Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Homecoming at U of Jamestown

There's this belief that if one travels and gets away from home and its necessary routine, one would have time and be inspired to write.  For me the inspiration is marginal and the time is, well, it's not there.  I will try to sneak in a few words this morning between taking granddaughters to school and preparing a two-hour drive to our niece's farm.

It's been 50 years since I and nearly 100 others graduated from Jamestown College.  It's also Homecoming Weekend, so by tradition, common sense, logic and "just because," it's time to have a reunion of these graduates.  The college, now a university, supports such an idea but doesn't have the resources to organize or promote it.  A few emails were exchanged among classmates and a few more were sent from the university.  The results were the return of seven graduates from North Dakota (3), Florida (1), Minnesota (1) and Oregon (2).  Some of us were friends in college, some were mere classmates with little to no interaction.  Five spouses also joined the party.

Over a period of several gatherings, mostly at the first meal, we recognized each other by our name tags and reintroduced ourselves.  Interestingly enough it wasn't only a handshake or "hoodie-doodie," it almost always evolved into a hug, both as we first met and again as we parted on the last day.  Perhaps it was an emotional embrace of sympathy for the aches and pains of being 72 years old (there's no hiding one's age when everyone is the same age, more or less) or celebration that we made it this far.  We had no major conversations about health or aches and pains but we all looked rather good and moved rather fluidly.  Thank God for that.

We exchanged a few stories, usually with the one beside us, took a group picture and exchanged some addresses, Facebook names and phone numbers.  It wasn't until we returned home or had a chance to access a computer that we would discover on Facebook that our theological and political preferences were all over the board.  A great lesson this is that if we leave some of our opinions in our pockets we can have a congenial relationship with anyone.  After all, when comes right down to the wire, many believe there is only one god in the major religions, a god of love, and if we believe as stated in almost every religion and philosophy of the world that we should treat others as we would like to be treated, the world would be a better place.

Now it's time to return to our homes and continue to do what seventy-year olds do, volunteer, play golf and try to stay healthy.  And to take the next granddaughter to school.  Only ten years until our 60th reunion.

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