‘The Voice of Oberlin’ re­mem­bered

City to ded­i­cate pav­il­ion to Abram

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Keith Reynolds

Oberlin will memo­ri­al­ize one of the city’s most well-known cit­i­zens by ded­i­cat­ing in his honor a pav­il­ion at the Un­der­ground Rail­road Cen­ter.

Ge­orge Abram, who died March 18 af­ter a brief ill­ness, was known as “The Voice of Oberlin” for his 39 years an­nounc­ing sports games for Oberlin High School and Oberlin Col­lege.

In that ca­pac­ity, Abram left an in­deli­ble mark on the city he called home for nearly 56 years.

His deep res­o­nant voice, which he used to great ef­fect when the Oberlin team scored, be­came a hall­mark in the com­mu­nity that got him rec­og­nized by adults and chil­dren alike, even when he was just out shop­ping at Mid­way Mall in Elyria, he told The Morn­ing Jour­nal in 2017.

“One kid looked up at his mom and says, ‘Mom, there goes that two man,’” Abram said with a laugh. “Lit­tle things like that. I stopped, shook hands and talked to them awhile, and I still don’t

know who they were, but they knew me.”

A res­o­lu­tion calls for an “ap­pro­pri­ate memo­rial” to be de­signed and placed on the site, 237 S. Main St., was unan­i­mously passed by Oberlin City Coun­cil on Oct. 1.

Oberlin City Man­ager Rob Hil­lard said con­struc­tion

is be­gin­ning at the site soon, and the city is hop­ing for it to be com­pleted by the end of this con­struc­tion sea­son with a ded­i­ca­tion in De­cem­ber.

Coun­cil­man Ron­nie Rim­bert said that he and Abram, whom he called “a prince of a man” in the Oct. 1 meet­ing, had known each other for many years.

Dur­ing that time, their re­la­tion­ship took many dif­fer­ent forms, Rim­bert said.

“When I first met him,

he was Mr. Abram,” Rim­bert said.

“Then from Mr. Abram, he went to coach, then from coach, he went to Ge­orge and then from there, to my friend.”

Rim­bert said Abram was very in­stru­men­tal in keep­ing the Un­der­ground Rail­road Cen­ter project go­ing.

“In any project, you’ve al­ways got to have a point per­son, and he took on that re­spon­si­bil­ity,” he said.

“(Abram) was the guy who was tak­ing heat on cer­tain oc­ca­sions which he dealt with.

“Who­ever the point per­son is, there may be some glory at the end, but there’s a hell of a lot of heat at the be­gin­ning, and in the mid­dle, and Ge­orge was will­ing to put that on his shoul­ders.”

At the meet­ing, sev­eral com­mu­nity mem­bers spoke about how grate­ful Abram would be for the honor.

In 2017, Abram told The Jour­nal he was grate­ful when Oberlin High School was plan­ning a trib­ute bas­ket­ball game to him.

“I think of it as want­ing to do this, be­cause I like to do this,” he said. “If no­body ever said ‘thank you,’ it wouldn’t mat­ter; that’s what I wanted to do.

“If they want to say thank you like the trib­ute, then wow man, they thought that much of me to do that.”

KEITH REYNOLDS — THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

Con­struc­tion has be­gun on the Oberlin Un­der­ground Rail­road Cen­ter, 237 S. Main Street, which will be ded­i­cated to Ge­orge “The Voice” Abram.

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