The reunion was great! Thanks for all your help! I heard (and continue to hear) how it was the best reunion ever and it was sad to see it end. I don’t know if it was the best reunion ever or if, as we age, our perception of what is “best” changes. Of course, we also become wiser (hopefully) so maybe it was the best ever!
Share the pictures you took! Either email them to me or put them on Face Book. Deb will have the picture for the Chief available to us as well. She is going to email it when it’s ready. We had 41 classmates attend the banquet only, 36 attended the barbecue only and 39 attended both. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because we had some come to one event and not the other, so while 41 attended the banquet, not all of those people attended the barbecue. Does that make sense? (Where are the accountants in our class?) Sonia was at the barbecue but couldn’t attend the banquet at the last minute because she and Jay were going to Ohio to pick up a camper Jay saw online! Of course, Chuck, being an RV dealer, didn’t know why they would leave the reunion to do that, especially all the way to Ohio, sight unseen, for a 1984 camper! Tom didn’t stay for the reunion as he was on his way to Chicago to see Ginger and Tom Talbot (who has cancer). Rick H and Ronnie S attended Friday night but were spending the Fourth with family. A few people who registered and sent in money were unable to attend for various reasons. Bill F, Dan J and Darwin didn’t come even though they sent in money. (What’s with that, Darwin??!) And Carol sent money even though she wasn’t attending! We knew Bill wasn’t going to make it but we don’t know what happened to Dar and Dan. Maybe they forgot. They’re getting old, ya’ know.
When people sent in their registration, several people added extra money for the class fund. Since I don’t have their names in the reunion booklet, I want to acknowledge their contributions. Jerry C., Nick, Sonia, Jim H, Mike H, Rick H, Trudie, Judy, and Jan S. Nick and Trudie had already given sizable contributions to the class fund earlier! Our class has been extremely generous and I thank you! Mike B continues to be the keeper of the funds and is doing a great job! Thanks, Mike! (I haven’t heard of any trips planned overseas or secret bank accounts in Aruba, so I think we’re in good hands with Mike!)
Driving out to Deb Mc’s was so good for my soul. I had forgotten how pretty the canyons are. I think when you live there, you take it for granted, but returning really did help me reconnect. Coming home, I guess. We may joke about small town, but it is refreshing to come back and remember the values of growing up there and knowing your neighbors (not only knowing your neighbors, but their families and history!) I took pictures of the canyons, but of course, the pictures don’t do it justice! Thank you, Deb and Norm, for your hospitality. I enjoyed staying with you. (Thank you also for the wine!!)
Friday night we gathered at Mike and Sally’s. It was a cool evening, so I was glad I opted to wear pants vs. shorts or a skirt. Mike and Sally had their yard all decked out in Fourth of July and patriotic theme along with so many beautiful potted plants and flowers and a gorgeous lawn. Great hosts, they welcomed everyone and later, directed us to the food line where we had pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, beans, chips and cole slaw. The meal was catered by Joe Shea (Class of 1971) and was delicious. Visiting lasted well into the evening. Mike G showed up after dark and I teased him that he was sneaking in after dark so we wouldn’t see him.
I followed Deb and Frank home since I was sure to get lost in the non-lit dark country roads! The Weissert Road is a little rough with lots of potholes, so if I hadn’t followed Frank, I might have ended up in the canyons! Deb and Norm had left Mike and Sally’s early as they had a Chief party to attend, so I couldn’t follow them home. I was a little mesmerized as I followed Frank’s pickup home, his taillights showing me the way. I didn’t see many reflectors either so it was very dark! I don’t know how you guys who live out there do it with no street lights! It is pitch black if the moon is not out. I would’ve missed the turn to Deb and Norm’s without Frank’s guidance! I followed him the next night, too. Thanks Frank! (By the way, you drive like a farmer!)
Saturday I got up early and headed to town. Deb was covering the parade and activities in Sumner and had invited me along, but I had too many things to do! I stopped by the historical society museum across from the Arrow Hotel and registered for the All Alumni luncheon. I met Judy M and her husband there, as well as Jerry L. Jerry L and I met there last time, too! (We must stop meeting like this, Jer!)
After I bought my ticket to the luncheon, I went to the cemetery to visit Mom, Dad, Floyd and Charlie. I ran back into town and bought a few things at Pamida since their gravestones were pretty messed up, lots of dirt and old grass that I cleaned off. I didn’t want to leave flowers without raking around their stones a bit. There were no beer cans on Floyd’s grave this time because his class didn’t have a 45th reunion this year. His classmates usually have a little “ceremony” when they are back for their reunion. The ceremony includes pouring beer on his grave, of which I’m sure Floyd would totally approve!
I drove back into town and spied Kleeb standing outside of the Arrow Hotel talking to someone. I decided to stop. When I parked, he had gone inside, so I checked out the grill, and there was Tom, Nick and Kleeb. Tom was trying to eat. I joined them and the three of us watched Tom try to eat while we all visited. Soon, Dan L and Doug showed up. They had been to the Community Center where the All Alumni luncheon was going to start soon. They said they saw Opal and Hob there and had waited for me to show up. And here I was with Tom, David and Nick! They said, “Opal kept saying Susie is coming. She told us three times you were coming, but you never showed up!” I think they were trying to get rid of me. After a bit, I decided to head over to the luncheon. I was disappointed that Tom wasn’t going to be at the banquet, but I was glad I ran into him at the hotel bar because I had a chance to visit a little longer. (Since I thought he was going to be at the banquet, I didn’t visit with him very long at the barbecue.)
I headed to the luncheon and met up with Hob, Opal, Mike H, and Judy and her husband. I showed them the booklet that I copied from the CD to give them an idea of what they would be getting at the banquet later. Hob perused it and didn’t report any errors. The rest of us stood in line for the food. When the line shortened, Hob joined us. No one complained that he “cut in!” Maybe no one noticed (poor eyesight?) or it was just that good old hospitality that Broken Bow people show! Pat Russell came over and told me how much my dad helped Mark after one of the young athletes was injured and died years ago. I heard a lot of stories about my mom and dad and their work at the hospital. Mom delivered a few of their babies, etc. It was nice to know that they left their mark, a legacy, at Broken Bow. (Of course, Floyd and I left a different legacy with the infamous party we had one weekend when Mom and Dad were in a Kansas City at a conference.) We asked Mrs. Russell if we could take a picture with her and she agreed.
Opal, me, Jim, Mrs. Russell, Mike H, Judy, Jerry L
The Broken Bow Community Chorus entertained us during the luncheon. Jodene and Dick are part of the chorus. They all did a great job. We heard songs from the 1930’s since BBow had recently hosted Chattaqua.
(Dick in back, first on left. Jodene front row, second from right side–white shirt)
After the luncheon, I headed back to Deb and Norm’s to clean up. I had dead grass all over my ankles from the cemetery that I hadn’t noticed earlier! (Why didn’t any of you guys tell me?!) I changed and headed back to town to meet others at the Country Club for set up. All of the Jerry’s arrived except one, as well as Jodene, Dorsett, Jan S. Jan B, Opal, Mike H, and Jerry L. (I may have missed a couple. If I did, I’m sorry!)
Mike H, Jerry V and Jerry L trying to set up audio-video equipment.
Jodene, Deb Mc, Jerry S (in red shirt), Dorsett, Jan, Liz (Jerry’s wife) in background
Jan, Mike H, Jerry L. We can’t get this thing to work!
Thanks for all your help, guys! Set up was quick and easy with everyone there, doing their part. Thank you to Linda R for the projector that we hooked up to my laptop. It took awhile, but we had it working before the banquet, thanks to Norm coming in and pushing the F10 button!
People started arriving at the Country Club around 5:30. First thing, Dorsett bought me a beer! Let’s start the night off right! The memorabilia table was a hit! Several people brought in yearbooks, newspaper clippings, pictures, sports medals, etc. We had a class ring on display, my diploma (yes, it’s signed) and a tassel. Mike H brought in his BBHS letter sweater. Hob said he had forgotten there was such a thing! Judy brought a Sioux sweater. Carol T (who wasn’t there) sent some copies of the Indian as well as the Senior section from the paper where we listed all our plans for the future, etc. (Carol–Jim took those home. We weren’t sure what to do and we were going to just toss them after the banquet, but Hob rescued them!) We had a section set up “In Memoriam.” We had “maybaskets” at each place setting to remind everyone of Deb’s and my antics! A three sided poster stood in the corner of the memorabilia table, showing events of 1960 as well as top movies, music, TV shows, popular toys of the day (Remember “Twister” and “Battleship?” They’re still around but were born in our era!) Lots of things I had forgotten like “Sesame Street” was first aired in 1969. Guess that wasn’t on my mind in 1969.
Around 7:00, we sat down to eat. I gave a “welcome” speech, thanking everyone for their help, thanking them for coming, and thanking Mike and Sally for the wonderful barbecue the night before. That was met with resounding applause! I said the entire class deserves credit for the success of this reunion. I was like the Union Pacific comminication station in Omaha, watching all the trains and making sure none collided. You guys were in the “engineers” driving the reunion. I was just the coordinator. I also said I was the cheerleader! Yea! I finally made cheerleader! I prodded you on and encouraged people to get involved and to come to the reunion. Some people like Rita C in California, Tom, Craig and others, I prodded and nagged so much, they finally decided they better show up! And they all said they were glad they did.
After the welcome, our Class President, Doug, stood up and thanked the class for all their hard work. Next Nick spoke on reunions and coming back to BBow. “It’s not just rehashing old times,” he said. We come back to see how everyone is doing, show our concern and appreciation. After Nick’s very insightful, inspiring talk, Jerry L led us in an invocation, remembering our lost classmates, praying for sons and daughters in the military, especially those in harm’s way (Cortland’s son is in Iraq and Lynne’s son-in-law is in Afghanistan.) He also asked for blessings on us, safe travel and blessing on our food. I had asked all three guys to speak at the banquet and they all did a great job. I wish I had videotaped it!
Jerry doing the invocation
We had a buffet of very tender roast beef, chicken (not fried, but not exactly baked either. It was very good!), cheesy potatoes, green beans, rolls and lettuce salad. For dessert, we had French silk pie! (Yum! I wonder who knew that’s my favorite!) After dinner, I passed out a trivia quiz to groups of 4-6 classmates at a table. (Usually 2 questionnaires per table.) As soon as one group was finished, I stopped the contest and read off the answers. A group with Dorsett, Robin, Cheryl, and others were first, but the table across from them with Hob, Mike G, Kleeb, Mike H and others were a close second, so I collected both questionnaires. Dorsett’s group had a lot of right answers but the guys had a few more, so they won. (They got most of the sports questions right.) I think Hob and Kleeb and probably Mike G should have been on different teams because they are like the BBHS “historians!” They remember things no one else does. (Or is it that they just act like they know this stuff and we believe them rather than question them?! They may be making things up and we believe them! Who knows?)
After trivia, Cheryl and Jan presented the awards for “Longest married” (Jan), “Most biological grandchildren” (Silver), Most children (Silver), “Traveled to most states” (Silver–49 states) “Most speeding tickets” (Hob), “Traveled the farthest ever” (Deb Mc to Mongolia) “Traveled the furthest to the reunion” (Rita), “Most parts replaced” (Opal) and “Most parts removed” (Sue)–although I can’t imagine others haven’t had at least three surgeries. I’ve had my tonsils out, gall bladder and appendix. That’s all! We each got little plastic trophies and a certificate. Mine showed a dump trunk “disposing” of things. Silver got the most awards which made everyone joke about the possibility of a connection between most kids and most states traveled! He took it like the good sport he is! (Silver drove a truck for a long time, so he has been to a lot of places.) His wife, Karen, laughed along with us all.
We then went outside for pictures before the sun went down. Deb lined us all up outside on the balcony and along the sidewalk going down to the golf course. She hopped in the picture at the last moment, then Norm snapped it! (Good thing Norm was there for all our media needs!)
We went back inside and visited quite awhile later. The tired Country Club employees cleaned up around us as we visited oblivious to activity around us. The crowd began to dwindle gradually, but many said it was hard to see it end. A few of us diehards hung out in the bar, Nick still buying drinks. We all just couldn’t get enough of our time together. Around midnight, I followed Deb and Frank back to Deb and Norm’s. Deb was waiting up for me and we visited awhile longer. I think we were beginning to talk in our sleep! My mouth kept going but my eyes were closing down.
Deb and I Deb and Norm’s backyard
The next morning I bid Deb and Norm farewell after a nice French toast breakfast. I headed into town for Mass. St. Joseph’s is renovating, which I didn’t realize until I walked up to the front door of the church. I should have been suspicious when I found a parking place right next to the church even though I was running late! Mass was held in the Social Hall. I entered and stood in the back of the church/social hall with the other tardy church-goers, scoping the area for empty seats. Father was giving his sermon when I arrived. It was based on Jesus returning to Nazareth and no one recognizing him as the Messiah since he was their hometown boy. “Isn’t that the son of the carpenter?” (Sorry, I need Jerry L to recite the passage! I just know the gist of the story.) It seemed appropriate since we, like Jesus, were back in our hometown, although I doubt anyone would consider any of us for high office, let alone Messiah! (Wait a minute! That is what happened in the Gospel!)
As I scoped things out, I noticed an empty seat next to Bill P’s wife! I didn’t even know Cindy was Catholic! I moved in closer, but then saw the person on the other side was an elderly woman with a walker and I didn’t want to bump into her, getting to the seat. Cindy noticed me and beckoned me come sit next to her. It was kind of a moot point by then because we pretty much stood the rest of the time! I did get to shake Cindy’s hand at the Sign of Peace, though! While going to Communion, I saw Mike G with his family and Judy with hers, so after Mass, I waited to say a last goodbye before heading back to the Big O. (That’s Omaha, not Oklahoma, all you Sooner classmates!) I chatted a bit and met up with Mike and Judy’s moms as well.
Heading back to my car, Mike G pulled up along side me and asked if I had breakfast plans. Since I already had French toast at Deb’s, I wasn’t hungry, but wouldn’t mind visiting awhile before leaving town. So, I followed him over to his mom and dad’s place. (I asked if his mom knew I was coming, and he said, “No.” But Shirley is so gracious and kind, she didn’t seem to mind the extra person.) Roger and Janet and her husband were there, too, and before long we were sitting at the table with all this wonderful food in front of us. I hadn’t planned on eating, but it was too hard to resist. I took a small portion of everything! Shirley offered more, but I was stuffed! We visited awhile longer, then I had to leave. I planned to stopped in St. Paul on my way home to see Lynne and drop off a DVD and CD for her. At least, I wouldn’t be arriving at her house in time for lunch!
It was a wonderful weekend and I thank you all for coming. I think the reunion was a success because you were involved and helped out. You may not think you did much, but when we spread the duties, it may not be much for one person since more than one are doing it! Like I told Jerry S when he arrived to help set up before the banquet, every bit helps and lessens the load for others. Thank you all! Keep in touch! (I will continue to badger you, I’m sure!)