Dear Marian and Reunion Committee,
Sight was unconsoled and produced a farce of the reality that I was hearing. The charade I was seeing did not match the spirit and character of the voices I was hearing. The joyous voices of our youth are still audible and strong and brings one back to our youth, that happy time we shared without care or worry. When you look more carefully you can see the ravages of time but these go unnoticed in the crevices of our character. The Glass Kitchen and Johnnies were popular hangouts. The Joy theater, Saenger? and Strand theaters were places we dated and the drive-in by the arch and the end of Clay street was the place for more serious sweethearts, innocent none the less by today's standards. We hung out in groups at the Martins, the Banchettis and the Wilsons just to name a few. We lived with each other for twelve years supporting each other and ,yes, at times we were merciless in our teasing. I wish ,Gordon, you could have been there; I know without a doubt you would have enjoyed our respect and love. It saddens me to hear that you are in a wheel chair. Bill, you know we teased you too much as well.
That walker did nothing to dim the spirit of Roy and his beloved, Katherine. Look around at all the magnificent couples we have represented in our class, the very epitome of marriage between a man and a woman. We have well over two hundred children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Where were you when the lights went out? The faith formation in our homes, the first Tabernacle of God, and in our religious education was prescient to the challenges we would face in our lives. A few of the challenges were war, racism, civil disobedience, death of a spouse and the worst of all, the death of a child. No one should have to bear that pain. Walter out did himself with a masters in theology from Spring Hill College in2004. My theology degree was obtained in a car with Father Glynn on the way to Edwards and my reward was a magnificent breakfast and a true sense of Christian community without the palpable visceral fear that must have been present in the catacombs. My remembrance of Spring Hill College, however, is quite different from Walter's. My daughter, Kristen, selected this college after high school. She mentioned some female to male ratio that was quite appealing to her. This was a fine Jesuit school with a course in sailing and a golf course on campus which was plainly visible as one entered the main gate. Two months into the semester I received a phone call from the Dean of Students. Kristen had been caught smoking pot at midnight with some other boys and girls on the first hole of the golf course as you entered the gate of the university., Sometimes you just can't fix stupid. I don't mean smoking the pot. I mean using flashlights to see how to role the reefer. I owned her from then on.
Dr. Mildred Jefferson has been the President of the National Right To Life Movement since I can remember. She is a wonderful black Protestant Ob-Gyn doctor who knows the cost of abortion spiritually and emotionally and physically. In her last letter to me she sees our cause reduced to the primitive conflict of good versus evil not just abortion versus life. I painted for you a wanton disregard for all life globally, nationally, in our civil society, in our families and in our core being. The Freedom of Choice Act will wipe out thirty-six years of regulations and advancement of the right to life movement to include varying regulations depending on the state on parental notification and the ban of partial birth abortion among many other important statues as I outlined at the banquet. The most recent slap in the face by Mr. Obama is the appointment of Gov. Sebelius of Kansas as secretary of Home and Human Services Department. She is a professed Catholic who honored Dr. Tiller the "killer" in the Kansas statehouse. His specialty is late term or partial birth abortion for five thousand dollars.
I am on my knees begging and praying that my classmates will take up the cause and help defeat the Freedom of Choice Act whenever it is advanced and it will be in spite of what was said at last night's news conference. I challenge you to go to the website "Priests For Life"under Father Frank Pavone's guidance and "The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform" and look at the face of abortion and you will join me on your knees. We must stop killing the Lord God's children!
Marian and committee, kudos, for you exceeded your own aspirations. You folks provided an atmosphere of conviviality and libations and sustenance fit for royalty as well as for the fine folks who actually enjoyed them. Louis's slide show was entertaining and revealing and a reminder of a simpler, innocent time of first loves, Red Top dances and Friday night football games. Does anybody remember who was Homecoming Queen? Growing old doesn't bother me. It's the growing up that's the pits!!! Stay vertical til we meet again. No dirt naps!!! Semper Fi!
I love you guys,