Tuesday, July 17, 2012

thoughts following the reunions

There's a whole lot of things that will run through your head before, during, and after a 50-year reunion.  Here are some examples.

Most of us would wonder why we did those stupid things that we did in HS.  Chuck Helgeland has become known for apologizing, but like the rest of us cannot undo what has been done.  Linda Loken is a world-class historian with scrapbooks of practically every event of our four years, and I found in them the "senior interview" we all did for the Anchor.  I read mine and was embarrassed by what I wrote.  Somebody should have slapped some sense into me, but it's too late now.

Lonna's class had a float (created by Richard Hrubetz) for the Lake Mills Jubilee on Saturday, so we were there for the parade, and I noticed the Class of '52 had a float in the parade as well.  Imagine this - There we will be, 10 years from now...  Are you ready?

Their lives were certainly different since they lived through and likely can recall World War II and the Korean War.  So then I projected in a different way - backwards - to realize that in 1962, it was the Class of 1912 that would have been celebrating their 50th!  That may change your perspective.  It did mine.

The Lake Mills reunion was pretty much a one-day event, confirming even further that with holding a four-day affair, our class is pretty unique.  I have heard from NKHS grads both before and after our time who say their reunion is pretty much a three-hour meal and that's it.  I described to some folks on Saturday our four days together, and they just kind of stared at me like, "ok, really?"  Think of this: would any class ever purposely try to arrange either style, limiting itself to the three-hour dinner or creating the four-day gathering?  Probably not.  Either one just sort of "happens."  The design flows from the people and their relationships, though I think the Lake Mills folks might enjoy an extended reunion, too.

Do you realize we had classmates returning from Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and numerous points in between?  And Dick Brunsvold who lives in Norway, missed it.

Our classmates have experienced a pretty good level of success, but so have the LMHS grads.  Makes me think that Norwegian ancestry may have a hand in all this, although I once knew a fellow from Kansas who graduated in a class of four.  Three of them earned doctorates while he was a successful business owner.  That sets a pretty high standard.

"Butch" Pederson
Saturday evening I had a chance to visit at length with Wayne "Butch" Pederson, the Lake Mills shooting guard with the high-arching shot that probably was inadvertently blocked at one time or another by the arches in our gym.  Butch lives in Chicago where he was a teacher/administrator for a number of years.

Like the other players on the floor for those games in '61-'62, he recalls the high level of competition between NK and LM that all agree made everyone better. "You know, it started in junior high and just carried through," he commented.

His memories of our final game have a little different perspective.  "We trailed, what, 18 - 4 at the end of the 1st quarter?  I thought we were done.  I did.  Then in the 3rd quarter I got hot, shots going in that I couldn't believe.  And I won't forget my 2 free throws with 15 seconds left.  We were leading by four and I knew how important they were because it could be the game.  I hardly recall the ball leaving my fingertips, and it just floated in."

Paul Charlson was quoted in an earlier post about his own memories of the season, and you can read his story here . . .

Just before we left, Butch and I looked around and hypothesized about our common future, what with the incidence of cancer, heart disease, tumors . . .  Some of the people attending their reunion - just like ours - won't be there next time, and that's a sad reality.  Until then, let's stay in touch.

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