Lou // Portrait // Hangin' 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 // Then & Now // Epilogue // Colophon
So -- what night are you going to put the yearbook together? Or, to update it for today, what year are you finally going to finish the yearbook?
It seems they just can't make anything happen without George Evans!!!! Is he here??
All kidding aside -- I want to take a few minutes of your time to reflect. And after careful consideration, I thought the words of a higher power were an appropriate place to begin. So I begin with a quote from the goddess... Madonna:
Things haven't been the same
No, things haven't been the same since all of you, in one way or another, came into my life some 20-plus years ago. While I believe we all create our own path in life, I also know that the brilliant inspiration of each of you has been a guiding force in my life. In ways I could never fully describe, you taught me to live, love, think, laugh, share, and grow into the person I am today. And for that I owe you my thanks and unending gratitude.
I joined the Bonadieu haphazardly in the spring of 1978 -- a geeky freshman. "Find Your Place in the Sun"... No theme could be more appropriate. For I had found salvation.
I remember walking into the yearbook office for the first time... scared to death. The first person I encountered was you, Kathy Martin. I remember it like it was yesterday. After telling you why I was there, you smiled, said "Hi," and then proceeded to say "Would you like a Tootsie Pop?" While I only did a bit of grunt work and running around checking captions that year, I knew I had found a home. Kathy, thank you for welcoming me to the "family" and for your forever happy, smiling face.
It's funny...I don't remember any other specific moments about meeting the rest of you... but who cares when there is so much to remember after that point. It's not when we met, but because we met that matters. Because in meeting you, I met my destiny.
Being part of the Bonadieu "family" taught me more about myself and what I could achieve than I could ever imagine. Everything I do professionally today is a reflection of what I absorbed during my tenure with you folks.
Hard work, dedication, commitment, professionalism, and excellence are all words that describe the atmosphere that I was lucky enough to join. I think of the countless hours that everyone put in to craft the Bonadieu.
I think of you, Mark "sleepless in Olean" Yawdoszyn, snapping pictures at all hours, constantly being available whenever you were called. I also remember your dry wit, your endless fashion statements, and that I was thankful that there was someone else who also had a mouthful of a last name. And as far as I know, you still haven't told anyone who you caught having sex in the BV darkroom! Yodoz, trustworthy to the end.
I know I met you, John Zavinski, rather early. It's hard for me to imagine you without your camera around your neck. Your biting sarcasm, thoughtful demeanor, and unassuming personna won me over. But it was your thoughtfulness and devotion to journalism that sum you up best to me.
And while, he's not here tonight, probably because he's still being a good Boy Scout (which I can forgive him for!), I want to say how thankful I am for the talents of Jerome Pawlak. Jerome was my constant companion on the '81 yearbook, and his vision showed me what collaboration was all about. An October 8th (our Day in the Life of Bonaventure) doesn't go by without Jerome crossing my mind. Plus, he's one of the few Republicans I actually like.
Actually, our jobs on the yearbook would have been impossible without our photographers. Each of you spent more thankless hours working than the rest of us. And it's your images that give us the most pleasure, even more so today. Thank you for your artistry! (Why none of you made photography your profession boggles the mind!)
I don't regret my decision to drag you, Cindy Carr, kicking and screaming into the Bonadieu fold. Somehow I must have known deep down that someone so unsure and unconfident of her talents (just like me) would be a perfect fit. And you were. There is no other way to describe it, but you blossomed at the Bonadieu. You became your own person, and showed me a thing or two on the stubbornness scale. Your eye for detail, creative writing, and clever "captoons" made the Bonadieu pop (remember "Mt. Herman's autumnal cornucopia") -- and extremely professional. I will always be in awe of you.
Actually, it was you, Jean Trevarton Ehman, who recommended I hire Cindy. Thank you for that and so much more. While you weren't there in the office day to day, we knew we could always count on you if needed. You were also the only person in the journalism department who seemed to understand that the yearbook was important -- and an important part of the campus media. For me, personally, you also were an incredible teacher. I learned how to write and interview in your classes. Basically, you set me on the path I continue to travel on today. And while it hurt like hell at the time, I'm grateful for the "C" you gave me on one of my feature writing assignments. It made me work harder, seek better sources, and made me a more disciplined writer and person. Thank you once again.
But outsiders might never know of your presence and contributions because of your aversion to the camera. There's only one picture of you in all of our books. And we had to get that on the sly. Tonight, you're gonna pose for the group photo, or else! [ EDITOR'S NOTE: She and John left before the group shot, so I'm afraid the photo here represents the "or else" consequence]
Cheerleader, Resident Assistant, AND Bonadieu Queen. That doesn't sound like the resume from some second-hand rose. You, Katie Sequerth, have always amazed me. I swear you can do anything you put your mind to. Your ability to tackle any situation with ease and assertiveness was and continues to be inspirational to me. You were the fence maker, the bridge builder -- even when you wanted to curse someone out. Okay, so you did occasionally curse some people out. But never me. You welcomed me, made me at home. You made me think and explore. To tell you the truth, I've always admired you. Thanks for the courage.
I found my first true friend at Bonas and the Bonadieu. That's you, Mike Thompson. We've seen a lot together. It's also been a rocky road at times for us. But we've learned how to pave it with understanding, commonality, and brotherly love. I learned about the nature of trust, commitment, and dedication from you. And all the tools I picked up from classes and fellow Bonadieu -- types were put to their best use under your leadership on the 1980 Bonadieu. You made me a bit wiser, definitely a bit crazier, but ultimately stronger. Thank you, Friend!
I don't know where to begin with you, Barb "Let's do the Twist" Jatkola. From the moment I met you I've been inspired by you. You were an excellent student, spectacular editor, and kind, considerate friend. All traits that still describe you today. Except today, you're better at everything. I know you know this, but I actually tell people you ARE the best -- and I believe it wholeheartedly. I could go on forever singing your praises. But let me just say that this event is a prime example of who you are. This event would not have happened without your efforts and your skill in organizing and planning -- as well as your deep affinity and love for those of us gathered here. Thank you for all your work to make today happen -- and for being the wonderful person that you are. You ARE the best!
And that kind of sums it up, doesn't it? I want to...
Oh, yeah! You, John Sequerth. Thanks for EVERYTHING! If it weren't for you, none of what we celebrate today would exist. You brought us all together. You had the vision, the talent, and the dancing skills that brought us all together. While I can't speak for everyone else, you were my mentor. You taught me what an editor should be. You taught me about quality, love of work, dedication, and enjoying what you do. And I learned to laugh -- like never before. I wish I could tell you of all the wonderful gifts you have given me. Meeting you -- knowing you -- was and continues to be a driving force in my life. I owe you my career and, as a result, my life. You're not only one of the world's great UPS men, you are one of the world's great persons. I honor and respect you. Thank you.
If there's one word that gets repeated the most in my comments it is the word "inspire." And the reason for that is simple. All of you have inspired me in so many ways. Thank you so much. And thank you for your friendship. Thank you for being here. And know that I love and cherish you.
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