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Pathways Through Our Past


A couple of weeks ago, I attended a planning meeting for our 50th class reunion. It's hard to believe it's been that long since we were in school. We were wondering if any of our former teachers are still alive. They seemed so old when they taught us, but now looking back I realize some of them were just out of college.

Several of my classmates live around here, so I run into them often. My schools no longer exist so there will be no registrations and tours of former classrooms. The elementary school, Central School, burned down thankfully during the summer so there was no one in the building. Our high school, Bemidji High School, was torn down last summer. It was a shame, many us thought, that it could not be saved and fixed for dorm rooms or senior housing. It hurts to drive by and there is just grass growing where students were taught skills that have carried on in life.

In school, students played in sports, in band and or orchestra. Some classmates excelled to high office, while others raised the food to feed many. Some fought for our country and some stayed home, teaching future generations, as they had been taught.

While we were in high school, General Eisenhower was nominated for President. Dick Clark hosted the first American Bandstand, Bemidji got it's first two pizza parlors and two drive in theatres. There were a lot of firsts, it makes me wonder what it is like to have lived for close to a 100 years and all they have seen and remembered.

It's the same with family reunions. Kids who went to school with me came from large families. Some had as many as 10 and 12 kids in the family. Those kids got married and they had kids and soon there were 75 to 100 members in the family. Many come from hundreds of miles away to spend time with their families. Reminiscing about childhood games and what it was like to grow up in a large family and how things have changed. One thing that has changed is how $25 worth of groceries filled 10 bags while today that amount will maybe fill two bags. Another change is how you could fill your gas tank for $5 or $6 while today that same amount will only buy a couple of gallons of gas.

So whether it is a class or family reunion, try to go. It's fun to see everyone and the memories are so sweet.