What a special evening last Friday was for all of us regardless of where we graduated.
The whole atmosphere of the high school gym was electric. I was excited to be there as an old Sunday School teacher of Fred Craig, friend of Lori Osting who accepted the award for Oscar Ewing, admirer of Nanci Hellmich and John Stewart and Kathryn Ernstes Bailey.
I asked John Pratt if the first Hall of Fame presentation was all he hoped it would be. He said the night exceeded their expectations. “We not only were present to a successful presentation, but a new tradition has been created that will enrich the community and honor excellence amongst our own.”
The gym was filled, even with the weather being less than hospitable. It was bad enough that my alley didn’t seem safe to me so Julie and Mark Hanmer graciously picked me up for the occasion.
Pratt said that to him the highlight was when over 3000 people spontaneously gave a standing ovation to John Stewart, followed by another one for Fred Craig. “I was also pleased by the way the crowd listened so attentively as the list of accomplishments of our recipients were being read. Their stories will I believe particularly resonate with the students as a source of inspiration and to reinforce to them that they can achieve great things.”
I certainly agree with him about a source of inspiration. I have always been impressed with the fact that Oscar Ewing helped pay his way through college by selling cooking utensils and subscriptions to the Saturday Evening Post and through Harvard Law school by waiting on tables and tutoring other students. He willing to work undoubtedly helped his rise to leadership. Lori Osting, who lives in the original home (Ewington) built by a Ewing ancestor accepted the award for her distant ancestor. Mike Ewing, now Colorado resident, said he can remember Oscar’s interaction with his family.