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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Winding Roads: Get togethers and celebrations

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's a good thing to always take time for family and friends. Many communities across Iowa did just that as they gathered for special events and reunions (family and class). It's a good thing (to borrow a phrase from TV's Martha) for many town's cash registers kept busy ringing with extra folks in town. Next to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Fourth of July beckons family and friends to gather for some fun.

This year Cherokee held an active 150th birthday party and folks flocked here to recall fond memories of the past. Many class reunions are held during the fourth when both family and friends can be visited. The motels were full and restaurants busy. Cherokee merchants were pleased to see folks come in to look around and purchase something to take home with them. The planning committee can feel a great deal of satisfaction for their efforts.

After three days of hustle and bustle, one can experience a little let-down but with the Cherokee Fair following on its heels, there is always something to do.

I attended my 50th class reunion, a three day event, in Chariton. It was great to see classmates, especially those I hadn't seen in 50 years. My how they have grown older. Some I didn't recognize at all while others retained enough of their characteristics for me to recognize them. Then of course, to put a name to that face was also a challenge. Regardless, it's always a good thing to take time out for a visit. It's amazing how one can pick up a conversation from many, many years ago. It's also amusing to see who made something of themselves while a few others just never caught onto priorities in their maturing process.

On the third day we were given a tour of the high school. It had been 50 years since I stepped inside. What a different perception of the building---not as large as I remembered. The addition was new when we were freshman. Now, it looks like a fairly old building. There were many changes and our group enjoyed recalling our antics of the past.

We had a class of 104 graduates, 14 are gone now. All but 18 made it at least to the main gala at the country club. It was noted that 26 had served in the U.S. military and were recognized.

The night of the fourth I watched the National 4th of July celebration on the Iowa Public Network, live from Washington D.C.. It's always a treat with the high quality entertainment mixed with a patriotic glow. The concert on Memorial Day is every bit as good. Over 400,000 people were down on the mall to hear the music and see fireworks while waving their U.S. flags. It's quite a sight. For a year or two, the crowd dwindled with the fear of 9/11 hanging over their heads. It's good the crowds returned.

The news of the North Koreans actions is troubling. I hope other countries step in to reel the Korean leaders in. Our country is stretched far enough with our present responsibilities.

It's too bad the average North Korean can't see our news footage of all the towns with parades and celebrations marking our nations birthday. Perhaps they might sense the pride we have in our freedoms.