Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Revisiting Ian "Sandy" Frazier's Book, Family (1994)

Book cover
It’s not often a book that was published 25 years ago receives a prominent mention in The Wall
Street Journal's
feature on books, but that is what happened to Ian "Sandy" Frazier’s notable book, Family, in the September 1, 2019, issue of that paper. Mary Norris was asked to list the “Five Best Tear-Jerkers,” and Frazier’s book was selected as one of the five.

It might be just a passing salute for those of us connected with Western Reserve Academy, but this book is about the Frazier family in Hudson, Ohio, and the sad part has to do with the passing of Sandy’s younger brother, Fritz, who was only in his sophomore year at Western Reserve Academy when he died on December 7, 1972. He was just 15 years old and was a victim of cancer.

“To have known Fritz is to have known life in its most animated form,” said Dr. Robert Pryce at the
Frederick Schuler
"Fritz" Frazier, 1971
Chapel memorial service held for him.

“Fritz enjoyed living, and he liked having fun, and meeting with new experiences, and being with a warm and lively family, whom he loved, and who loved him.”

Mary Norris writes in The Wall Street Journal, “I sobbed at the deathbed scene, so piercing in its
evocation of the unbearable.”

Fritz has been memorialized on the campus of Western Reserve Academy with trees and a stone bearing a verse from the British poet, John Clare. It is good to be reminded of what a good book Sandy Frazier has written, among the many that he has done over the years. Ian "Sandy" Frazier is an alumnus of WRA, Class of 1969. Family, the book, can be borrowed from many libraries, and an inscribed copy can be found in the Western Reserve Academy's Authors & Artists Collection at the John D. Ong Library.
Description of Fritz Frazier's
memorial at Western Reserve Academy

Monday, December 09, 2019

Bert Szabo, WRA's Last Farm Manager, Turns 99 This Week

Last week, the Akron Beacon Journal's front page carried a story about Bert Szabo, who is celebrating his 99th birthday this week, on Wednesday, Dec. 11. His service at Western Reserve Academy is mentioned in the article, which notes that he was chief naturalist at the Akron Metropolitan Parks starting in the late 1950's, and he was the instigator of the annual Fall Hikes in the Parks which have been going on for fifty years. Bert has hiked most of those years.

They are temporarily naming Sand Run Parkway in Akron Bert Szabo Parkway. A few years ago WRA alumnus Donovan Husat and I filmed a program for Hudson Community Television (HCTV) about Bert Szabo and the former Evamere Farm at WRA, which he ran from 1951-1957. Mr. Husat grew up in a house on Franklin Street near the farm.

We had Bert meet us on location where the interview was taped, then we used the presentation at a Hudson Heritage Association meeting. Bert attended and brought down the house with his answers to questions about the WRA farm. HCTV will rerun the program in honor of Bert and his 99th birthday the week of Dec. 16.