CAMPGROUND: In the driveway on a farm owned by two former high school classmates
LOCATION: St. Charles, Iowa – 35 miles south of Des Moines
WEATHER: Overcast and muggy. Some rain
Today is the big day …..my 50th high school class reunion. I RSVPd to the invitation months ago, and we planned our summer route so that we would be here now.
This morning, we drove about 20 miles to my friends’ house, where they had kindly invited us to park the Airstream.
Then, we met up with other friends in the town of St. Mary’s, to have lunch at the “Northside Tavern and Grill”. For a town of about 100 people, it was surprisingly crowded. We had their famous tenderloin sandwich and got caught up a little. Interesting, how locals stopped by the bar for a drink and we all knew each other. One was a former neighbor of ours.
The reunion organizers had planned a tour of the new high school for us. When I went to school there, it was an old 3-story brick building, the same building that my father had attended. It has now been torn down and has been replaced by a huge education campus. It was amazing – a theatre just like at a university, a fitness center with the latest equipment, a huge shop area where kids learn skills like welding, music rooms, and gyms and more gyms and baseball, softball, football, etc fields. …….Sports are big here.
When I was in elementary school, the interstate highway was built. It went by 3 little towns, each with a population of about 300, on to Des Moines. The good thing was that it made traveling easier. The unfortunate effect, however, was to kill the livelihood of the 3 towns. For example, people stopped going to my father’s grocery store, now that they could zip to Des Moines to the larger, facier supermarkets. Now the 3 towns each have a population of about 100, and the businesses are all sadly boarded up.
The three towns consolidated their schools, and cleverly named the school lnterstate 35.
With a name like Interstate 35, our mascot just had to be the Roadrunner
When I attended school, the elementary kids were bussed to one town, middle school to another, and high school to the third. Now all the children are sent to Truro, where this new school complex has been built.
After the tour, my friend Nancy drove around Truro. The house where I lived is still looking good…
Then, the reunion. This nice classmate organnized the event. (Unfortunately, a picture hid the CL of CLASS – so that it looks like we are the Ass of 1969!
There were 78 in our graduating class. About 40 attended, plus some spouses. Three teachers also came. It was a very nice event.
Here I am with my two best buddies from high school
Thank goodness, they provided name tags. Otherwise I would not have recognized a lot of people.. The tags were made from our high school senior pictures. (Big hair was the fashion)….
After a nice buffet dinner and speeches, we called it a night. Maybe I will come back to #55.