AHS 1922-2002

HOMECOMING 2002 -- "80 YEARS YOUNG"





Russ Attis in 1984
Circle Drive

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Thanks to
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TURN YOUR SCARS INTO STARS
ARLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING 2002

WELCOME SPEECH BY ATHLETIC DIRECTOR RUSS ATTIS


Attention Cardinals: lend me your ear.
I have a message for you to hear.

Forest Gump, world renown philosopher, said;
"Life is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you are going to get!"

In my haste, I replied:
"Stop the world -- I want to get off!"
"Life is not a dress rehearsal -- this is it -- it's for real."

Because of our being here, we are
catalysts for hope, response, and rebirth of our once happy existence --
if for only a few precious hours.

I come before you with mixed emotions.
Sadness in my heart.
Sadness that Arlington is closed.
Sadness in what I see taking place
in schools throughout our union!

Yet, I am glad to be part of
this celebration and reunion.
We are reliving a dream.

On June 8th, 1984 District 214 Board
of Education closed Arlington High School.
Forget the name, history, and
accomplishments. Bending our spirit (not breaking it).

Like a sand castle on a sandy beach,
waiting for the tide to wash away
our creation, Arlington High School
ceased to exist.

For the past 18 years we have been mending and healing. The Glue,
our will and spirit -- the real stuff
in life to cling to. Fame, when you
win it, come and goes in a minute.
So I say, make others happy, and
you will be happy too. That's our motto!

Our school is closed -- but not our mind.
Memories and interaction will survive.

To all brothers and all people,
here's to the winners all of you can be.

To Boards of Education everywhere and
to Dist. 214 in particular, I offer
some advice.

Possess the serenity to accept what
you cannot and should not change.
The know-how and understanding to
change what you can and the
wisdom to tell the difference!

Martin Luther King had a dream.
John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what
your country can do for you -- but what
you can do for your country."
President Reagan asked the Russians
to tear down the wall -- the wall of separation.
General Douglas MacArthur said, "Old
soldiers never die -- they just fade
away."

District 214 Board of Education asked
us all to forget our name, our history,
our memories, and our academic achievements.
Keep quiet, don't make waves,
and just ride off into the sunset.

On June 8th, 1984, I was not quite
ready to ride off into the sunset.

Today, 18 years later, I'm still not ready to ride off into the sunset.

I retired from a job -- not from life.

Today on this clear and happy day --
a dream is a reality -- our Homecoming
Oct. 5, 2002.

Welcome to our Field of Dreams.

But wait, I hear voices crying out
in the limitless boundaries of
space, "Where is our school??"

Arlington Alumni -- here is our school --
if for only a day and a moment
in the march of time.

Yesterday is history --
tomorrow is a mystery --
today is a gift -- the present!

Here is our Rock of Ages -- our
monument in stone -- as proof of
our existence!

All of our individual award medals
are gone.
All the trophies are gone.
All the Hall of Fame pictures of
male and female athletes are gone.
Lost forever.

But look -- on this Field of Dreams --
where we spent our Blood, Sweat,
and Tears in competitive behavior --
We are reborn and re-incarnated!

This is our shining hour. We must
keep an open mind -- open to
everything and attached to nothing.

This is our mission -- Life is a journey --
a roadway.

If I may borrow a Yogism --
When you come to a fork in the road --
Take it.

In ending this soliloquy --
I say to the Board of Education

Your scarred our mind.
You scarred our heart.
You scarred our soul.

To all Arlington Graduates, Alumni,
athletes, teachers, and coaches
here and everywhere -- on earth
and in the heavens -- beyond our reach!

Turn your scars into stars!
Turn your scars into stars!
Turn your scars into stars!

Be good to yourself and thank you!


1952 YEARBOOK PHOTO



Painting of Grace Gym with Homecoming Parade*


* Prints available from Jack Musich Studio (847-255-0589).
Image courtesy of Jack Musich. ©2000 Jack Musich.


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