Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Family Fun

Wyoming, Ohio (mile 780)

Saturday, June 6, 2009, 6:30 p.m.

We are sitting in a sea of folding chairs on the lawn of Wyoming High School waiting for the school's 125th graduation ceremony to begin. The ritual has been the same for as long as anyone here can remember. And, Dick can remember many—eleven years attendance as a school board member, three as a proud parent, and now the graduation of his oldest grandson, Patrick.

The band plays "Pomp and Circumstance," pairs of undergraduate girls (including granddaughter Kate) process down the center aisle carrying flower-covered arches which they raise ceremoniously, and the graduates pass one-by-one beneath the arches—each girl in a white gown carrying a single red rose, and each boy in a tuxedo with a white jacket, a red rose pinned to his lapel. Somehow no two girls have ever shown up in the same dress, or so they say. After the singing of the National Anthem, one short speech from an adult and short valedictorian and solitarians addresses, the students file down from their seats (in sections segregated by gender) to receive their diplomas as their names are called, and they try to pull one last prank while shaking hands with the authority figures. This year, they tried to stuff dollar bills in their principal's pockets. (When Dick was president of the school board they tried to cover him with stickers.) The graduates recess through the flower arches, are briefly mobbed by well-wishing family members, then head out to their class party on a riverboat.

Sunday Patrick's parents threw a big brunch celebration for family members from far and wide who came to congratulate him.

Patrick's graduation festivities were the centerpiece of our Cincinnati visit, but we shared many other memorable family moments there. Grandson Harrison gave up his bedroom suite and slept on the sofa so we could stay in comfort at his family's house and enjoy sharing their busy life—a pizza picnic at the swim club, a romp with Duncan at the dog park, and time to play and pretend with the five year old twins. We shared alone time with daughter Megan over dinner at our favorite local restaurant. Our visit was short, but filled with pride and joy.


  1. Actually, the dollar bills to Aaron Marshall, principal, was not a prank. It is their first contribution as a class to the Wyoming Alumni Association. However prankally (Rod's word) presented their hearts were in the right place. Jean