The “Old Guard” reunion was another success in 2017, as a group of retired and active glass industry veterans got together in August for the latest edition of the annual gathering.
Stanley and Sharon Joehlin welcomed a crowd of 30—consisting of longtime members of the industry and their spouses—to their Toledo, Ohio, home on August 9. The group enjoyed an afternoon of snacks and conversation before heading to the nearby Belmont Country Club for more socializing and dinner.
The gathering was the fourth of its kind and has been an annual event since the Joehlins, along with Bob and Nancy Brown, initiated the get-together in 2014. It began as a small dinner but doubled in size in 2015 and has drawn strong attendance since, with participants coming from all over the country.
Ren Bartoe, who has helped with the event since its inception, says it continues to be a great opportunity for people who have known each other for many years in business get to know one another on a personal level.
He says the group is very well-rounded in its interests, with hobbies ranging from fishing and wood-working to bee-keeping, motorcycle-riding and more.
At dinner, attendees performed their annual headcount of “total years served” and came up with more than 665, slightly down from the more than 800 years last year and including Norm Nitschke, who Bartoe says “set the record” with 69 years of service at 97 years old. Stanley Joehlin’s goal is to get the group total to 1,000.
This year’s number would’ve been closer to that goal if not for the absence of Jerry and Barbara Heider, who were participating in the annual National American Legion Legacy Run, a cross-country motorcycle ride that raises funds for post-secondary education for children of veterans killed on active duty. The Old Guard contributed $816 to the cause.
The Old Guard also paid tribute to the late Russ Ebeid, former Guardian Glass Group president. Henry Gorry, who worked with Ebeid for 32 years, shared a few stories and personal comments in honor of him.
Since most attendees of the reunion usually get into town the day before the event, the Old Guard is considering adding an additional activity—such as a tour of the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion—for future reunions.
While the event consists primarily of retired industry veterans, the Old Guard continues to welcome anyone past or presently involved in the glass industry to join it, regardless of age. The group will gather again August 1, 2018, in Toledo. Those interested may contact Stan Joehlin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Bob Brown at email@example.com, or Ren Bartoe at Ren_Bartoe@yahoo.com to receive an invitation reminder.