Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! The Handsome Men of Leo High School Universal

Tamara Holder thinks we're handsome.

Yesterday, I loaded the data on the first returns from Leo High School's Campaign Leo Fall/Winter direct mail campaign. Solid as always. The turn around is generally 24 hours after Rescigno's Rapid Mail Solutions and Harte and Sons Printing fired the load off to the U.S. Postal Service.

The early returns signal a husky hunk of much needed revenue to this inner city Catholic high school serving young men too tough to fall to the streets and too proud to allow events to determine their lives. Their parents are taking extra jobs to meet tuition.

Times, by the way, are very tough.

Yesterday, I also plugged in the amounts for the checks dropped off by 1970 Alumnus Bobby Standring from the Lions of Laughter comedy night at the Beverly Arts Center this past Saturday Night. As comic laureate Paul Kelly reminded his audience, "Handsome is as Handsome Do!"

There was a Leo High School Tradition going back to the 1940's, whenever a coach, teacher, or student made a speech before the entire student body and staff, for the Lions Universal to yell approval for his words with shouts of " Handsome Bobby! Handsome Willie! Handsome Jimmy!"

Handsome, Paul Kelly reminded us on Saturday night, was an ironic recognition of our public faces. Man we are some ugly Dudes! However, in reflection of our deeds pushed by our hearts we go from beasts to beauties. Handsome Lions!

As is his custom, Leo President Dan McGrath wanders the cafeteria during the lunch hours and offers a "a touch of Danny" in the day.

From table to table, he greets the Lions Universal with praise, encouragement, and most of all thanks. They are the reasons that 400 people packed Beverly Arts Center on Saturday night and also packed envelopes from Zip Codes far beyond 60620 with checks of $25, $50, $100 and up to and including $200,000 from much older boys who once stamped approval and shouted Handsome Jimmy, Handsome Billy, Handsome Horsey, Handsome Bobby, and Handsome Pete Doyle!

The young men attending Leo make us proud. Our best athletes also happen to be top students and chess masters. Running Back Keith Harris is an IHSA recognized Scholar/Athlete and owns a fearsome record as a Leo Varisty Chessman. Jeremy a sophomore who played football as a freshman managed the Lions this year and is # 2 in his class.

The biggest disciplinary headache confronting teachers is keeping shirts tucked. The halls, where Jelani Clay, Eder Cruz, Moose Gilmartin, Andy McKenna, Tommy Hopkins, Dr. Stafford Hood, Dean at University of Illinois, General George Muellner of Boeing, Illinois Chief Justice Emeritus Tom Fitzgerald, Bishop John Gorman and Frank Considine '39, who modernized Eygpt's economy in the 1970's avoided the eyes of Brothers Rooster McCarthy, Mr. Foster and especially Brother Sloan, are as quiet as they were decades ago, when class is in session.

Visitors to Leo High School are hooked by the spirit of thanks and cooperation that scents our halls, though the second floor bathroom does otherwise, due to its aged plumbing.

One of the most beautiful young women I know, Tamara Holder, an attorney, Fox Television Legal Analyst and journalist visited Leo several times and then called me, " Hickey, I want in! Let me help on your Advisory Board." Done. Tamara works with Bill Holland, Bobby Sheehy, Jack Fitzgerald, Mike Holmes, Kenny Mason, Mike Joyce, Rich Finn, and John Linehan. Tamara is eye-poppingly gorgeous. The Leo Board members are . . .Handsome. Together they advise Dan McGrath and Principal Phil Mesina on how best to serve the Handsome Lions chowing down in turkey, stuffing, greens, yams and cobbler at yesterday's lunch. Today, we will have a Thanksgiving Mass and celebrate the Handsome Jesus Christ for all the blessing and care that He provides this great school and the Handsome young men it serves.

Paul Kelly noted that he looks at the man in the mirror each morning, no longer the tightly fleshed jaws of a teenager perhaps, and announces " Okay!. . . Handsome!"

Damn right, you are Handsome.

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