High School18 Oct 2005
I graduated in 1980. Jimmy Carter was still President.
My hometown is exactly 1 mile square. If in summer you stood in the middle of any street, you could see cornfields at both ends.
In band I played bass clarinet. Nowadays I wish I had learned bass guitar.
I was active in speech, debate and theatre. Our best play was "Diary of Anne Frank". I also enjoyed doing lights.
Until my junior year I took the maximum number of classes possible. I then needed only one credit to graduate, and slacked off my senior year. The system was rigged; it was impossible to earn enough credits to graduate as a junior.
I was an AFS exchange student to Brazil the summer after my junior year. My wife was an exchange student with AFS in Minnesota. We met because we were both wearing an AFS sweatshirt at a church youth function.
I played tennis, but not very well.
We had computer classes. Thanks to MECC, even our small high school had timeshare access to a mainframe in Minneapolis. At first we typed in BASIC programs on punch cards and ran them over an acoustic couple. Later we got an Apple II where we could work locally and play Breakout.
My hometown lies on the 45th Parallel, exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. It is also nearly equidistant from Minneapolis, Fargo and Sioux Falls.
After my experience in Brazil, I wanted to study International Relations. I went to the University of Minnesota rather than a rural public or Lutheran college because they offered Portuguese as a foreign language.
There were 88 students in my graduating class. Three classmates died before we graduated, one from leukemia, two in car crashes. I'm rather certain that affects me even today.
I was in a car crash myself while driving to my wife's prom. I never made it; the car was totaled, I needed stitches. She found a new date that very evening.
Our 25th class reunion was this summer. It was two weeks after our vacation in Minnesota, so I missed it.