When 20 years rolls around, there’s got to be a party somewhere

Local graduations are behind us, reminding us grown folks of good times that were had during the same times in our lives.  The exhuberence that came from that final  walk in front of all of those who collectively helped educate us in our first few years, that final hand shake with the leaders of the school and that final “we finally made it!” is fondly remembered by many of us.

It has been 20 years since my classmates and I were in those shoes.  Much has changed with many of the 59 of us since.  We are scattered across the United States like the acorns from a great big oak tree.  Some of us have taken root in lands far from home.  Others of us have perhaps gone away and come back to our roots.

The careers and paths we have chosen are varied, yet directly tied to our roots.  We are raising families and running organizations and teaching students and caring for patients and helping customers and advising clients and making arguments and defending our country and so many other ordinary things that are achieved greatly everyday.
But, 20 years?

Grades vs. fun

I remember thinking at some point in the past two decades that those years in high school and the ones following in college were the “best years of my life.”  I’ll admit–like many of my friends–that I tried to strike a good balance between fun and grades during the years of my formal education.
At the conclusion of formal schooling the plan had worked okay, but the times when the fun outweighed the grades were eventually paid for and uncomfortably.  Little did I know that while they were great years and fun times–during which new friends were made and old friends became better ones–the truly best years of my life were awaiting me.
It really has been 20 years?

Missing them

One member of our class is no longer with us, and fond memories of his life and his friendship remain.  Clayton E. Day, who along with a virtual classmate of ours, Angela Hicks, was taken from us not long after graduation, and too early in life.  We remember them with great joy and miss them dearly.  The tragedy that was in the early morning hours of April 1, 1989 still doesn’t seem real.
Where have 20 years gone?

Party brewin’

So, the Class of 1988 twenty year reunion is this weekend.  Some of us will be together for the first time since May 13, 1988. It is an event that has been eagerly anticipated for quite some time.  And, it will be one that we will look back on as having been greatly enjoyed.
20 years to catch up on…we can hardly wait!

Joe Buck Coates

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