Some high school classes are lucky enough to have one committed classmate who values his NBHS friends enough to invest the time to keep them connected. For NBHS ’76 that person is Dan Davis and his lovely wife, Anne.
Last Saturday, Dan and Anne hosted approximately 25 folks with ties to NBHS at their home in Bay Village. Saturday afternoon was spent enjoying snacks and chatting in their beautiful backyard. Next the group carpooled downtown to Progressive Field to see the Indians lose possibly the ugliest baseball game ever: four errors and nearly four hours long. But, even the Indians’ poor performance couldn’t limit the enjoyment had by the NB group.
The evening ended with an amazing fireworks display at the stadium called “Rock n Blast” set to the backdrop of Rolling Stones music. The only downside was hearing the lyrics to “Mother’s Little Helper” that reminded the group “what a drag it is getting old.” Wasn’t it just yesterday that the Rolling Stones were talking about us when they sang “time is on my side?”
For all in attendance, the highlight of the weekend was seeing Kevin Sterling reunited with the group. Unfortunately, Kevin had a tough health year. Due to a cardiac infection, he had a stroke and he has spent most of the last year working very hard to be healthy enough to attend this year’s gathering with his classmates. So not only did Dan Davis’ positive energy keep old friends together, it gave Kevin a goal for his healing. What a gift to see a year of prayers for Kevin and his wife, Nadine, answered!
Dave Koppenhofer and his wife, Lisa, traveled the farthest to join the group as they drove from the Charlotte NC area. The most popular attendee was their four year-old son, Houston, who was a real trooper at the Indians game and he was even able to stay awake throughout the fireworks display.
Sue Crouse served at the unofficial class historian and she brought picture albums complete with photos from elementary school, high school, past class reunions and even copies of the NBHS newspaper from 1975-76 era called “Tiger Paws.” In the current movement towards anti-bullying cultures in our schools, it was shocking to see the cruelty in many of the articles printed in “Tiger Paws.” One would have to wonder about the adult supervision that enabled that type of behavior.
Luckily, the high school bullying is now long gone, and the group was just happy to be together talking about kids, grandkids, jobs, retirement, vacations, and best of all, old childhood stories. The most common start to any sentence was “Do you remember when?” And the end to almost every sentence was shared laughter.
As the weekend wrapped up with a Sunday brunch overlooking Lake Erie, our host Dan Davis summed it up best by saying, “It is extra special spending time with childhood friends. Even if we haven’t been together in several years, it is easy because we know each other’s history: parents, siblings, and even the same stories. It is like we have never been apart.”
As the brunch concluded, we drove away with shouts of “See you next year” resonating in our ears and a smile on our faces, knowing that we’re lucky to still have such great NB friends and leaders like Dan and Anne Davis to keep us connected.