Archived Story

Memories are sweet at class reunions

Published 11:04am Thursday, July 19, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“My nephlittle Neal is visiting.”

“Don’t you mean ‘nephew’?”

“A little is a few.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: some people tell me that this country is headed in the wrong direction, but the sun still sets in the west.

I’ve learned

1. The five days following the weekend are the hardest.

2. Cats keep us around just for our thumbs.

3. You can slap anyone as long as you say, “Mosquito.”

How dry is it?

Stan Fitz of Rockford, Iowa, said that the Shell Rock River is lower than it was a few years ago when the fish could only swim every other day. I know that Stan is not one to exaggerate or he would have added that it was so dry the bullheads had wood ticks.

Class reunion

The actor Monty Woolley was at a dinner party when he belched loudly. A woman sitting nearby gasped indignantly and glared at him. Woolley returned the look and said, “And what did you expect, my good woman? Chimes?”

I attended a class reunion recently. I love reunions. They are reminders that some things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember, but I never know what to expect at such gatherings.

No one looked as if he or she had just pecked his or her way out of an eggshell, but everyone looked good. No one asked, “Who invited all these old people?” The reunion was a bit of show-and-tell. If someone showed up, he or she was expected to tell a bit about his or her life. No one went on for an uncomfortable time. There were no disappointments in either the showing or the telling.

“You know, you haven’t changed a bit since high school,” said one classmate to another.

“That’s nice of you to say.”

“It’s no wonder you had trouble getting dates.”

Each class member had done well for someone who chewed gum with an open mouth in class. We were those of whom Carl Sandburg could have written, “Why did the children put beans in their ears when the one thing we told the children they must not do was put beans in their ears? Why did the children pour molasses on the cat when the one thing we told the children they must not do was pour molasses on the cat?”

It’s true we lacked beans, molasses, and cats at the reunion, but everyone acted like a grown-up.

I know what our parents would say about that.

“It’s about time.”

Is that spider going to be in the bathroom all day?

We hadn’t been married long. We didn’t have much money or much of anything else. When I came home from work one day, my new bride told me that she had discovered a spider in the bathroom of our old house. She hadn’t yet learned to enjoy the occasional spider in the biffy. We didn’t have any insect sprays, so she sprayed it with what she could find — hairspray.

It didn’t hurt the spider, but it was ready for prom.

Nature notes

Willow trees have salicin in their bark. It’s similar to aspirin — acetylsalicylic acid. Those who went before us chewed willow bark to combat toothaches and headaches. How did they know to do that? They might have learned from the Native Americans who got onto it because beavers never suffered from headaches or toothaches. In honor of the beaver and its sharing of a headache remedy, I would like to share this bit of poetry, “I had a little beaver that I tied up with a cord. But I had to let him go. I hated to see a beaver bored.”

Heat is the most common weather-related cause of death. Some research indicates that an ocean of corn causes a spike in the dew point. I believe the excessive hot weather is due to all the folks who, every winter, wish for warmer weather. What we call an extended heat wave is a normal summer in parts of this country. We have no dearth of weather. We can’t put up a barbed wire fence in order to keep weather out. It will change. Weather is fickle, but wind seems to be a constant. That’s a good thing. If the wind quits blowing, the gigantic wind turbines near my home would be disgusted.

Meeting adjourned

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”


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