Friday, August 12, 2011

Year Book

Through an outrageous schedule conflict, I'm scheduled for a music performance engagement that begins at the exact same time that my 40-year high school class reunion starts. The reunion is being held at the old Riverside Park within an annual River Festival from 5-11 pm.  I'm going to the festival in the afternoon, in hopes of maybe running into some old classmates, but unfortunately, I have to leave before the announced time of the reunion.  I'm sorry.

I haven't been to a high school class reunion since Year Five, so missing the high school reunion is not unusual for me.  But lately, I've been thinking a lot about the ones I went to grade school with, so long ago.  It was a parochial Lutheran grade school in Watertown, Wisconsin and there were 35 or so of us who were together for 8 years before high school.  We were always a sort of separate "secret society" contained within the high school class, and I believe it kept us true to ourselves.  Lately, the miracle of social networking has brought many of us back into contact with one another.

Our grade school year books were usually issued after the school year ended, so we never got a chance to write in each other's books.  

Year Book - 1966
so many more, apologies for all the omissions

When I play back those grade school days in my head, the sounds I hear are those of the playground - all those rhythmic chants - jump rope verses, singing on the bus for class trips, to cheerleader cheers. And yours is the voice I hear, leading them.

Our class Socrates. You had a way of phrasing the most profound questions in the simplest of words which baffled all the teachers

When I think of you, I remember that soft-spoken unconditional kindness that you had for everyone.

You kept us laughing all the time.  An irrepressible sense of humor that no cheerless teacher could contain.

The master of schoolyard trades.  The first to own a BIC 19 cent pen.  I heard that you had become a successful Madison businessman.  Who deserves it more?

Always cheerful, an unsinkable personality. Thanks for the times you cheered me up without even realizing it

Our mothers were old classmates, so we were friends even before there was grade school. You came to our family funerals, and it meant a  lot to me.

And you!  Ach du lieber!  Soul-mates to this day!


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