I went to Ohio University. I graduated in 1979 with a degree in Journalism. Little did I know at the time that I would be connected to some of the most successful people in their craft today just by being a member of the Ohio University Forensics Team. That’s right!
I crossed paths with students like Nancy Cartwright. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, she is the “voice” of Bart Simpson. Nancy was from a town outside of Dayton, OH---Kettering, I believe. She competed on the team for two years in the categories of Humorous Interpretation and Humorous Duo. She was funny back then and always had that sweet, baby voice. She left OU early to pursue her dreams of making it in Hollywood and, by my standard, she did just that!
Then there’s Dave Burgert. I’m not exactly sure where Dave was from. I just remember him as a very quiety, easy going young man who was a member of the debate team and the Republican party. I actually heard from him recently and “googled” him. He was selected as a “Texas Super Lawyer” at the law firm where he is a Partner. That doesn’t surprise me one bit. I always knew he’d be a lawyer. I’m surprised he’s not sitting on the bench yet.
Jack Thomas was also a member of the debate team and I believe he competed in some other categories as well. Jack and I were from the same general area. I always thought of him as a preppy white boy who had a difficult time relating to people that were “different.” We had major conflicts from time to time but we managed to get past them and work together for the good of the team. Jack went to law school and was a practicing attorney before he decided to give it all up to pursue his passion of comedy. I heard he spent some time with Second City in Chicago and is now writing for one of the Nickelodeon shows.
Deb Geisler was an extemporaneous speaker. She was always very supportive of her teammates. I always thought she had a crush on a guy named Jeff Green but I never got it confirmed. Deb is now teaching at Suffolk University in Boston.
Speaking of Jeff, he was my dramatic duo partner. I absolutely loved working with him! He took his work very seriously and was good at it. We were pretty good together and, yes, I had a crush on him too! It’s no surprise to me that Jeff is a tenured Associate Professor of dramatic Arts and Director of the Dramatic Arts program at Georgia Southwestern University. He also serves as the faculty advisor and producer for Hurricane Watch, GSW-TV16 student television productions.
Dave Radanovich was the “coolest of the cool.” He was an extemporaneous speaker. I always loved hanging out at his house with his roommate J.B. (deceased). Dave is a big shot PR guy somewhere in the Northeast---like maybe Pennsylvania.
(Arsenio Hall was also a member of the team but he transferred to Kent State. The rumor was he was ostracized by a racist coach who left the year after I arrived).
Then there’s ME. I was the team member who liked to raise everyone’s level of consciousness. I gave them hell when I felt they deserved it because of their lack of sensitivity to certain issues but I partied with them at the bars, celebrated our winning victories (and we had many) and cried with them when they were hurting.
I’ll never forget the time they all rallied around me to perform a “Talk-A-Thon” in my efforts to raise money to become Miss Black Homecoming Queen. You can imagine the looks on people’s faces when they saw all of my white colleagues and me standing in front of Baker Center talking non-stop for the fundraiser. It was a defining moment in my relationship with all of them.
These are the baby boomers I went to school with. Who was in your class?