Sunday, July 12, 2009

Successful Class Reunion

We had a great 40th Reunion July 3-5 filled with a lot of activities. We started Friday with a sit down dinner, followed by a dance that broke up at 1:00 AM Saturday (it nearly killed me to stay up so late). There was a Silent Auction where posters and mementos from the the 60s were auctioned and we raised nearly $2,000 for our Memorial Arboretum Project.

On Saturday we had a memorial service in memory of our 14 fallen classmates which touched the hearts of everyone who attended. There was not a dry eye in the place. I heard the service described as the "heart and Soul" of our reunion.

We had lunch at the Princess Cafe in downtown Iowa Falls, took a walking tour from the Old High school to downtown, and toured the new museum housed in the old Carnegie library. We then had a wine and cheese tasting party follwed by viewing the Iowa Falls fireworks from the best place on the river.

Sunday morning we took a cruise on the Iowa River enjoying a great view with perfect weather. After the cruise we had a picnic in Foster Park where again we ate and had a chance to visit with our classmates.

Our next reunion is in 5 years and it will probably take me that long to recover...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

40th Reunion

My 40th Class Reunion is coming up this weekend and somewhere between the 35th Reunion and now I managed to find myself on the defacto planning committee. It has been a great experience. The committee has grown close over the last 2 years and while we knew each other in high school, we were not close. We are now close.

During our planning stages what has surprised me the most are the grudges and hidden feelings some of our fellow classmates still carry after 40 years. I've got to say - we are not the same people we were 40 years ago, we have grown, and we have cool stories to tell.

During our planning an idea was floated that we should do something to remember our deceased classmates. The short version is that after discussing and cussing several ideas we ended up arranging a sponsorship of a walking Arboretum at the Calkins Nature Center in Iowa Falls. The Hardin County Conservation people picked out and planted and will care for our trees. It will be designed so that over time all of our 159 classmates will have a memorial tree - a living tribute to the memory of the Iowa Falls Class of 1969.The response from families has been nothing short of amazing and we expect a large attendance on Saturday morning as we remember our classmates. I'll probably be an emotional wreck.

One short story here - we have been soliciting donations from the class and have been successful in raising funds (need to raise more funds so that number 159 has a tree) but people are giving from their heart. One of our classmates who is down on their luck, has been saving money so that they could give. He who had little - gave much -

So, what does that have to do with the photograph? We are staying with one of the committee members in Clear Lake making our final battle plans - and this was the view last night. I'll have additional observations so stayed tuned...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


We went to a picnic a couple of weeks ago and I caught this moment where a Grandpa is explaining the finer points of throwing a football to his Grandson. I'm envious of the moment (from the grandson point of view) because when I was growing up I did not have a Grandpa that was capable of passing along his "secrets". My Grandpa on my Father's side was long gone before I was born and my Mother's father was either unwilling or unable to relate to a child.

I have a few memories of my grandfather - the smell of tobacco from his pipe, the fact that he had lost 2 fingers on the farm - and that he didn't talk much.

Grandmothers on the other hand - taught me alot - not one of them showed me how to throw a football, but if I ever need to darn a sock - I'm there!!!