The following is a transcript of Sean O’Byrne’s speech on Saturday Evening.  Several people requested it be put on the web site...

I would like to welcome everyone here this evening to the reception dinner for the St. Philip’s class of ’75 reunion.  There is a great turnout here this evening thanks to many people.  Paul Fifer did a great job pulling together the web page and getting info to people.  Paul has informed me that the site will be an ongoing site and will be updated with pictures and emails etc.  Please send all of the info to the stp75.com.  Thank you Paul.

A lot of hard work went into planning this event.  First I would like to thank the planning committee, Theresa Lemish Turley, Theresa (Ludwa) Green, Joy (Armanini) Brown, Julie (Pessetti) Brown, Dwight (Carattini) Carattini, Bob Schoder, Sharri Upton, Paul Fifer, and John Bauman.  They did a fabulous job of pulling this together. How about a round of applause?

There are other that we need to thank too; the teachers and administration that touched our lives. Our parent and families who loved and nurtured us.  All helped shape our live and mold us into the responsible adults we are today—or semi responsible (Dwight).

The last time I stood in front of this class was 30 years ago at the Baccalaureate Breakfast.  So much has happened since then.  Our lives have been filled with joy, pain, challenges and accomplishments.  We took on the challenge 30 years ago to change the world.  And boy, what changes there have been.

In politics, we have had 6 presidents, 3 of them with 2 terms each.  We all had the opportunity to vote.  I hope everyone did.  There has been an elevation of women and minorities in politics, both locally and world wide.  The Vietnam War ended, but there have been numerous conflicts and war throughout the world with way too many people dying.

Our Catholic faith may have been shaken with the scandals in the Church, but at the same time, some of us have found the strength we need to get through the challenges of life from our faith.  I have to thank Mr. Dick for allowing me to open my mind and question my faith.  He started me on the journey that I am still on today.

Back when were in high school, we thought we had pressure—the paper that needed to be done for Mrs. O’Malley, the test in Mr. Hume’s class.  Mr. Karazim’s essay test or the book we needed to finish for Mr. Zuk. That’s not even counting asking someone to the formal or the zit that was about to break out on our chin. Looking back on it, we had it easy, but the people who were a part of our lives back then, gave us the strength and guidance to handle challenges that were presented to us as adults. Many of us have had to deal with the death of family and friends, lost jobs, broken marriages, addictions, and illness.

Look around this room. There are people here who have learned to enjoy life and give back to their families, their school and their communities.  We have teachers, parents, school board members, business owners, managers, nurses, caregivers.  All of us now touch others to help shape and change the world.  And how the world has changed.

30 years ago, we had the Dewey Decimal System that St. Catherine was so proud of, now we have Google.com.  Back then, we struggled to raise money for our retreat to Notre Dame, now we have kids in college and beyond.

Back then, a Texas Instruments, TI 50 was an amazing calculator, since then, Mark Hahn and I would work at Radio Shack where the TRS 80 computer was introduced to the world. Paul Fifer went to work for IBM. Now most of us use a computer at home or work. 

We had 1 rotary dial phone in our home with 6 kids.  It was my mom’s way of controlling our phone time—now we have cell phones.

The crazy pranks of Tping someone’s home or rearranging Mr. Hume’s furniture has give way to more conservative and reserved 48 year olds, OK, some of us (Brutche)

And now that the statute of limitations is up, those that thru the cream pies at the selected teachers and administration we loved, can breathe easier, but now we have guns in school.

I remember when—don’t I sound like and old fart?  I remember when Battle Creek got a new TV station UHF Channel 42(?)—now we have digital cable with over 200 channels.

Baseball hats were worn 2 ways—frontward and backwards, and only backward if you were a catcher. 

Rap music was not a part of our lives.  Wrapping meant Christmas shopping at LW Robinson’s Dept. Store.

Dwight Carratinni’s Weenie Master has given way to Viagra.  Our class also had to drive some ugly cars—John Zanetti’s Pacer—a gold fish bowl on wheels.  I drove a blue Gremlin—good thing they don’t make those any more.

Our summer jobs have given way to careers.  Steve Smith asking Rudy Van Baal to the prom—or was it the other way around??  Is now more accepted—thanks guys for blazing the trail.

Somethings haven’t changed—our class can still be proud of being 9-0 state champs.  Alice Cooper’s “Schools out for Summer” is still a great song. And the laser printer can never replace that great smell of a mimeographed sheet.  Sometimes that smell was the best part of Mr. Zuk’s test.

Our class has helped change the world---those that are teachers or counselors. Please stand up, those that own a business or manage other people, please stand up, those that are active politically, please stand up.  Those that are parents or stepparents, please stand up.  Those that are in healthcare, please stand up.

Those that have been a caregiver, please stand up.  Those the served in the military, please stand up, those that have volunteered, please stand up.  Those that have coached, please stand up.

Look around we have touched and changed the world.  WE ARE THE GREATEST CLASS ALIVE—WE ARE THE CLASS OF 75.  MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US.  THANK YOU
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