Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Old News - from 4th Grade

Marilyn Weidler Ulve has been digging deep - and found these "letters" written by classmates during that year.  Shirley Mitchell was the teacher for many of us that year, and these memories will live in infamy.  To view the letters in a readable size double-click the picture and it should take you to the online album where the pages are larger.
Apparently homecoming was just as important back then as it is today since several classmates mention the parade.  Chuck Hendrickson mentions the first game of the year, against St. Ansgar, the traditional opener, and I know that we LOST that game.  In one of my letters I reference staying over with my cousin Craig that Friday night, and for some reason I still remember, clear as bell, standing in their barn while he came dancing into the milking area, with a sing-song announcement that "St. Ansgar won their game last night!  St. Ansgar won their game last night!"

Seven years later we played at St. Ansgar in another home opener, and he snuck out from his wingback position to cut me down from my defensive end position - several times.  I never saw him coming for the first three or four times he did it.  A couple years ago he was sharing the story at a family gathering.  He thought it was really funny.  Ha ha.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Where We Are

Perhaps it was curiosity that killed the cat, but I wondered just how scattered our class is, and what it would look like on a map.  And here it is.  You can zoom in or out to be able to view each location more carefully, and scroll down to view a directory listing as well.  I left the names off the map but can provide you with a link to a map that includes names if you ask.

Clearly most of the group still lives within a 30-mile cluster of the hometown, but we have made it to a number of other states plus Norway.  Without Richard's exact address I was not able to be anymore precise than a dot in Norway.  Hopefully he lives somewhere near there.

To view a full-screen map, click the NKHS 62 No Names link below.  If you're familiar with Google Maps you will find this operates the very same way.

View NKHS 62 No Names in a full screen map

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Frog Not Forgotten

In one of those weird conversations that pops up at a class reunion, Jo Olson told me about a biology assignment she once had, and last week emailed me the full story.

A bit of a chuckle here - I had completely forgotten about the frog until I was talking with Maynard. We had a good laugh because he remembered too when we had the assignment to impregnate a female frog in class. I can't remember the details but my frog refused to get pregnant and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. After some discussion and investigation by Mr. Midtgaard, we discovered my frog was a male! Boy, was I relieved 'cuz I still got a good grade!!! Funny you should mention it - I just found a dead frog in my closet - gift of my daschund sophie (I assume). jo

Please note, Jo, the labeled parts of the female frog shown here.  Just in case you get the assignment again.

Friday, July 27, 2012

are you listening, grandma?

Merrilee Reid forwarded this photo, which speaks all too well to the generation gap.  And by the way, this is gender-neutral even though Grandma is mentioned.

I'm discovering that young folks don't email each other - they use Facebook or texting.  I watch my granddaughter type out a text with her thumbs even faster than I can type it on a keyboard.

I turn to Grandson #1 for assistance with iTunes.  And my 10-year-old grandson put together a PowerPoint for his dad's Lions Club that was superior to any that I have done.

So then I stopped to ask myself what it was that I taught my own grandparents.

Nothing.  I taught them nothing.  But I perhaps showed them my double heel-click.  Maybe.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

More about McNamara

An email from Ann Johnson fills in more background on Donald McNamara.

Yesterday we bumped into some long-time friends of ours whom we haven’t seen for ages; Curt and Sue Evans who farm near Joice.

Curt wanted to tell me how much he enjoyed reading about our search for Donald. He was very, very complimentary about all that we had done and all that was involved. He grew up in Joice and graduated from Lake Mills High School with Jan in 1964. She had told him about our project and directed him to the NKHS 62 website.


Knowing his age, I said, “I’ll bet you knew Don and Ron McNamara when you were in school”!

He said, “I sure did! We rode together on the school bus to Lake Mills but we knew them as “Carberry.” Then he started talking about Don and what a nice kid he was. Curt said the twins’ birthday was one day after his birthday so they called each other “Brother”. He spoke so well of Don and said they were really good friends.

He said both of the boys were very good athletes...he said so many things about the boys, I can’t begin to remember all of them. I told him I thought Shane would love to hear stories about his dad as a kid and Curt said, “Oh, you need to get in touch with Barry Anonson. He still lives in Joice; he and Don were really good friends. They both lived in town...I wasn’t around them so much because we lived in the country but those two were together all the time.”

He chuckled and said, “As I remember, the game warden took their guns away once because they were shooting sparrows around town.” There were stories that Michael (Shane's son) would like to hear...Curt said that Don was “a heck of a baseball player”. (He also said Don and Ron teased Deb (their sister) unmercifully....he even told us the name they called Deb but I can’t remember it. Curt was really enjoying talking about his friend.

The story continues . . . Ray Calhoun will be pleased that it does.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Here Are Some Words . . .

Today's paper featured a story about Chris Kluwe, the punter for the Minnesota Vikings, who is now blogging for the paper.  Kluwe is a real piece of work.  He's already well-known for his Tweets (Chris Warcraft on Twitter), for being a video game afficionado, serving as bass guitarist for his band Tripping Icarus, and now this blog, which you can read here in full...

Call it "fair play" that we give some time to the Viking side of the river and their two fans after posting the story about Jim Reid's visit to Lambeau, that paean to the Green Bay Packers.  (By the way, has anyone ever visited the Vikings Hall of Fame???  Oh, yeah, they don't have one.)

Anyway, the first paragraph in his first post is - How exactly are you supposed to start out a brand new blog/journal/random-blathering piece? It’s always vexed me. Should I just dive right in? “Hi, I’m Chris Kluwe, the punter for the Vikings. HERE ARE SOME WORDS, READ THEM.”

Personally, I can relate to that, and so can many of you who have posted or attempted to post on this blog, I am sure.  Kluwe will blunder forward, and if you've read anything about him you know what he posts will be entertaining, thoughtful, satirical, and insightful.  We should all do the same.

The door is open - come on in and drop some words.  And if I put some up, please read them!  Even if they are random-blathering.

Californians come to Wisconsin

Jim and Merrilee Reid came to town to visit last week, completing their trip around Lake Michigan following the Class Reunion, including a stop (for Jim) at the Packer Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

We enjoyed dinner at one of Hudson's fine downtown restaurants, then ambled out onto the Old Toll Bridge (also known as the Dike Road) that is a local landmark, where a passerby snapped this photo for us.  At one point in time Highway 12 traversed across this bridge and on into Minnesota, the connection between Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison and the Twin Cities.  

The lights in the background may be either boats or the I-94 bridge that replaced the section we were standing on.  Minnesota is on the right, and Wisconsin on the left.

A little history may be of interest for you:

The Hudson Toll Bridge was built in 1913, and it closed in 1951 after a new US-12 bridge was built one-half mile downstream. Today, people refer to the bridge as the Old Toll Bridge. Toll income from the bridge resulted in City of Hudson residents paying little or no property taxes for many years.

The hill on the Minnesota side on which the bridge would finish was steep, causing problems for some automobiles.

Old timers recall that Ford Model T cars often had a hard time climbing the bridge on the Minnesota side. Those cars had a transmission with metal bands. As the bands wore down, they would begin to slip. Drivers often found that they could back up the hill since reverse was used much less and the reverse band in the transmission would not be wore down quite as far.

A point of information: property taxes may have been low or non-existent for years until 1951, but they have since caught up.  Stan and Richard, the part about the Model T is for you.

And there's your travel tour for the day.  Come on up and visit sometime!

Monday, July 23, 2012

in commemoration

On this day in 1967, Corporal Donald Woodward McNamara lost his life in a six-hour firefight with the enemy near Highway 9 at Ca Lu, Viet Nam, four months after the birth of his son Shane, the child he never met nor held in his arms.  McNamara was the only casualty in Viet Nam who listed Northwood, IA, as his hometown.

Yes, "Don", it is ME!

"Little, Lyle"

My best friend, Larry S. Nelson, USMC introduced us just before you TWO headed to Okinawa.

Remember, Blue and Red? First Marines, Third Marines?

Life WAS simple!

Blue and Red!

The more you DRANK, the more your threw your head back and and said "GAWD".

You said "GAWD" many times before the night was over.

You had such "inner peace"! Was there something you wanted to tell us besides "GAWD"?

More than once the "fellas" who served with you TRIED, really TRIED to recover the ground they were PUSHED back from. Ground that YOU held. Overrun, pushed back! Overrun pushed back! Overrun - pull the pin!

That (now hallowed ground) could NOT be recovered. Those Marines knew they were NOT "supermen".

In the end, you destroyed the M-60. "One last grenade"! You hugged the "60" until the end!

Thanks, Don!

--  Lyle C. Frazer, posted at VVMF.org  

The story of Donald McNamara and the discovery of his son Shane has been an emotional one for all involved, a testament to the sense of hometown one feels being raised in Northwood Iowa, and a statement about the importance of remembering those who served our country in uniform.  I personally never served, and this project has become a way for me to contribute, and an honor to do so.

In the words of a Marine who served with McNamara, Lance Corporal Ray Calhoun, San Diego, CA: This all reminds me a quote from a WWI Belgium man who as a kid was liberated by the US Army. He came to America, became a famous architect and married into wealth. To thank the USA for all this he established a military museum and library in Santa Barbara, Ca. Asked about his special feelings for the military he said: “I still feel an obligation to the United States, especially to the military. That’s why I am behind the idea of a Museum to honor the soldiers who died. To be killed in a war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst. To be forgotten is the worst.” 

Searching for his gravesite at Graceland Cemetery in Albert Lea, MN, Larry Patterson finally found the headstone, overgrown by sod.  Since restored to a presentable condition, it remains a sad statement that for years it had been slowly forgotten.  Today we remember, 45 years later.

Editor's note: the above post was scheduled to be published on Saturday, July 21, the anniversary date, and is published today due to an error.  My regrets.

A Look Back in the Blog

The blog has been updated to show all the YouTubes presented at the Saturday evening banquet.  They're on the About the Class of 62 page, and you can view it by clicking here . . .

With politics now in full bloom I looked back and found a post from two years ago regarding the politics of our time, when we didn't know there was such a thing as a swing state, and living in a location where the chosen TV stations don't cover your area is a blessing.  You can read the post here . . .

In my conversations with Butch Pederson (LMHS '62) last week we also discussed the football season that I discovered had been a downer for both teams/schools.  By the time we played against each other in the last game I am sure he was looking more favorably at the upcoming basketball season than our last football game.  Both teams limped to the finish line, NKHS because of the loss of key players and in his opinion their misfortune came from people playing in the wrong position.  He's right - he probably should have been their running back.

Strangely enough, I didn't know or had forgotten that he was playing across the line from me, although we were not head-up.  Regarding the incorrect score posted in their annual he laughed and said, "Yeah, we saw it and knew it was wrong.  But I figured what the heck, it meant another win for us!"  Ha Ha, I said.

It was about this time of the summer in 1961 when we were beginning to fantasize about a great senior football season, so we determined some illegal summertime practice would be a good thing.  It lasted one night, and you can find out why by reading this post . . .

Thursday, July 19, 2012

a boy and his horse

Larry Holstad
Preparing for a class reunion meant we spent some time looking over old pictures.  One day Lonna laid a photo in front of me and said, "Who is this?"  The bigger question was probably "Why do you have this in your collection?" because it turns out to be, as I guessed, Larry Holstad.

We sent the original photo to Larry and he has confirmed that he is the rider, on a picture taken at his grandfather's farm just south of Austin, MN.  We don't know for sure what year the photo was taken but do know that on at least one occasion he rode his horse to Lake Mills for the heck of it, and perhaps the picture was transferred to Lonna on one of those occasions.

Nobody really knows for sure but all the conjecture is fun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Letter to the Editor

I was pleased to see the photos from the parade in the Anchor last week, especially the entries for the NKHS Class of '62 including the '62 Anniversary Gold Impala holding the four NKHS Homecoming Queens, '58 to '61. Unbeknownst to your staff, the caption missed a great story since it did not identify the queens who were, in the front seat, Gwen Hillman Hanson, '62, and in the back seat Julie Nelson, '62, Serena Shields Holstad, '62, and Betty Ryan Mathews, '62. Not only was our basketball team undefeated, our queens were, too. One of the starters on that basketball team, Larry Holstad, was driving the car. The attached photo taken Thursday evening features the four remaining starters from the 61-62 team reading newspaper clippings about their season. Seated left to right they are Holstad, Chuck Hendrickson, Phil Johnson, and Gerry Pike.

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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

a Bulldog 50th

Another Reunion has gone by, this one held at Rice Lake Country Club last weekend for the LMHS Class of '62.  Paul Charlson reports he has set up a Facebook page for the group, so if you're a Facebook user you could probably enjoy their photos.  If not, here are a few that we took, and I'm sure you will recognize many faces.
Paul is a good man and has been the organizer of the past few Bulldog Reunions.  This year they very appropriately copied our recognition of classmates no longer with us.  Two names in particular struck me - Arlen Stensrud and Allen Holstad, both members of their basketball team and good athletes, well known to Northwood athletes.

I don't have a headcount but I believe their turnout was about the same as ours, with several classmates returning for the reunion for perhaps the first time.  I also discovered that one classmate, David Rosheim, is a "writer of history, short stories, articles and poetry . . . and is Norwegian by descent . .  . "  We purchased Old Iowegian Legends (what a classy, memorable name, eh?) and will be quoting from it from time to time, I suspect.  Lonna tells me he is familiar with Dan Sorenson, the Iowa Farm Boy, and the two  will surely provide more for the grist mill.

I flipped open the book and found this story on page 113:

In late summer of 1962, the administrators of Luther College finally came out of their long established fortifications against student dancing and at long last decided to allow the once taboo activity to become a legitimate student recreation.  When I heard this I was surprised.  I had been rocking and rolling and bopping along at sock  hops since 1957 and was amazed to know that the college I had chosen had not been permitting it.

Those of you who were Norsemen will remember those days, and the rest of us will scratch our heads but recall that times were indeed significantly different 50 years ago.  Change is good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Story of Man - in 2 Minutes

We tried to tell the Life and Times of the Class of '62 in three minutes.  And before we could post it, this YouTube came out - "Our Story in 2 Minutes."  It's tough competition so I stowed it away for a few days.  Makes The Life and Times of '62 look amateurish.  Oh well.

Click the full-screen icon in the lower right corner of the photo frame to get your best view.
Here's the description from the young man who created it:

My final project I made for my video productions class "Cutaway Productions" (Search them for their channel) at my high school. I don't own the rights to the song or the pictures and I am not trying to, I just did this video for fun and I spent many a hour on it so please don't sue me.

Pretty impressive for a high school class, and I can assure you that culling from millions of options, then fitting the photos to the music would be daunting.  Probably helps to have the right equipment and software.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Week in Review

Four days?  What in the world will you be doing for four days?  Well, it went by pretty quickly, and having a variety of events to attend with a variety of classmates meant a chance to visit in a casual but lengthier manner, unlike the quick conversation at a stand-up cocktail party.

So here's a "picture" of all that went on during the week, starting with the lineup for Northwood's 4th of July Parade.  Click on the photo for a larger view.
The Class of '62 was represented by three entries in the parade, all shown on this photo: Robert Hall's flatbed '46, the '62 Chevy carrying the four Homecoming Queens from our class, and trailing the queens in the background a white pickup carrying members of Project McNamara.
The day was warm and did not improve much in the shade of the shelter house for the picnic.  You can see by the smiles from Jo Moretz and Dave Skellenger that we nonetheless made the best of it.
Thursday afternoon the members of Project McNamara met again for Ann Johnson's "Getting to Know You" party at her home.  The sign was created by Nancy Hengesteg and her 9-year-old granddaughter, Carly, and used as sideboards on the white pickup she drove in the parade.
Thursday evening we met at Worth Brewing Company to quaff a brew and take in some local history.  Providing their own history, these four starters from the undefeated 61-62 Viking basketball team were reviewing scrapbooks kept by Linda Hempen Loken.  Sadly, the 5th starter, Mike Lien, is no longer with us.
Friday was the "open" day but as it turned out, it, too, was busy.  Several classmates and teachers made it out to the golf course, while some traveled to Mason City to view the Historic Park Inn, Music Man Square, and Meredith Willson boyhood home.  Trivia question of the day: who did the window coverings for all 31 windows in the Willson home when it was refurbished?  Answer: our own Dianne Taylor Byerly!  Shown here in the Mezzanine of the Historic Park Inn are the classmates and spouses who did the tour.
We don't have photos of the Music Man tours nor the golf outings held Friday and Saturday (Gerry Pike won longest putt!) at least for now.

The banquet included a Necrology Service, a commemoration of our departed classmates.  Cheryl Grube Calabria did the ceremony by lighting a candle as she cited each lost classmate's name.  Quietly, we all remembered.

Emcee Larry Holstad said it best when he said "I knew some of you very well, some of you pretty well, and some of you not at all.  These reunions have given me a chance to know each of you better and I am glad to have had the chance."  For more photos from the reunion, check the slideshow embedded in the Tuesday post.

The 2017 Reunion Committee will include Robert Hickman, Linda Hempen Loken, Lee Leidal, Jo Moretz, and Gerry Pike.  The 4th of July in 2017 is a Tuesday, so consideration is being given to holding the reunion in conjunction with Northwood's Founders Day in September.  If you have an opinion on the date, please email nkhs62@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Saturday Night Banquet

Here's an early look at the busy party at the VFW last Saturday evening, the banquet for the 50th Reunion of the Class of '62 at NKHS.  When time allows we'll be adding some captions to identify what's happening, particularly regarding the Jack McMullen story about the "religious kid."

The slideshow should start by itself; to start it again, click the Viking logo in the lower left corner.

Come back to this for another view.

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Email to the Reunion Committee

Five Teachers Attending Class of '62 50th Reunion
Hey, all.  Super job with the party.  I needed another four or five hours to talk to everybody Saturday night but my body was telling me I didn't have the time, if you know what I mean.

Larry, you did a terrific job as emcee.  You were kind in speaking of the blog and I totally failed to tell you in return that what you did to lead the program was top-notch.  Thanks for doing that, even if you weren't able to make a career out of music.  (an inside joke - you had to be there.)  And by the way, if I could get a copy of that DVD I'd sure appreciate watching (probably for the first time) one of only three games we won in '61...

Karen, you'll notice I do have your email address, but I suspect I have not added it to the NKHS 62 Google account.  I will get that done, probably tomorrow.  I have a lot of fixin' to do and names/emails to be adding so we can keep it current, and am hopeful all our classmates will stay tuned in when their addresses change so the roster will be forever current.  They can email any changes to nkhs62@gmail.com and we'll stay on top of it.  

Robert, thanks for bringing the power pack (that I didn't need, but if you hadn't brought it I would have) and both you and Vickie for your local leadership, Karen as well.

Cheryl, I appreciate your compassion.  It's part of the reason our class still hangs together after all these years.  The necrology service was very touching and one we should continue.

Serena, I know you did a lot of the heavy lifting, and the souvenir book was great to read when I got home.  We do indeed have a story of success in our class, and saluting those teachers was appropriate.

I didn't catch who all is going to be on the next committee so if someone could forward that list to me, I'll get it up on the blog to retain for future reference.  It's a sad thought that comes to mind that some of the people who were in the room last night won't be there in 2017, so as long as we can, let's stay in touch through the blog.

Great job, all of you.  The week is a great memory.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Post-Reunion Huzzah!

We're back home again following four days of 50th Class Reunion activities, and found this YouTube had been forwarded to me by my daughter, whose husband is farming not far from us.  The whole story can be found at this Yahoo page by clicking this link . . .  Seems very appropriate for us Iowa farm kids.  They call it a parody music video promoting agriculture, and it is.

Coming soon - some reflections on the great week back in Iowa, where the tall corn grows!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Life and Times of '62

This week - beginning tomorrow - we celebrate our graduation 50 years ago.  The schedule for the week shows plenty to do -
  • Wednesday - 11 AM - 4th of July Parade 
  • Wednesday - Noon - class picnic at the shelter house
  • Thursday - the golf course is open
  • Thursday - 1 PM - Project McNamara celebration at Ann Swensrud Johnson's for those who have been involved
  • Thursday - 5 PM - an evening at the Worth Micro Brewery
  • Friday - the golf course is open
  • Friday - 11:30 AM - a tour of the Historic Park Inn in Mason City
  • Friday - 1:30 PM - a tour of the Music Man Square in Mason City
  • Friday - 4:30 PM -  the "world premiere" of the Class of '62 story by Richard Holstad
  • Friday - 6:00 PM - a Kensett reunion 
  • Saturday - 1:00 PM - Reunion Golf Tournament
  • Saturday - 5:30 PM - Social Hour
  • Saturday - 7:00 PM - Banquet
While the week's celebration is the culmination of what the blog has been pointing towards for the past two years, the online celebration will continue.  The NKHS 62 blog has been an effort to capture and memorialize the story of our youth, the sorrow and the joy, the celebration of the teachers who did their best for us, the failures, the successes, the relative comparison of what we knew - had - and owned vis-a-vis the world today, and the cultural/geopolitical aura of those times.  The hope was to have many classmates sharing those stories.  While that participation has been limited, the fabric is there and the wholecloth may still come about.

In that spirit, we will promote the blog at the banquet Saturday night with a thought that more of the class might become engaged.  This video, "The Life and Times of 62", is a keynote effort, a three-minute encapsulation of the era, our school experience, and the days when we were on top of the world and the dream was underway.  It was our shared life and times.

We look forward to seeing many of you this week.

As always, for those receiving this post by email, go directly to the blog to view this video.

Our Senior Photos

Thanks to the staff at the Yearbook for including senior photos, and Richard Holstad for his work in scanning them.  We cheated a little bit in this video to include four schoolmates who graduated elsewhere, but it didn't require Congressional action so it's legit.
The fun part of the video is the insertion of a few grade school photos that were available, providing "before and after (HS)" shots.  I am sorry we were not able to collect any grade school photos from the Kensett bunch.  Maybe in five years.

You may recognize the background music, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi, composer and artist.  That tune came out as a "B side" in 1962.  Guaraldi is perhaps best known, at least by us, as the composer behind the Peanuts theme, "Linus and Lucy."  That theme has an interesting origin: Lee Mendelson was producing an upcoming Peanuts Christmas special, needed the right music, heard "Cast Your Fate" while riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, and the rest is history.  You probably enjoyed Guaraldi and Peanuts for years; he composed for 17 of their specials.

This music is light and uplifting, just as we felt as we were leaving NKHS 50 years ago, where our dreams began.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Your Last . . . Whatever

Sometime in the last couple of years we've made purchases that suddenly trigger the notion that "This may be the last time we ever buy . . . " that particular product.

For example, I wanted to convert our grill to natural gas but was told I could not.  Considering we had used the current grill for 18 years and it really had many years to go, I realized that if I were to buy a new grill today, it will no doubt be the LAST one I will ever buy, so let's dump the old beater and start a relationship with the newer, more valuable product.  Get what you want, because by the time it needs replacement, you probably won't want to be standing outdoors in the rain or snow trying to do the grilling anyway, so the next one WILL be your LAST grill.

We applied the same thinking to other products for the home: a new steam iron, recliners, and various other items.  Theoretically, they are our last, ever.

Morbid?  I don't look at it that way.  Maybe it's "glass half-full vs glass half-empty" but I never really understood the management application of that concept anyway.  In the sales world the notion was that those with a positive view would look to the half-full side, and those with a negative view would lean to the half-empty side.  Whatever.

I suppose our "glass" is indeed better than half-empty, yet have you noticed the imaginary contents might taste better than 40 years ago?  Could it be that at last you have the time to enjoy the flavor, to swirl it in the glass and test the "nose"?  Consider how many glasses of milk you have consumed in your lifetime.  Consider the satisfaction involved just by the quantity, but also by an appreciation of a lifetime of taste.  A half-glass of iced tea or lemonade even tastes better now in the absence of a rush to be somewhere.

Our house itself is a balancing act between lifetime/half-glass thinking.  I'm pretty skeptical about the roof we put on 2 years ago.  The siding is OK, the windows are Andersen and good to go, but the furnace is now the 2nd replacement since 1985 and won't make the lifetime list, and for sure we'll be replacing the television, computer, printer, and at least some furniture around the house.

The cars?  They are always a love/hate relationship.  They don't make 'em like they used to, which means you can run them up to 200,000 miles pretty easily even if you're sick and tired of them, which I usually am about 5,000 miles into their lifetime.  So it's a real question as to exactly when the last car will be purchased, and even then I'll be waffling over the "want vs need" dilemma.

So you just can't beat the "last a lifetime" concept.  That new grill will indeed last a lifetime, as well the steam iron, and the recliners.  Those glasses are "full."  The question now is "what else?"