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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Aug 23, 2013

This weekend my wife and I are going to an all-school reunion that will be held as part of a community celebration in the town where she grew up in west central Minnesota.

My wife and I have differing attitudes on class reunions. I would never miss one, and she is indifferent to the point she is not that excited about going.

I have threatened to go to her class reunion without her so she needs to come along to keep me from making up things about her.

I do not know why she is reluctant.

Maybe she is afraid she will not measure up to her classmates. Or maybe her classmates will look at me and think, “She could have done better than that.”

However, I am confident that on next Sunday morning she will be glad she went and considering this will be 49 years since graduation, it is important to see these people now because mortality is hanging over our heads. A few years from now and there will be some who will no longer be here.

I enjoy a class reunion because it is a chance to see how far we have come since kindergarten. I can give you names of people who have succeeded way beyond what they seemed capable of at graduation time.

I can also give you names of people who seemed destined for a bright future who lead a life of normalcy, are happy, and remain good people that I am proud to have as my friends.

Then there was the classmate who got picked on more than most. Why we were mean to that person I do not know.

Maybe I do know. We were immature and ignorant in our actions.

One of the things I did several years ago that I am grateful I did, both for the other person and myself, was to call this classmate one day and apologize for the mean things we did.

I told him he was a good guy and did not deserve those acts of cruelty.

His reply to me was, “Oh, we all did things to each other.”

I thought to myself, “You’re a better man than I am.” We were very mean to this guy.

When his dad passed away, I went to his dad’s visitation and my classmate was there.

It had been several years since we had seen each other and I asked him, “Do you recognize me?”

He said he did and he remembered the phone call I made to him a few years before.

“That meant a lot to me,” he said.

I told him I meant what I said, and I was grateful I had done that.

I am not sure my wife has any wrongs that need to be made right. For her it will be a pleasant evening seeing people she has not seen in years and reminiscing about events of long, long ago.

I will hear about successes, disappointments and failures. The odds are very high that not one of them is today where they thought they would be at graduation time years ago.

Then the next day I will hear about these people and more details about them as she has had her memory refreshed.

These are the people she and I went to school with. They represent a lot of history and growing up.

That is a lot of memories that are too good to be forgotten.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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