A letter from Howie Zien:
April 19, 2019
I am searching for the right words or image to communicate to all of you my gratitude, thoughts and feelings for the joyous Hall of Fame Event and Weekend we just experienced. Without question, you were each such an important part of.
The closest I can come is how Tom Hanks’ character must have felt in the 1988 movie BIG. As you know in the movie, Tom Hanks’ character was transformed overnight from an awkward 13 year-old boy into an equally awkward adult. He was in a different form but maintained the same mental and emotional perspective.
And at the end of the movie, he reverts to his boyhood self.
For me, last weekend was Tom Hanks’ BIG in reverse.
In high school, I thrilled in my life as Howie. I remember to this day the athletic magic of the high school years. Not so much the detail as the over-riding feeling. And one vital take-away of this experience for me was the confidence I felt that I could accomplish in life anything I put my mind to.
Then for the past 50 years, since high school, I have lived my life as Howard. I have accomplished a lot, but not everything I imagined. I have cherished my family, my professional accomplishments, my friends, my memory of life in WFB and life in New York.
Last weekend, I became Howie again. I hope all of you also revisited your 18-year old selves. From the loud cheers, thunderous applause and sense of togetherness, I think you did. I had to remind myself that we are 70 now, not 18. And I am sure the non-67-ers in the crowd were wondering this same thing.
Now for the Thank you’s.
Like peeling the onion there are many layers of thank yous, as we work our way from the outside in.
- To all the classmates who were unable to make the trip, thanks for at least giving it a thought.
- To those classmates who submitted nomination letters, all of which I read and most of which made me blush, thank you.
- To those local to Whitefish Bay and Milwaukee who attended the events thank you so much.
- To those who came from afar (I think Don Lindley from Italy wins the prize), you have got to be kidding, and thank you.
- To Jim Stearns (we have so many Jim’s in our class I need to include the last name), who connected the dots, kept the event in the front of all our minds, thank you so much.
- To Wendy, who maintained awareness on our class web site. How great was that. Thanks.
- To Becie who nailed down the event space. It was so relaxing and comfortable. Thanks so much
- To my family and soon-to-be extended family for joining me for this unimaginable (for them) occasion, thanks so much.
- To my family in the 1960’s. My mom and dad who were witnesses to the countless events that transpired and who were here on Saturday in spirit . Thank you does not begin to express my gratitude, devotion and memories.
- Also to my 2 brothers and sister, 2 of whom were out of the country on Saturday due to prior commitments. To my brother Don and his wife Jane who were present and accounted for, thank you
- To Jim Rumack and Mary who were so vital to everything that happened. Yeah, I was a good athlete, but it was Jim who made sure it mattered.
We heard from many quarters that WFB has never had such an energized, exciting, and uplilfting HOF event! To all of us for letting the school admins, teachers, and others how energized and special our class is and was.
GRAZE MILLE- THANK A MILLION !!!
And to anyone I forgot to mention, my apologies and thanks.