The sons of Robert Armstrong, Cory Johnson, Iva Walker, Ray Bohn, and Matt Pfleger. Photo courtesy: Roberta Gallagher

The tenth annual James A. Garfield Hall of Fame induction was—as usual—a great success as it took place on April 30 in the Professional Development Center in the Garfield Elementary School.

Chief organizer Sheri Johnson and Master of Ceremonies Joe Malmisur, committee members Annette and Stan Carlisle, John Bennett, Jim Pfleger, Iva Walker and Ted Lysiak, with the able assistance of some stalwart high school athletes, kept the program moving and attendees informed throughout the evening.  Local supporters and out-of-towners, friends and families met and mingled before and after the ceremony.  Mr. Malmisur spoke briefly in praise of the Hall of Fame, its aims and founding by Don Moore—he being an honoree himself—and the James A. Garfield School District.  All listened attentively as the inductions took place and the war hero, the baseball-and-all-around-sports guy and the football-and-track champs were introduced…and the educator.

VFW members Bill Cline and John Kable had led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, in recognition of the service of Robert E. Armstrong, recently deceased honoree, holder of the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross presented for conspicuous gallantry in action in Viet Nam.  Specialist 4 Armstrong’s story was related by his son, Troy Armstrong, introduced by Ed Baker; other family members attending included Sue Armstrong and Mark Armstrong.  Classmates of the Class of ’65   joined in the recognition.

Cory Johnson(’05) was introduced by his uncle, Barry Humberson, ; he gave credit to his teammates and teamwork in general for much of his success (the tale about his shorts at a track meet was instructive). Ray Bohn(’06) and Matt Pfleger(06) were both introduced by Jim Pfleger, Garfield throwers coach and athletic director (Matt’s older brother and encourager); he had stories as well, about football, about track, about talent, about hard work and dedication.  Both of the young men spoke of the outstanding support of family and friends and coaches which they had received in their careers.

Bon vivant Barry Vancura had the final introduction of the evening and in his inimitable style, presented the educator, Iva Walker, whose motivation in the profession has attempted to mirror the words of John Wesley : “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”

It’s working so far.

Many thanks, much pride in all who have been part of the picture—colleagues, students, athletes (That includes cheerleaders!), musicians and performers… humble?…I’m trying, but the preceding thoughts take over sometimes.

Go, G-Men!