Before the tour, I spent about ninety minutes with the high school principal learning about all the good things happening besides the bricks and mortar changes. Their enrollment is growing, they are offering new classes, students may now get college credits for some of their coursework and several other highlights were just gushing out of his mouth. He is truly excited about the direction the school is taking! That was a fun conversation for me.
After the tour, we gathered for a social hour and then banquet. It was great fun seeing some people I had not seen in forty years! It was a challenge recognizing some people and there were only a few I did not recognize. One of my former teammates came up to me, did not say anything and I just looked at him. I was drawing a blank, and then I asked him to smile. As soon as he smiled, I blurted out, "Kevin Johnson!" I did not recognize the bald head, but I certainly recognized his smile!
The entire evening went by far too quickly, as they always do at events like this. At one point during the social hour we were all asked to go outside for a group picture. I am going to put a photograph here of someone trying to organize all my classmates. It was like herding cats!
Click on the image to make it larger:
Someone had lined up a row of chairs that was supposed to be the front row. So, I had someone move the middle chair, parked myself and waited for people to fill in around me. It seems simple enough to me, but it proved a little more difficult for a group of middle-aged people!
Saturday was the big hometown festival called King Turkey Day. There is a whole other story to that which I will not go into, but suffice it to say there are all kinds of activities for just about any demographic group's interest. The big part of the day is always the parade. We had a Class of '73 float which consisted of a flatbed hay rack with bales down the middle for people to sit on, and we opened up a spot in the back for me to sit.
Here is a photograph of me getting on the float using a front-end loader, which is the same one they used to get me on the podium when I spoke at last year's Turkey Day:
Once again, click on the image to make it larger:
Notice I am wearing a black poncho Deb (Bourassa) Peterson graciously lent me as the rain was just starting to come. Randy Haack, Bill McCuen and partially hidden Dave Baker all helped get me onto the float. I do not plan on riding on another float anytime soon!
Seriously, I was in no danger. It is always just a little scary being put in a situation where I am completely out of control. That comes from experience!
After the parade, they were more events that ran long into the night. Unfortunately, I only lasted until about 9:30!
All this week I have been collecting photographs, as I am sure many of my classmates have been of the weekend events. I believe I can safely say everyone enjoyed himself or herself.
Now it is back to all parts of the country from Florida to California to Oregon and all over the Midwest to resume our lives and rekindle our memories of our forty-year high school class reunion.
One more thing, I would like to thank everyone on the committee who organized the tour, evening's activities, slideshow, parade arrangements and anything else I may be forgetting. Also, thank you to the guys who helped get me on and off the float.
As always, I look forward to your comments.