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Archive for July, 2016

 

You need to understand that having come from a graduating class of 501 graduates where I knew maybe a third of the people, that Jennings Class of 64 was somewhat different.  I don’t remember just how many graduates the class had, but the number 25 comes to mind.  I’ve only attended a few of my own class reunions, but I don’t remember any that I’ve missed in the last 50 years of BJ’s Class of 64.   So, this year I tagged along as usual to her reunion.  This one, like the last one was at Wayne and Wanda Frier’s Hunting Lodge, a beautiful camp in the back woods of Hamilton County.  To give you an idea of the number of graduates there, I believe there were more deer heads mounted on the walls than former classmates there.  If you count the three bobcats, then I’m sure there were.  After all it was a hunting lodge and Wayne, (also a 64 classmate), and his son’s Matt and Todd have been busy counting coup.

It was after 5:30 when brother-in-law, (also a graduate), Robert and I arrived. BJ had gone earlier to help with the preparations.  Lavon was frying fish with Everal’s help.  Donald was cooking the puppies, since Lavon only cooks fish, (only fish).  Robert jumped right in and held the pan for Donald, while I joined Wayne Hurst at the picnic table.  Now normally I’m a conversation hog but after a stiff reminder from the woman that God gave me that this was their reunion and for me to join in only if invited, I kind of just stood around and observed everything.  Over the years I have developed the skill of observation into a real talent.  Waiting at the front of Walmart for BJ to exit will do that to you.  Anyway, mindful of BJ’s warning I just observed, and it was a thing to see.  There are families and family reunions where there was little love shown much less respect for each other.  However, these guys really liked one another.  Regardless of the time between meetings, it was if it was yesterday.  The bond there was unbreakable.  The camaraderie and lifelong friendships was evident even to a newcomer.  I know that to be true, as I have watched it for 50 years.  I understand that kind of bond as I see it in my own family.

And having fun? They had fun.  Now, I’m not around Sybil that much, but she and BJ are full of it.  Fun that is, in case you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking.  They played a game of who remembers what or who.  Questions like who was your first grade teacher.  On the men side, Lavon jumped on a couple of teacher questions quite quickly.  If fact from an outsiders thinking, I thought he probably remembered the cloakroom as much as he did the teacher.  At least that is how I remember certain teachers.   However, in the game it was the ladies’ memories that was the victor.  Then again, what can you expect at threescore and ten years old in we men anyway.  Since I mention the age words I must reflect on how the old bodies were still fit with a few minor exceptions.

From my observation the “Remember when’s” dominated the conversations and that is the expected norm at any reunion and should be.  I had dedicated my last years here in documenting such, so that my kids and grandkids, etc. can enjoy them in later years.  The Jennings Class of 1964 is worth remembering and I for one am glad to be part of it even if it’s by being married to one of them.  Wayne and Wanda were gracious hosts and made us feel like family.  It really was a great time.  And for my school teacher wife and school teacher, Sybil, I “ain’t” going to change any thang…

 

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