It was noted baseball luminary Satchel Page who suggested that “the social ramble ain’t restful,” as a warning to his fellow players to take care of themselves.
If the Leo High School senior class was dragging during the final week of instruction, blame it on the “social ramble” the members experienced over the preceding weekend.
The festivities began with Prom on Friday, May 3. The venue was the ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel Midway Airport, and the Young Lions looked resplendent in their multi-colored tuxedos (though most disdained socks). Their dates, meanwhile, clearly were dressed for a night on the town, decked out in an eye-catching variety of formal gowns.
As the night proceeded they moved to the sounds of P.J. the Deejay—Leo freshman P.J. Brown, who provided a night-long medley of get-up-and-dance music, as well as a lively stream of patter that belied his tender years. The meal on which they feasted was a marked improvement over Leo cafeteria fare … to say the least.
It’s probably an understatement to say a good time was had by all.
On Sunday the venue shifted to the Astoria Ballroom of the Oak Lawn Hilton for Senior Luncheon. The Young Lions were decked out in Sunday finery, accompanied this time by their parents rather than their dates. Sponsored and run by the Leo Parents Club, the luncheon is an opportunity for the seniors to be together in a social setting one final time before graduation, and a chance for the school to thank the students and their families for their many contributions.
Master of Ceremonies Shelvin Payne ’96 kept things moving … or at least he tried to. Some Senior Parents were recognized for their contributions to the Parents Club and to the school, and “Senior Superlatives” were an entertaining blend of serious and silly acknowledgements. Principal Rawls also saluted Fred Cleveland for being the only senior he hadn’t yelled at even once in his three years as Leo’s principal. Jalen Harris won $500 for his first-place entry in the One Pride essay contest on the true meaning of Facta non Verba, the school motto.
Amid the frivolity, Mr. Lindsey Dates delivered a stirring message as keynote speaker. A University of Illinois grad and a litigation partner at the downtown law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, Dates spoke of growing up without a father in Chicago’s Roseland community and recounted the strategies he had to develop in order to succeed largely on his own. He assured the seniors that their Leo education offered them a good start in life, but in the end they would determine their own success by how hard they were willing to work and to learn and to cooperate with others.
An informal but lively session of music and dancing wrapped up the afternoon, while signifying a great start to Graduation Week.