By John R. Stone
Members of the class of 1962 of Jefferson High School in Alexandria had a get-together last week. It was interesting to see the grey hair (lots of it), slightly larger profiles, and folks not walking as smoothly as they did when they were in their teens.
By now about 25 percent of our class is no longer living, which is about what statistics say it should be. Some have scattered around the country so coming to such an event is a pretty expensive or complicated journey. Others just can’t travel for health or mobility reasons. Most have now retired; we are all 77 or 78 years old now. But a number I talked to still haven’t hung up on work. They really enjoy doing what they do.
I talked with a lawyer who still does will and probate work. He and his law partner sold their building four years ago but just enjoy doing some work yet. Another has a Twin Cities company that sells windows and other home improvement services. Still another used to have a company that installed California closets. He still gets called out to do some installations, and he likes it. Another classmate and her husband sold their floral business four years ago, meaning they worked into their mid-70s. Still another who had a coaching career recently wrote a book that he is promoting.
Jefferson High School doesn’t exist anymore. It was just a few years old when I started attending in 1961, the year my folks moved from the Twin Cities to Alexandria. The school was razed a few years ago after the new Alexandria Area High School was completed. It probably barely made 60 years.
Will there be a 65th gathering? The organizer of this event isn’t sure. She thinks that maybe in a couple of years we should have a party to celebrate our reaching the age of 80. I’d be happy to celebrate that! But we’re all getting to a point where we don’t plan too far ahead!
Speaking of reunions, Waterama is this weekend, and it is a reunion of sorts for many in this community. I enjoy seeing people return that I interacted with via the newspaper over the years. I started in sports so there are a lot of kids whose pictures I took participating in athletic events. And there are a lot of kids whose pictures I took at the county fair and other events.
Some of those are retiring now, which kind of blows my mind. People I must still think of as kids, even though I should know better by now, have developed families and careers. It is fun to see them or hear about them. So many good young people grew up in this county over the years.
Like many families we’ll have company over Waterama. Some grandkids are coming although at their ages now it is harder to work in a trip to Glenwood around their summer work schedules. One of our three granddaughters will be a sophomore in college this fall, the next will be a senior in high school and the youngest is heading into sixth grade. They live in Onalaska, WI.
Here in Glenwood, we have one grandson close to being a senior in college and another heading into his sophomore year at MAHS. And my brother and two sisters are making a visit. My brother and one sister often stay at Peter’s Sunset Beach. So it will be a busy time around the Stone household this weekend.
Have a good Waterama week and weekend. Hopefully we’ll all enjoy nice warm, sunny weather and many of the Waterama events. And we wish our best to the Waterama Brass and committees– may all go as planned!