricks were sold instead of free to alumni?  What if alums could buy engraved bricks or larger pavers to become part of the expected Jefferson campus expansion, as is common on college campuses with new buildings and special areas?  What if alumni donated money to build a special area in the new campus named after Adam Becker?

Can we convert our moaning about our building loss into commitment to give money to reaffirm the meaning of Jefferson to us?

Just a thought.  How about it Broncos?  "Remember the GOLD and the blue.  You've gotta fight, you've gotta win.  It's up to you!"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jefferson Alumni Banquet 2012: Old Building Report and "Birdbath" Saga

A special event for many in Jefferson Township is the annual High School Alumni Banquet (which I wrote about last year   Bronco Pride ).  This year a record 365 persons joined to celebrate their shared Jefferson connections.  Mildred Baker Kilheffer from the class of 1932 celebrated her 80th year as an alumnus of Jefferson and shared in honoring the class of 1962- the 50th year class.  Deanna Broyles and Mike Jonas presented the class data and story in an engaging way, finishing with a classic rendition by Mike of the "Bird Bath" escapade related to their junior class play and teacher/advisor Neil Clingman.  The audience howled on hearing that the perpetrators of the bird bath theft were sentenced to be lectured by several parents and their certainty that, after being sternly lectured by Mrs. Broyles, they were going "straight to Hell".

A highlight of the evening and one of the reasons for the record attendance was the presentation by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Richard Gates about the 1928 and 1938 school buildings.  He was accompanied by school board members, including the treasurer.  The old building where most of the assembled alumni were educated was beyond useful and beyond government standards for asbestos.  The EPA ordered the school to take care of the problem.  The asbestos was removed to the satisfaction of inspectors as of a week before the Alumni Banquet.  The building is ready for demolition.  Several alumni walked through with Dr. Gates to have a last view of the gutted structure.  Wave goodbye, folks.

Dr. Gates had the time capsule in the 1928 building opened so the contents could be noted and preserved.  A special touch and a surprise for the assembled alumni was a booklet for each of us with photos of the old building and the contents of the time capsule.  Several parts of the old building are being saved.  Also anyone who wants a brick from the old building is welcome to get one after the demolition (bulldozing?)

Joy Weaver, as usual was outstanding in her leadership, and cute, G rated jokes.  She added a nice touch to singing the fight song by having any cheerleaders present to come forward to lead the group.  About 20 cheerleaders from the 1940's (Lois Baker) through the 70's stepped up to the challenge, with Diora Stafford, Marjorie Rauch, a large contingent from the mid 60's including Maureen Derringer Cole, Sue Heller Hayes, Joanne Shell Harrison, Joan Long, Terri Deubner Almassy, Brenda Osterman Hensler,  and many others didn't miss a beat or a word in leading us through a vigorous rendition of The Jefferson Fight Song.  Feel free to add other names in the comments at the end of this post.

After closing with the Alma Mater, alums mingled until the lights were turned out at 10:20 PM.  The class of 1962 kept up the party the next day with a golf outing and further sharing.