Well, just the other day, down in the basement on another errand, digging around in an old file cabinet, I found the file into which I'd stuffed some things about being one of the MIPs that year. I've scanned them for your puzzled delight.
In my earlier post I'd mentioned, I remember, the circumstances of the photograph of me you see here. The roaming photographer at the Terrace Club Restaurant at (then) Jacobs Field? When I saw the flash, and realized the daffy look that was on my face at the time, I knew that would be the picture he would submit--even though he took some others that made me look more ... normal. Human.
I notice now that the program took place on November 10--my Birthday Eve in 1995. I was 50 years old that evening, aged a year overnight. A little over a year afterwards, January 1997, I would retire from the Aurora (Ohio) City Schools, where I'd taught 7th and 8th graders for most of my thirty-year career.
As I look over the list of the MIPs now, there are very few whose names I recognize. Some, though. Dennis Barrie was executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Gerald Freedman was artistic director of the Great Lakes Theater Festival (Joyce and I were season ticket holders--still are). Tom Murdough had founded Little Tikes and lived in Hudson; Joyce had taught his son at Western Reserve Academy. Bobby Phills played guard for the Cavs. Bill Randle, a well-known radio personality. Bob Serpintini sold cars. John "Big Dawg" Thompson, a popular figure at Browns' games. Mike Trivisonno, a shock-jock. The others were as unknown to me as I was to them.
It was nice to be interesting one night. As I said before, my students back in Aurora were baffled. If I, their 8th grade English teacher, was one of the most interesting people in Cleveland, well, Cleveland was just in big trouble, that's all. The capital of the Kingdom of Boredom. But for a while--for the briefest of whiles--I rode the crest of that tiny wave, felt the wind in my hair, was feeling pretty good about myself just about the time I lost control of the board and tumbled head over heels into the frigid surf. And woke to reality.
I had papers to grade ...