From Where I Sit

By Pat Spilseth, Columnist

Contributed photo
The Glenwood High School Class of 1962 held its 60th reunion over the weekend of Sept. 9-10. Pictured above were those able to attend (maiden names listed, left to right): first row, Judy Rambeck, Carol Hustad, Martha McCory, Diane Femrite, Janet Holtberg, Janet Rosten, Martha Achter and Mary Carlson; second row: Mike Irwin, Dean Danter, Joanne Meyer, Pat (Dekok) Spilseth, Tom Vegoe and Leroy Rust; and third row, Dale Olson, Skip Senneka, Tom Carsten, Darrel Peterson, Gary Harth, Jim McIllrath, Marshal Hauge and Jim Gilman.

A few weeks ago I wrote a column “Make Time for Friends.” Friends do take time if the relationship is meaningful. Reunions can be fabulous, but the problem with class reunions is that there’s never enough time to catch up on all the lives of old friends.  

Classmates who graduated 60 years ago in 1962 from Glenwood, Minn., high school gathered at Mary Carlson’s cozy cottage on Lake Minnewaska Friday night and talked into the dark night. On Saturday, some played golf up on the hill overlooking the lake; some toured and sampled wine at the picturesque Rolling Forks winery with stunning views of Lake Minnewaska and lush rolling green fields. Saturday night we talked endlessly and ate dinner together at AJ’s restaurant on the hill.

But there wasn’t enough time to visit with everyone and to get all the news we wanted to hear. I didn’t want our time together to end so quickly!

Everyone looked great. Of course several of us had grayed; others still visited the hair colorist or used Grecian Formula. Most of us had added a few pounds, but our smiles were broader and covered happy faces. Everyone seemed so pleased to reunite.

Many of us live in the Midwest: several have stayed to enjoy the woods and lake and some have returned to retire in Glenwood where we grew up. Several traveled long distances to gather for our 60th reunion. Tommy Carsten and Judy Rambeck came from Washington State; Jim Gilman from Wyoming; Mike Irwin from Denver; Janet Rosten from Colorado; Martha McCory and Janet Holtberg from Wisconsin.  

We talked about the steps we’ve taken in life: the joys and traumas of careers, kids and marriage, travel and, of course, our health. After all, we’re now in our late 70s with fewer years ahead of us than behind. Our lives have basically been good. We credit that to growing up with lots of family and friends in Glenwood where we skied and skated in winter, swam at the beach and attended sock hops at Lakeside in the summer. Everyone played outdoors with lots of friends until the whistle blew at 6 p.m. telling us to get home for supper and at 10, time to go to bed.

Our lives are varied. Most of us are retired, but a few are still working. Jim Gilman is involved with Dentists Without Borders; Martha Achter has recently had several of her stories published; Mac has recovered from severe illnesses and credits Mayo with their excellent care. We’ve been nurses and teachers, beauty operators, farmers, law enforcement and navy officers, business folk and homemakers. This has been a successful graduating class of 1962 from Glenwood High School. Life has been good.

My classmates are strong individuals: several have endured and prevailed from divorce; several are widowed; many have survived and thrived from bouts with health issues; second marriages show hope that life can be good. Kids are successful and grandkids are bonuses. We can play and engage with them, then leave them to their parents and go home for a nap.

All in all, life is good. Over and over I heard how fortunate we are that we grew up in a safe place like Glenwood with parents who loved and cared for us. We had the best childhoods imaginable!

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