Monday, November 14, 2011

Reunion Time

Cousin or Classmate?
Yesterday in Northwood we held our annual Holstad Reunion.  As our parents have dwindled away it has become a Cousins Reunion, and yesterday 25 of us including Larry Holstad were on hand to reminisce.

Aging is an interesting process.  Fifty years ago I seemed to have little in common with these, primarily older, cousins, and anymore it is a joyful and heartfelt gathering.  These folks are salt of the earth and I take pride in being one of them.

I probably haven't had a chance to sit down and really talk with Larry for 25 years, so this became our time to remember growing up together, riding calves, getting ringworm, grabbing the cow's tail as she headed out the barn door, hunting, sledding, laughing at our fathers and their friends as a single pheasant flew the gauntlet, so to speak, from one end of their line to the other without getting shot.

The days of our youth were a precious time, and Larry and I agree that today's youth probably won't have an experience like it.  Then again, we didn't go through the experience of winter transportation that included heated rocks under our feet, so no doubt some events that we experienced are events that today's youth could do without.

Larry recalled getting reacquainted with Mike Lien after growing apart after graduation, like we might be doing through this blog.  It's more than just the fun of it - it's a matter of recalling the bedrock from which we came.  Sadly, we also learned yesterday of the sudden death of Harvey Hanson, Gwen Hillman's husband, on Saturday, and last week I heard from Vicky Perkins that Dennis Boettcher had died in October.

Such news sobers the day.  Still, dying is a part of living, and living is made better by exploring all the options including a full review on occasion.  Which leads me to these suggestions:

1.  A full turnout at the Reunion next summer would be terrific.  In spending three or four hours with Larry yesterday we were both reminded of the need to get out of our circles and routine, expanding our horizons and lives.  Past practice has been to schedule events around the Fourth of July, so keep that part of your calendar open.

2.  You have stories to share, and this blog was created for them.  My personal well is running dry, if you will, so consider this a call to action on your part.  If you prefer not adding your story directly to the blog, that's no problem, because you can email it to and we'll get it on for you.  Don't worry about punctuation, grammar, or any Wilma Helgeland niceties; if they add to the story, they stay in, and if not, I have an editor's pen available.

And that old guy in the clip at the top?  Class of '61!

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