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Ohio Woman Gets Honor 51 Years After Kiss

May 14, 2004

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) _ A woman whose stolen kiss in a long-gone era kept her out of the National Honor Society will be inducted 51 years late.

Catherine Peters Wagner, 69, of the Shaw High School class of 1953, will be inducted Friday.

Wagner said she was reprimanded after being caught giving a quick kiss to a boyfriend as they passed in a school stairwell during their senior year. She suspects that is why her name was left off a list of new honor society members posted a short time later.

``There was a character issue there, apparently,″ Wagner said. ``I had the point average. I had the activities. Both of my sisters had been inducted with the same grades and activities. Same with my classmates.″

Wagner, who now lives in Reynoldsburg near Columbus, went to Ohio State University on a music scholarship and played the cello with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for 29 years.

Last year she toured Shaw during a 50-year reunion and Gerald Dougherty, vice president of the honor society in 1953, heard her story and asked the school to get involved. Principal Clarence Bozeman arranged the induction.

As for Robert Wagner, the long-ago boyfriend she kissed in the stairwell: she married him and they will celebrate their 48th anniversary this year.

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