Around the nation this spring, the Coronavirus is taking a toll on residents and the national economy. We will overcome this challenge, but unfortunately not soon enough to allow our students to walk down the aisle and celebrate with their classmates and families with the traditional rite of passage known as graduation.
Whether it involves moving from middle school to high school or graduating from college, those youngsters will be denied the donning of the traditional caps and gowns and ascending the stage to receive their diplomas. The tears of joy from both the graduates and the proud parents, grandparents, family, and friends will be put on hold for the year 2020.
Some of the various schools around the area are working on creating some alternate celebrations which will attempt to fill the gap from the loss of those of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance Marches, which this time of year is so well known for, but will be missing this year out of an abundance of cautions due to the presence of the virus.
Not wanting to see their son and a couple of his friends denied that tradition, Dan and Gail Keegan reached out to Steve Gober, the proprietor of Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant of Goodland, to see if they could borrow his stage on Saturday morning of last week so his son and two of his friends from Marco could enjoy that tradition.
“Steve was just great, and my wife Gail was responsible for making sure the decorations and all were pulled together to make it a great morning,” remarked Dan Keegan, who many have said did a great impersonation of Rodney Dangerfield’s character from the movie “Back to School,” complete with his own lectern and cap and gown.
After a thoughtful speech, Keegan called the three recipients up onto the stage, where the traditional movement of the tassel on each cap from the right to the left, symbolizing the change from candidate to graduate. They also participated in the tradition of tossing the caps into the air to celebrate their accomplishment of graduation.
Participating in the affair that morning was Aricona Quintana from the 2020 graduating class from FGCU, Tyler Keegan from the graduating class of 2020 from FGCU, and Savannah Long from the 2020 graduating class from the Marco Island Academy and has been accepted at FSW in the Fall.
“I don’t know that we ever had this type of celebration, but I know my dad would be proud,” said Steve Gober, commenting about his dad smiling down on the new graduates.
The three will now hold a special memory from the Spring of 2020 thanks to their parents and friends.