Current weather conditions

Click for Dexter, Iowa Forecast

Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



It’s been almost thirty years since I graduated high school so when I got word of the death of one of my classmates early last week, it came with both sadness and a little shock that he was the first of us to go. We have always been somewhat of a close knit class, although when you only graduate with thirty two of you it doesn’t really give you much option of being a stranger to anyone. For the most part we have been a pretty lax group about staying in touch, although I think in some ways we all try to stay connected as possible in little groups. It isn’t always something you think about but there is a small part of me that misses that group of individuals and any chance that we have to run into each other tends to become a small reunion of sorts.

Curtis was the kind of kid that always made you laugh. He could be as mad as a hornet at something and he would find a way to make you laugh about the situation. He was the first of my classmates to ever invite me to a birthday party but the details are foggy in my mind so I’m sure it was when we were quite little. He was the kind of kid that you saw in shop class, who could tell if a board was good just by looking at the grain, knew everything about engines and could fix just about anything that was broken. His attitude about life mirrored that of his upbringing, work hard, play hard, play harder and do your thing. I know it is often said when someone passes away, that you never heard the deceased say and unkind word about anyone, but Curt was just that kind of guy. I don’t think he would go out of his way to befriend you if you were on his list, but he just let everyone around him be themselves.

We will gather this week to remember him, some of us in person and many scattered throughout the states in their own way. I can’t honestly say that I kept in close contact with him since high school, and I feel a bit ashamed about that, but whenever we would run into each other at the store we would always talk just like we had seen each other yesterday. For me he will always be that eighteen year old kid that when asked if he was supposed to be working on something in the shop, would grin and say “probably not” and go right back to working on it; the one who talked his dad into letting us have our senior party at their house and who was probably one of the few people who I knew would come give me a tow or a jump if I was ever stranded by the side of the road.

Next year, God willing and if the creeks don’t rise, those of us left will get together for the first time in fifteen years. We will share stories, tease each other about the weight we have gained and the spouses we have lost, wonder where the time has gone and promise each other to get together before another fifteen years has passed. I don’t know if we will stick to that, but maybe losing one of us long before it was really time will remind the rest of us to not take ourselves so darn serious, enjoy the life around us, and be thankful for that group who walked out of high school thirty years ago and set about on their own journeys even if we never realized that everyone of us was rooting for each other. None of us is going to get any younger, or any less busy and it seems to me that we all need that gentle reminder to stay connected, even if it’s just for a little while. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.