Ralph Finch

Profile Updated: August 3, 2013
Residing In: Farmington Hills, MI USA
Spouse/Partner: Janet Finch
Occupation: Retired
Military Service: Army  

I stumbled out of Mumford. class of '58, and soon found myself — courtesy of Uncle Sam — spending more than two years in southern Japan. Not a bad place to be while you are trying to survive adolescence and finding yourself.

Life improved noticeably after Wayne State University and getting hired by the Detroit News, working in what once was the "Women's Department," the ending my 40 years there in the Entertainment section, retiring as a writer/copy editor

Many years later, at the News, I was approached by the late (and wonderful) Mumfordite, George Cantor, who asked: "Remember me? We sat side-by-side in economics class?" I admitted that I didn't remember him, but I could recount every detail of the pretty blond who sat right in from of me, which in part explained my poor grades in high school. Had I known I would spend decades as a writer, I would have paid more attention in English class.

Life has been great for me, probably better than I deserve. I am a serious antiques collector, I produce an 80-page newsletter on antique glass objects and also continue to write and edit for several major (and minor) magazines in the antique hobby.

I've traveled a lot, often to England and France, plus Australia and Amsterdam and assorted other countries. Much of the early travel was in search of seeing "The Phantom" more than 50 times in various cities in four countries, and "Les Mis" only about 25 times. I am an avid theatergoer, holding season tickets in several cities.

Life got even better when I reconnected with the delightful Janet, a woman I knew in the 1970s. I proposed to her in St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Trying to top that, we checked out getting married in London's Westminster Abbey or Paris' Notre Dame, but the paperwork was daunting. Instead, we went from the sublime to the ridiculous, and flew to Vegas where Elvis walked her down the aisle. (He was wonderful!)

We just celebrated our third wedding anniversary, and the only argument we've had is which one of us is the happiest. We are still working on our bucket list, but have checked off several items: we went to a drive-in theater (not easy to find these days) and steamed up the windows, danced along the Seine in Paris one misty evening, and managed to cause teenagers to shout out, as we kissed on a sidewalk: "Hey, you guys, get a room."

I suppose the life lesson is: Despite what a teacher may suggest, you can have success and a happy life after flunking economics class!

What would we be surprised to know about you?

That, at 73 (and having two minor strokes, one can have the time of his life.

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Ralph Finch has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Aug 19, 2016 at 8:33 PM

The loss of her smile, her friendship leave a dark hole in my bleak memories of  high school of 1958.

That period of my life was a challenge, and remained to until I returned to the 50-year reunion. I went to it, expecting to know no one. I had briief memories of two pretty blonds, and neither knew me. Or so I thought. One indeed did not remember me but much to my surprise the other stepped up to me and said, "Hello, Ralph ... I so enjoyed being in a class with you." It was Diane.
And what I expected to be a painful evening became delightful, and since then I would occasionally exchange an e-mail with Diane, and her notes always brought a ray of sunshine and would brighten my day and chase away any gray memories left of Mumford in '58.
Since the reunion, through the website and an occasional e-mail, seeing the name "Diane" automatically meant a smile to my life.
I am 76, and often tell people: "Don't ask me what I had for breakfast ..."
I will miss Diane. The world will miss Diane. And I will always remember her.

— Ralph Finch

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:27 AM
Elvis looks great; it's hard to believe that we are about the same age.