50th Address Harry Weber

Harry's talk before the school at our 50th reunion.

Standing here today is an honor reserved for those who choose to go to the men’s room when the reunion committee is choosing the speaker.

The only advice I got from the powers that be was to for god’s sake keep it short ‘cause Ron Holtman bores easily.

Briefly, it occurred to me that we have spent a little over two thousand years of life since we all left Codasco….you’d think we would have accomplished something in that time …

A couple of world religions were developed in less. 

Still, from what I can tell we have spent the time well:

We’ve had a little bit more than a one to one ratio of wives

Several dozen wonderful children

Run newspapers

Written books 

Grown oranges and made olive oil

Prosecuted and defended miscreants

Taught in high schools and colleges

Healed minds and bodies

Acted in movies

Ridden and fallen off horses

Flown airplanes and jumped out of them

driven ships and sailed boats

Fought in wars and tried to prevent them

Started businesses

Made fortunes for ourselves and others and lost them sometimes

Played in bands

Lived in damn near every state in the union

Traveled our asses off

Started to live in Florida

Fallen victim to the seduction of golf

And… we’ve grieved for lost loved ones and friends.

As a class we were not rich by most Codasco standards but different and interesting

A class whose prom theme was Hell and proved it to be with Joe Hickey’s band  … the Counts …  with Stan Leydig pounding a keyboard and Dewey Dempsy unplugged strumming for visual effect.

A class who got a live ram mascot that turned out to be a pregnant ewe … delivering during the homecoming game.

A class of whom no less an authority than Roy Battenburg said. “If I had puppies like you …  I’d drown them!”

But we were still in the “basic” phase of secondary education at CDS

Things have changed around here.

They have a swimming-pool, two gyms, indoor track, an ice hockey team, a fitness center,  12 tennis courts and, soon, a squash court. And we had … a shed

They have a world class track facility, dedicated lacrosse and field hockey fields. And we had an extension of Kinlock cemetery with cinders spread in an oval

They have lap tops …we had bluebooks and #2 pencils

They have a lunch facility with choices of entrees, a salad bar and soft serve ice cream … we had Mrs. Walls and her deep fat fryer … and crackers and milk … in the shed.

They have a student parking lot full of BMWs and Hummers and we had bus #2 with all the attendant life lessons about pecking order and Man’s inhumanity to Man.

They have three theaters, an art center and computer lab

And we had … a shed

They have girls.   We had … each other

We had …  and have …  really good friends

And a few good friends are worth more than a thousand friends on Facebook

Friends that will tell you the truth when you might be lying to yourself

Friends that leave a void in your life when they go.

And in many ways your life is the sum of your friendships and memories.

To finish up as any good English major should with a quote from Keats:

“Think where mans glory most begins and ends

And say my glory was I had such friends”