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Edward Meil

Posted on the 2023-09-21 at 16:30

I'm a little vague about the details but in our senior year the Mentor schools suspended the bus service to St Joe's (as Daryl wrote up, there were buses that transported students from Mentor High and some Junior High Schools to SJ and back) - - I think it was temporary. To resolve the problem, several teachers who lived in Mentor area kindly offered students rides into and back from school. I rode with Mr Seme (who taught tech & architecture) with a couple of other guys - - maybe Rich Myers and Don Moffett? Mr Seme drove a 1967 (68?) Camaro and HE LOVED THAT CAR. So at the outset, he gave us the speech: when we opened the passenger side door, we had to be mindful to carefully curl our fingers under the door latch and lift. DO NOT BUMP YOUR FINGERNAILS UP AGAINST THE PAINT JOB AND LEAVE SCRATCHES. He said that he would not date women with long fingernails. I can imagine that discussion: "Be-yatch, if you scratch my paint job I'm gonna turn you over to Flailing Joe Farrell, and he's gonna paddle your sorry butt. Now hop in!"

Edward Meil

Posted on the 2023-09-21 at 16:04

Thanks to Shawn O'Malley for adding memorial pages for deceased faculty.

I was moved to record my memories of some of those men who influenced me. Which led me to recall some of my other favorite teachers, and offer them a tip of the hat and some gratitude.

Mr Searson stands out; he taught American Lit. It helps that I enjoyed the material, but I also liked the way that he handled the classes, serious but with some levity. I recall that for several weeks / months (?) of the term the class was taught by Mr Hitch (kind of a Dickensian name) who was doing a student-teacher gig I believe. I remember the rumor that while Mr Hitch was teaching, Mr Searson was driving the tour bus for the Grateful Dead. A long strange trip indeed. (this is not true).

Mr. Hoenigman also stands out for me. Again, I liked the 2nd year Biology class, but Mr Hoenigman did a good job in the classroom. As I recall, for Bio we had "large group lectures" in Room 231. Just like college!

Mr Vick was also memorable, for senior year English. We were reading some of the existentialists and as rebellious Catholic youth we latched on to the idea that "man did not have free will", so man could not be held responsible for sin, so the idea of judgment after death must be invalid. I made some comment about grace and the Holy Spirit and being responsible for maintaining a proper spiritual orientation. Mr Vick wrote in my yearbook "May the Holy Spirit always be with you. Even if you have no choice about it". Heretic!

Edward Meil

Posted on the 2023-09-21 at 10:34

Viking pride!

Pete Freeman

Posted on the 2023-09-20 at 16:17
My most fond memories are being in musicals and plays, as well as the choir. Who can forget Jim Biondolillo in "George M"? Brother Gerry Dwyer producing and directing. Being in plays like "We Bombed in New Haven" and drama class with Mr. McMahon. Cast parties were epic fun. Choir practice and Mr. Weiss directing us from behind the piano while smoking a cigarette. Later realizing that he sang the National Anthem at Browns' home games for years. Football games at Euclid HS. We never felt the weather because we never sat down and were always cheering. Someone else already mentioned we had the original "Greatest Damn Band in All the Land"! The mixers with the girls' schools. I was trying to remember all the bands that played in our gym. Did the Raspberries play there before they got famous? Anyone remember The Damnation of Adam Blessing? Not sure we could dance very well to some of that music but, I'm also not sure that what we did I'd call dancing. The picture of Bill Guhde "dancing" in one of our yearbooks illustrates my point. Our senior show - "Frankenstein" with Steve Stanziano on sax, Gus Oswald on drums, Dave Urich playing the synthesizer - our great show band, Paul "Smitty" Smith playing trumpet. MAN, there was a LOT of talent in our school. How about those frozen chocolate milkshakes they had in the cafeteria? I knew a lot of you even if we didn't hang out together. We did have different groups like the "mods" or the "greasers" but I will never forget the one guy that had a way of fitting in with any group and made anyone feel like he was their best friend - Tim Gorman. With that beard, it seemed he was older than some of the faculty members. I loved his sense of humor and his laugh. I remember a senior party at his house, the home of Judge Gorman. Someone called the police because of the noise. The judge just answered the door and that was that. I'm sure other memories will hit me at the reunion. I live about 4-1/2 hours away and I really should drive up at least several times a year and have lunch at Panini's with you all.  

Darrell Wazlavek

Posted on the 2023-09-17 at 22:46

One of my gratitude's about going to St. Joes is that we were led by extraordinary men. We were just kids with one.  Meanwhile, one of the horrific wars our country ever fought going on.


Here we were wondering "should I get used to saying "eh?" or take a chance of getting my arse blown off in Vietnam". I truly believe our teachers were more like life consolers for a group of teenage boys, not quite men, who might be expected to do manly things in the upcoming months. Could you imagine this going on now? Remember, "please pray for this graduate class of 1960 something who was killed in Vietnam?" No wonder we drank so much MD2020 (thank's Ray for the foggy memory)


One of my favorite memories was Mr. Farrell. We had an unusual relationship. I found it rather enjoyable, although it made me wonder if I had masochistic tendencies. For some reason, I just had to wear engineering boots to school. For some unfathomable reason, this was against our already very liberal dress code. That meant a greenie. As Ed and other pointed out, it's either the cricket bat or one hour after school. Since my destiny involved studding snow tires at Lou's Tire Mart in Mentor to pay that exorbitant $450 tuition, I always chose playing the wicket with Mr. Farrell. If I had "Outlook" back in the day, I would have a reoccurring appointment …."get a.. Whack by Farrell, then hitchhike to Mentor". One day it changed up. It was a Friday. St. Joes was playing Mentor that weekend for the first time ever. There was about 20 of us who lived in Mentor. We had to take the bus from Mentor High School to St. Joes. It was a Friday morning. I was called down to the office along with some guys from '72; Tom (Sacarige), Mike (Burgerman) and Rob (Courtney) . Euphemistically speaking, we got into an altercation on the way to the bus. Mr. Farrell expressed deep disappointment for the disgrace that we brought upon St. Joes. Then Rob asked Farrell "the mentor kids had a sign that said, "Bag the Fag's". What were we supposed to do? I swear he had this look of pride in his eyes and said, "Get out of here".  What kind of values did he give us that day? A more enduring memory of Mr. Farrell….I was cruising the halls and came across Miss Dolan's Spanish Class going on. It was full of Sophomores. I just had to stick my head in there and flip Miss Dolan off. I left feeling rather big of myself for how I must have impressed those Sophomores. Suddenly I found myself defying physics and flying in the air. This felt  amazing until I slammed into the lockers and found out that Mr. Farrell was sitting in the back of the class. I was in Sin-bin for the rest of the quarter. I was called "finger" by Farrell for the rest of my time at Joe's. Thank you, Joe. You were the man. There were lots of them.

Ray Di Renzo

Posted on the 2023-09-15 at 09:44
How about the student exchanges. Wehad those girls and we were all perfect Gentleman, Or the chills from singing our Alma Mater at Rallys, or when we were on the football field, The ST Joe Marching Band was the Original Best Damn Band In The Land... From the north end of the field, here they come... Always gave me goosebump's Finally, Coach GUTBROAD what a MAN, So come on fellow 73 vikes. So many of you that I would love to really remenisce with. All the good times we had! This is once in a lifetime get together and it will never happen again. So let's get together to bust balls and remember the fun years from 1969 to 1973. Please Show up! I'll make you laugh, and I'll even bring the MD 2020 and a Strohs "D"

Shawn O'Malley

Posted on the 2023-09-14 at 21:28

I remember the day they tore Tasty Burger down. I was sitting in Mr Wroblewski's Physics class up on the third floor and looked out the window to see the bulldozers. Right after class, I went down to the Yearbook office to get someone over there to take the pictures we used in the yearbook.

Louis Vrhovnik

Posted on the 2023-09-14 at 15:06
One of our Assemblies

Lou Vrhovnik

Posted on the 2023-09-13 at 16:39

Memories. Where do I begin I have my own and also of my classmates.

Let's start off with all the mixers The football games The Assemblies and Rallys The plays. The rolls in the cafeteria that were so good when you put the gravey on them. The fights behind Robert Hall. The single slice pizza at Maxims. The malts and jukebox at Tasty Burger. The Mad Hatter. The Boones Farm wine we all got sick on. And many more I'm sure.

I wish I could have got to know everyone in our class, but that wasn't possible. But with the help and generosity of Frank Zbiegien getting us together at Paninis, we are meeting classmates that we didn't know existed. It doesn't matter if you were a Greeser a Mod or anything in-between, today we are all vikings and nobody has a title.

As we said many times during our Rallies and at games and still do. WE ARE ST. JOES

Bob Schmitz

Posted on the 2023-09-12 at 14:50

Does anyone remember B Weiser?? Third row. Second from last.  What a great guy!!

Domenic Fragomeni

Posted on the 2023-09-10 at 07:49
Getting busted on senior cut day.I don’t remember who was looking thru binoculars from the third floor.And I was sitting across the street at Tasty Burger.

Kevin Conley

Posted on the 2023-09-09 at 07:38
Kevin Conley and Bruce Taylor Painesville Ohio 1973

Gary Patrick

Posted on the 2023-09-08 at 17:04
One of my favorite memories is the cafeteria. It was a place to escape to and kill time between classes. More importantly, it was a place where friendships were made with guys from different grade schools. There were spirited games of tabletop hockey with Sweetarts and popsicle sticks, debates about which school had the prettiest girls and an occasional fight or two. Some days lunch consisted of a cafeteria bun and there was always the fish and fries on Fridays. Little did I realize that one day I would be returning to the cafeteria for bingo duty since both of my sons attended VASJ. I still have nightmares of old chain smoking ladies calling me by name for instant bingo tickets. It was always “Sell me a winner Gary. Five off the top, five off the bottom and five in the middle.” Their lucky trolls were frightening.

Ray Di Renzo

Posted on the 2023-09-07 at 10:02

Bob Brunozzi putting his hole fist in his mouth freshman year.

Taking a swat from Joe Farrel to leave early or stay in detention for the whole 45 min.

Bob Federico taking a swat from Joe Farrel but got caught with Book in his pants, so Joe gave him 2 swats and those hurt.

Ed Meil

Posted on the 2023-09-03 at 17:10
Mr Farrell would be in jail if he pulled his tricks these days. Specifically, if you were tardy, the standard punishment was a 30 minute detention after school . . . "sin bin" was the expression if I am not mistaken. But, he gave you the option where he would whack your butt with a cricket bat, and you could be about your business - - job, sports, freedom. And he would give a full swing, no halfhearted stuff. I remember hitchhiking back to Mentor on numerous afternoons. You could actually do that back in the day! I would walk down 175th to I90 and thumb it on the entrance ramp. Usually it would not take long for a car to stop, and I was never murdered at all. Best for me would be a ride on I90 to the Mentor - Kirtland exit that was close to my home. I could tolerate a ride down Route 2 to Rt 306, then I'd have a mile and a half walk to home. A few times I'd get a ride to Vine Street in Willoughby which would then require walking / hitching down Vine and Mentor Avenue, about 3 miles. Two things that do not happen in the 2000's!!!

Matt Powers

Posted on the 2023-09-01 at 06:05
Remember the inspirational speech given by Coach Gutbrod prior to a big game? The theme was a football player with a serious illness who said "I'll always be a Viking!" That sentiment is true for us. We will always be St Joseph Vikings who hold true to the lessons we learned. I'll always be a Viking!

Mike Ostrom

Posted on the 2023-08-31 at 16:09
Many of us made a habit of sneaking down to Perkins Pancake House at Shore Center instead of attending a "mandatory" assembly in the gym. For some reason those pancakes always tasted better when we were playing hooky. On one such occasion, over half of the restaurant was full of St. Joes students when Vice Principle, Joe Farrell, darkened the doorway with pen and notebook in hand! Ah-Oh! He just stood there with that shit-eaten grin on his face, writing down all of our names. Interestingly, he didn't have to ask any of us our names. It was the usual suspects, and none of us were strangers to the detention hall.

Mark Novak

Posted on the 2023-08-31 at 13:45
"I'm not gonna mention any names...", as Mr. D'Alanno would have said. A group of young wannabe hooligans thought it was fun to plant M-80s with cigarette fuses in various random places. They put one in a trash barrel by the St. Joe's bleachers and retreated to a safe distance, giggling and waiting for the detonation. When along came elderly, saintly Father Reich, walking from the brother's house to the school, his path taking him right next to the trash barrel. One of the hooligans, the one who had the idea to plant the M-80 there, had a sudden realization of guilt and responsibility. He ran up to Fr. Reich, a man he never had any interaction with before, and struck up a conversation with him, so he wouldn't be quite so shocked when the boom happened, and possibly keel over from a coronary right then and there. Very fortunately for all, the cigarette fuse failed and the M-80 never went off. The hooligans all breathed a big sigh of relief.

Edward Meil

Posted on the 2023-08-26 at 09:14
Hmmm. I checked my 1970 yearbook, Bobrowski scored 2 against Euclid, not Youngstown Ursuline. Everything else about my past I remember perfectly.

Edward Meil

Posted on the 2023-08-10 at 19:21
My first experience at St Joe's was in the summer Algebra program taught by Mr Pawlowski. Richard Myers, John Polena, and I came in from Mentor. I had attended the same grade school, St Mary's Mentor, for grades 1 - 8 - - so I had never been the "new kid" in school. It was intimidating to be an "outsider" amongst the class group, many of whom had large contingents of friends from their grade schools that were closer than Mentor. I remember that John Flanagan seemed to be the center of a lot of the socializing and goofing around in the hallway before class started. Good natural leadership qualities, John! There was some teasing and bullying of some of the students, maybe carryovers from grade school, since it seemed to pick up right out of the gate. I remember being glad that I was not being picked on. Not a particularly happy memory, but it remains my first memory of the school. I remember watching Bob Bobrowski ( Go Bobo Go!) rip off a couple of long touchdown runs in the game against Youngstown Ursuline, and Pat Lyons (P Ly's coming!) leading the basketball team 1969-70.