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Coming Home

Saturday, August 1, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Coming Home

[August 2015]

By Dennis Spice, Class of 1957 
June 2015 

"It took more than six months for me to plan my reunion to my hometown of Chicago. For years now I have been residing in Washington State. Finally in June of this year, the day arrived for my journey to begin. High on my list was the visit to Lane Tech and the Alumni Association. In addition I would be canvassing the neighborhoods where my family came from and where I grew up, i.e. Bucktown, Logan Square, Avondale, Portage Park and Belmont Heights. This was the year of my 75th birthday and my grand tour of the best of cities-Chicago. 

I teamed up with my high school buddy, Al Kulikowski ('57). We made our way into the city for a first class visit to Lane. Arriving on a Thursday morning we entered to find a security system in place complete with metal detector equipment. This was a 21st century add on that had never existed in the 1950's. And where were the hallguards? This we were to discover was a concept that had been discarded, a relic of the past. Soon we were on our way down the long, familiar hall that would eventually bring us to the Administration Office. A long discussion with a lovely lady ensued and then we were off down the corridors of our Alma Mater. Before moving on we were given the warning that we were to remain only on the first floor due to the ongoing construction. The teachers we met gave us a great reception and we learned much of how Lane had changed since the days when we were students. This was especially true when it came to the changes that occurred pertaining to the Shops. Once we completed our tour of the first floor we decided to be the 'bad boys' we once were and to sneak up to the higher floors in spite of the warning not to do so. We did this and experienced our 'daring do' throughout this massive educational establishment. 

After about one and half to two hours, Al and I made our way to Peterson Avenue to locate the new site of the Alumni Association, but not before stopping off at Wolfy's for our beloved Chicago hot dogs. Once our stomachs were filled we were off to visit Barbara Cook and Mary Beth Ficht at the Association. Our time here was memorable. The staff rolled out the red carpet for us and we spent well over an hour in long discussion over Lane, the Association and changes in my city. It was unfortunate that LTAA Vice President, Michelle Weiner ('76) was not available at the time, but we would see her later that evening.

Our plans also included going to the Lane Tech Alumni Association Clock Tower Club's monthly get-together that night. But there was time before that event. A few Chi-town pubs were on the agenda. And so we headed for Lincoln Avenue and the Half Acre Brewery. A couple of pints of ale and then on to Bucktown to pay our respects at Lotties Pub. We finally ended up at Chief O'Neil's Pub where the Clock Tower crowd was to rendezvous. Michelle Weiner welcomed us and introduced Al and myself to the gathering of ten to fifteen Laneites and their guests. Drinking and eating and great comradeship followed. Believe it or not, Al and I remained sober and make this recommendation to all Laneites. Whether you live in the Chicago area or are an out-of-towner like myself do visit Lane and include the Clock Tower Club on your visit. You won't regret it. All in all, this trip was one wonderful experience."