This week, I received an email from a fellow alumnus of the St John’s High School (Toledo) class of ’79. Yes, the class who, in our senior year, declared it the “Year of the Titan,” but fell short on city league sports championships in a number of high profile sports. But what did we know?
Anyway, the email from my fellow alum alerted me to the fact that I was listed among the “lost alumni” of my class.
What? I was lost? How could that be? I’m not lost. I’m living in Austin, Texas. I wasn’t lost when I lived in Toledo and attended my 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th year reunions. I wasn’t lost when I left Toledo for Bucyrus, Ohio, then Lima, Ohio, then Columbia, South Carolina, then Annandale, Virginia, then Falls Church, Virginia, then Martinsburg, West Virginia, then Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, then Hagerstown, Maryland, then back to Martinsburg, West Virginia, and now Austin, Texas. I was never lost. How could SJJ have designated me as lost?
So I called the school and gave them my current information and the following bio update:
Cliff Kurt continues in his now 23-year career with the Better Business Bureau. He served (sometimes with distinction, sometimes without) at the BBB of Toledo, then as president/CEO of the BBB of Lima, Ohio. Following that, he served as president/CEO of the BBB of Columbia, SC, then as Director of Marketing and Training at the BBB’s national offices in Arlington, Virginia. After too many years of a daily three hour commute (each way), Cliff moved to Austin, Texas, where he now serves as Executive Director of the BBB’s consumer education foundation. Pretty good for a guy whose resume lists his greatest education achievement as passing Father Schario’s British Lit class in just enough time to walk with his fellow graduates.
Cliff has three grown children, one of whom looks so much like Cliff it has stunted the poor boy’s personality. His other two children are delightful young women. All three kids are the finest offspring of any SJJ alumni, past, current and future.
Cliff is engaged to be married this fall to Shelley Aikens, a fine woman he met while they pursued their shared interest in community theater in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Cliff continues his musical interests, and he invites his fellow classmates to peruse his blog – http://www.cliffkurt.wordpress.com, where soon there will appear an entry about the upcoming SJJ reunion weekend.
Cliff is proud to be known as the most famous alum of the class of ’79 – due to his lackluster but professional-looking appearance on Wheel of Fortune in April of 1997. Cliff won $2,300 and $25 worth of estrogen therapy. He spent the $2,300 before he received it, and the estrogen therapy made him lactate. But he’s still proud to be the most famous member of the class of ’79.
So this summer, our class will celebrate our 30th year reunion. I don’t feel this old.
Back in the day, I dee-jayed my older brother’s 20th year reunion, and I remember thinking, “These guys (in their late 30’s) are so OLD.” Oh, to be in my late 30’s again.
I don’t think I’ll attend this summer’s reunion. There are just too many travel plans surrounding my daughter’s graduation and later her wedding, and my own honeymoon with my dear Shelley.
It’s probably a good thing I won’t be in attendance at the reunion. Too many enemies still likely hold animosity towards me:
* Scott, who was one of only two people I ever struck – this during a fistfight at lunchtime in the commons. Neither of us won the fight;
* Bill, the other guy I ever struck – following choir practice in which he got me into trouble with Mr. T. Of course, the next day, his brother pummeled me mercilessly, teaching me an important lesson on the sanctity of family;
* Father John, who I stupidly suggested might not make it into heaven because he didn’t ‘believe’ in the Four Spiritual Laws brochure I showed him that was given to me at a restaurant;
* Father Joe, who probably still smarts from our likely false accusations that he was seen coming out of the Westwood Art Theater in Toledo which was screening “Oriental Blue;”
* Cheryl, from one of the girl’s academies, for the time I pranked her into thinking there WERE waterheads on Spook road;
* Bruce, the Toledo police officer, who arrested me for aggravated menacing while we were filming a short for Comm-Arts class;
* Jeannie, who I often referred to as Bruce, because she had the same red hair and fair skin as officer Bruce;
* Mark, who went on to become a priest (what is it with me and priests? But I digress…), and who I called 15 years after we graduated, out of the blue, and without identifying myself, told him I had to talk to a priest about my having killed a man.
And there were some non-high-school people who won’t be glad to see me return to Toledo anytime soon:
* Bonnie, the loan collector from Ohio Citizens who had to call me too many times when I fell behind on the payments for my Olds Cutlass (but that was one helluva car!);
* Alexandria, the attorney of a prominent credit collection agency, whose staff had to call me too many times to collect on the hospital bill for the birth of my oldest daughter because we didn’t have insurance and daughter spent a week in neo-natal ICU;
* Unnamed Toledo Police Department officers who threatened to arrest a couple of us when we tried to “paint the bridge;”
I could go on, but who needs to revisit trouble. Although I’m starting to see maybe why I move around so much.
Fellow alums, sorry I won’t see you this summer. My best, have a beer on me, and be kind about any stories you might tell without me there to defend myself. Especially you, Scott. Or I’m gonna finish what I started that lunch hour in the commons!