Monday, July 26, 2010


It's been awhile since I've posted. Been busy at CROW and am now in Ohio and Michigan for 3 weeks visiting family and friends, going to my Clan Montgomery annual meeting and going to a school reunion

The first "reunion" was Friday night. We got together with 7 old friends from the Fort Findlay Playhouse. We have known each other for about 40 years and worked on many, many productions together. The evening was spent reminiscing about the "good old days" or "back in my day". LOL. Such fun to see everyone.

The next reunion came on Saturday night. I taught Hearing Impaired in Findlay for about 20 years. And of course, along the way I taught many kids. Through Facebook I have reunited with quite a few of them. It was fun to see them all grown up and with their own families. And slowly the "kids" found and friended each other on Facebook. We started posting old school pictures and asking about whatever happened to----. Out of this, a couple of my former students decided to have a school reunion. The Findlay HI program turned 40 this year so they got in touch with as many of the former students, teachers, supervisors, aides, interpreters and even bus drivers that they could. Saturday night about 150 of us showed up for THE BEST reunion ever!! My signing skills never were the best and are really rusty now, but it didn't make any difference at all. What fun. I know that most of you don't know any of these people but for those who do, here are some of the pictures from the evening.

This is the reunion committee. I had all but one of these "kids" as students. Left to right--Matt Cunningham--I had him in 3rd grade. Christa Braun Wade--didn't have her as a student but she was a neighbor and is now married to Steve who lived with us for a year. Jill Snyder Stark--I had her in Pre School. Katrina Bruns Wapplehorst--had her in 3rd grade. Ryan Wapplehorst--had him in 3rd grade too and he and Katie are now married. Ryan and Jill were the co-chairman while the others served on the committee. They surprised all of the staff, aides and even the bus driver with certificates of appreciation. Here, Ryan and Jill are presenting 3 of the 4 supervisors who have or are currently serving the HI program with their certificates. The 4th, Dr. Benz, had planned on coming but had to cancel last minute because of a family emergency. We really missed him.Here, the supervisors are presenting Deb Wickerham, one of the teachers, with an award in recognition of her award last year as Ohio Teacher of the Year. The quality of this picture is pretty poor but I think it is soooo funny. Jill and Ryan are signing to the crowd and it looks like "syncronized signing." I also had Ryan's brother, Bill, in school. Their mom was one of the interpreters for the program. It was so great to see the whole family there Saturday night. Bill and his wife, Jennifer; Dick and Mel (dad and mom) and Katie and Ryan. What a great family they are!What made this reunion so special was the fact that teachers were invited. That doesn't usually happen at class reunions. And yes, that would be me third from the right in the first picture. (I kind of lifted this photo from some of Marta's pictures.) Some of us traveled quite a distance too. I came from Florida. One came from Arizona, one from Michigan and another from Washington DC. We wouldn't have missed it for the world!Of course, I had to take a bunch of group shots. And a few shots posed and candid. Tracy, Lauren, Elsa and Destiny. I had Tracy and Destiny in 3rd grade and Elsa took my job in Pre school when I moved up to 3rd grade.Pat Sommer who was the first supervisor of the program then returned a few years later to teach. She is talking with Steve Wade. Steve was from Wapakoneta and wanted to be on the wrestling team in 8th grade. Unfortunately it was an afterschool sport and he had to ride the bus home, so he lived with us during the week that whole year so he could be on the team. Steve is like our own kid!
Linda Bailey and Phillip Nelson. I never had them as students but we still got to know pretty much all of the students over the years.
James Taylor and Brian Mueller. I had them both in pre school and again in 3rd grade.
Heidi Curtis Walter and Shelby Walter. I had Heidi in pre school and 3rd grade. I had her brother too. Heidi and Shelby traveled from Chicago for the reunion.
Dr. Barbara McKenzie was my supervisor after Dr. Benz moved to another job. I taught with Kathy Boylan Young for a few years before she moved to London. When she returned she took over the job from Dr. McKenzie when Dr. McKenzie retired.
Amanda Plumb, Becky Morris Stocking, Luke Robinson, and Elsa Brindley Shrader. I taught with Becky and Elsa and had both Amanda and Luke as students.
It always makes you feel good when your former students want to have their picture taken with you. I guess it means they forgive you for how mean you were to them--or they forgot it. LOL. Here I am with Barbie Eddington. I had Barbie a couple of times in elementary. She graduated the same year I retired and came to my retirement party.I had Destiny Hayes Cotrell in 3rd grade. She left to go to her home school in 4th grade and I hadn't seen her since. Now she is all grown up and a mom. Wow.
My friend, Marta Crow, and I taught together for many years. Both of us were BGSU hockey fans and started having our kids write letters to the players and make posters to hang at the arena. Many of the players came to visit our classes including a couple who went on to play in the NHL. One of the players, Dan Bylsma, who visited several times won the Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Pittsburg Penguins last year. But, I digress! Anyway, quite a few of us stayed at the hotel overnight so of course there was a get together after the official reunion. Here are Marta and me still up at 1:30 in the morning! After hours party with Katie and Ryan Wapplehorst and Chris Allison who just married a former student, Tracy Graham.And last but not least, Jill Snyder Stark with her hubby Michael Stark. I had Jill in Pre School only. I had totally lost track of her until somehow we found each other on Facebook. She won't admit it, I'm sure, but this whole reunion was pretty much her brainchild. She and Ryan didn't really know each other but met in Chicago where Jill lives, hit it off, and put together the best reunion EVER!!! I can't thank these two "kids" enough(I still think of them as my kids) as well as Matt, Christa, and Katie for all the many hours of work and much more that they put into this event. It was a night that none of us will soon forget. I love you all!! Signed "Runka".


Gayle said...

Wow! That is quite a gathering. By all the big smiles it looks like everyone had a lot of fun. So glad you were able to go.

RottenMom said...

Looks like a wonderful time! You look beautiful in the photos! I stopped into CROW on the 27th and asked for you, so if you hear about some Ohio chick with a Pittsburgh accent and sunburned shoulders looking for you, it was me! Love the new visitors center, we were very impressed!

gpc said...

Looks like you all had a great time!