Now, East Tech was and still is a BIG school. My grandfather's commencement program says that, at the time of his graduation, there were 3,800 students and 110 instructors. To my knowledge, Grandpa was not on the track and field team. He may have had a few classes with Jesse, but they probably weren't good friends. (Interestingly, Jesse is not pictured in his senior year yearbook as is my grandfather. Turns out that he was a few credits shy of graduating high school and had to pass some exams to enter Ohio State.)
What I love about this story is the confluence of two typical American family stories of the early 20th century. Grandpa was the son of Croatian immigrants; Jesse (whose real name was James) was the son of poor sharecroppers who left the South as part of the Great Migration. Both sets of parents left their respective homes in search of better lives for their children. And I think it's safe to say that both succeeded.