2009 Induction Poem
Randy Wayne White made a splash at Central: varsity letter winner
as both catcher and diver, student council president, and Spree King,
while he as a writer made a quieter start, on a bench in Vander Veer Park,
scribbling thoughts. An athlete, whose love of language would land him
on The New York Times Bestseller List, he first reported for the Blackhawk,
then the Fort Meyers News-Press before launching life as a light tackle
fishing guide and novelist at Tarpon Bay Marina on Sanibel Island, Florida.
Named best look-alike for Papa Hemingway, he risked taking a load
of baseball equipment to Havana to restart Papa’s Little League team.
Randy writes 1000 words a day, many about marine biologist Doc Ford
and his pals at Dinkin’s Bay. He makes chili sauce at Doc Ford’s Tropical Bar
as hot as his newest novel and his oldest love for Central.
When the DHS audience of May 17, 1935, read the program
for the senior class production of It’s Love, I Realize,
they discovered someone: “Music and Lyrics Composed,
Arranged, and Directed by Perry Lafferty.” Though his splash
was dramatic, who would have thought he’d go on to Hollywood
to produce All in the Family and Mash? Programming radio before TV,
network executive Perry rose through the ranks at CBS to success
and controversy. All in the Family confronted racism and drugs,
while his Emmy-winner, An Early Frost, treated the hot AIDS topic,
but the censors’ cold blows struck The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Once called a “hip father confessor,” Perry Lafferty won
high praise for his talent, taste, and good humor.
When Patti Manus saw a need, she filled it courageously
with love and commitment. After her daughter Robin was born
with developmental disabilities, she dove undaunted into
the educational void to found her School of Hope in Hope, Arkansas.
She started with only six children. After four decades of her lobbying,
furious grant writing, and countless meetings, Patti’s school now provides
for infants through adults, even at satellite centers. Going beyond
learning needs, Patti championed assisted living apartments
for adults with disabilities, and her latest success is building Robin
her own house, a symbol of hope for “almost independence.”
The splash of her personal crusade sends endless ripples
out into an ever-widening community of caring.
Dick Stahl and Nancy Hayes