Monday, January 6, 2014

GCHS Hall of Fame

On Friday night, Jim's dad was honored at the high school basketball game as one of five inaugural inductees to the Greensburg High School Hall of Fame. Family and friends of the inductees gathered at the far end of the gymnasium to witness the celebration.
The Hall of Fame was the idea of GCS Superintendent Tom Hunter and GCHS history teacher John Pratt, who served as chairman of the selection committee. The five inductees were from a wide range of eras, and included Oscar Ewing (Class of 1906), Nanci Hellmich (Class of 1976),  Fred Craig (Class of  1960), Kathryn Ernstes (Class of 1932), and Jim's dad, John Stewart (Class of 1937). They have each enjoyed success in a variety of fields, and made an impact through their chosen vocation.

Mr. Pratt read biographies of each inductee as they (or their representatives) were honored and presented with a commemorative plaque.
John listens while his bio is read.
He accepts congratulations from Mr. Hunter,
and receives the plaque from Dr. Weigel.
He was touched by the standing ovation he received, which included grandson Jonathan from behind the announcer's stand. It made me think of Wonder, the excellent book, by R.J. Palacio, in which the main character, Auggie, says, "I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives."
I don't know if it was the first standing ovation John has ever received, but at age 94, how special it was for him to be honored by the high school from which he graduated, in the community in which he has lived and worked and served his entire life. Such a blessing.

After the presentation, family members gathered around for a few pictures with Grandpa.
Daryl and Ruthann were able to join us too!
Courtney and Adam congratulated Grandpa.
Janet and Jim posed with their dad on this very special occasion.
Before the varsity game, the Pershing Rifles color guard from that school in Bloomington IU presented the colors. GCHS grads Lance and Logan Hunter, twin sons of Superintendent Tom Hunter, are part of this unit, and proudly participated in the ceremony.
GCHS grad Rachel Kress Harter sang the national anthem.
I didn't get a picture of it, but Coach Meyer brought the varsity players out of the locker room early, so they could witness the Hall of Fame presentation. They are a good group of kids, who, by the way, are the defending Class 3A State Champions! Go Pirates!

There is nothing quite like a high school basketball game in Indiana.
I snapped this photo during the announcement of the starting lineup.
The Pirates won easily over the visiting Indian Creek Braves, to remain undefeated. They are fun to watch.

After the game, there was a reception in the school cafeteria for the Hall of Fame inductees, friends, and family members. Grandpa, always ready to tell a story, took advantage of the opportunity to share some memories with the small crowd.
He told a high school track team story, and a couple of Coast Guard stories, which were enjoyed even by those of us who had heard them several times before.
Fred Craig poses with John. They were the only living recipients in attendance, and learned they are neighbors. The other living recipient, Nanci Hellmich, was scheduled to attend, but had to cancel due to the weather.
It was a great evening, and I think John enjoyed every part of it.
It was especially nice of Coach Stacy Meyer to come up to the cafeteria after his post-game radio interview to congratulate John and the others.
It was a great night of Pirate Pride, and a meaningful way to honor the first five GCHS Hall of Famers.

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