An invitation for one
Those words and thoughts are from The Valuable Time of Maturity, by Mário Raul de Morais Andrade, who lived his life in Brazil, from 1893 to 1945. His words have been translated into English, with various versions.
I have more past than future, and there are few candies left in my bowl of life. I am opting for one of those candies to be a day in Mishawaka with some people whom I would enjoy seeing one last time.
The year 2023 will be 55 years after our days at MHS.
I'll begin this rambling nonsense with
a smile for you:
I've reached my limit:
How does this relate to the fact that June 2023 will be 55 years after the last official act of the Mishawaka High Class of 1968? Well, I would be interested in gathering with some people whom I knew way back when -- but not with all.
It's 55 years after Mishawaka High's Class of 1968 was coming to its end of officialness. I would like to see some folks whom I knew way back when. Some I knew when we were little children at North Side, playing on the streets in Normain Heights. Some I first met in 5th grade at Battell, walking in those dark halls. Some I met at Main, where I was one of the kids sitting on the 3rd floor at lunch time, eating from a paper bag carried from home, sometimes with a cupcake from Kuss'. And some folks I met at Mishawaka High. Admittedly, the ones whom I would most like to see are the ones whom I met before MHS, but there are several whom I first met at MHS whom I'd love to see one last time.
So, I arranged the following:
Regarding the Who? in that above box, my candies are running out, and I do not want to waste them:
I'd like to see some folks from the old MHS '68 group, but not all.
The date will Sunday, July 2, 2023. Email invites will be sent to about 200 folks from the MHS '68 group, whom I think may be interested. If you are interested in joining but don't get an email invite, email Alice for location. (Alice's email is at the bottom of this page.)
I have rented a place for the day. I'll "seed" the day with some roasted chickens and some pizzas, and I'll hope for the best. No beer, wine, or alcohol, please. Anyone can survive a day without beer, and your liver will thank you.
I'm doing this because I'd like to have one last time in my old hometown. Almost certainly, this will be my last time ever in Mishawaka, and there's a good chance that it will be my last time ever in all of Indiana. Since 1976, I have lived 600 miles from Mishawaka. I no longer have any connection to Mishawaka.
Do you recall Ronald Reagan's words in
1980: I am paying for this microphone!
Come as you are. No need to try to impress or to dress fancy. (I'll be wearing jeans and be plenty fat.) No one will be asking for donations for any "favorite charity." Show up as you might if you stopped in to visit your crazy cousin whom you've seen off and on since you were kids: She knows your ancestral tree better than you do, and she'll be happy to tell you about your great-grandfather. You know that she's crazy, and you accept it.
Bring your harmonica and play a tune. Bring your knitting needles and spend the day sitting and knitting and hearing old familiar voices. Bring photos to share. Come with genealogy questions, and I'll try to help you find answers. Bring a deck of cards and find a foursome to play Euchre. Whatever. I encourage you to bring some food to share because a few roasted chickens and a few pizzas will stretch only so far. Come by yourself, or come with your significant other, or come with a friend. Bring your dog if you'd like. Bring your parrot. Bring your goldfish in a bowl. ;-)
On March 25, 2022, I emailed 250+ folks from the MHS '68 group, sharing my idea to hostess such a gathering. I had just read one more anti-woman news story telling of the word "maternity" being removed from the name of a hospital because the word "maternity" was "offensive" to some people.
For me, it was the last straw, and my response was to write the following to those 250+ old MHS '68 folks:
Here are some of the responses:
Those last words are the best:
Because of those responses, the possibility moved from an idea into an "arrange this." And I have rented a space for the day.
I hope to see some old friends and friendlies on July 2, 2023. I hope to see my few old close friends and some friendly folks from the distant past of our childhoods in Mishawaka, so very long ago.
I have arranged for the day, and I'll be emailing invites to about 200 people.
And, should you feel the need to tell me how wrong I am to plan such a day, I refer you to President Reagan's words: I am paying for this microphone!
On June 5, 1968, most of us walked across the football field in maroon robes, sat on the bleachers, and listened to Phil Eskew babble. Eskew (1906-1991) headed the Indiana High School Athletic Association from 1962 to 1976. The man had zero connection to Mishawaka, did not know a darned thing about us, and it's likely that his words connected with no one on that day. But we sat patiently and politely.
We also listened to Randy Marks ask for a silent prayer for Robert Kennedy, who had been shot in the wee hours of that morning. Four-and-a-half years earlier, most of us had been at school in 8th grade when we learned that Bobby Kennedy's brother had been shot -- a nightmare day that all recall. Those two assassinations became the bookends of our teen years in Mishawaka.
I have only a few memories of graduation day: I remember the wind blowing against our robes as we walked across the field to the bleachers. I remember smiles and happy words after the graduation ceremony as we were again inside the high school, returning our rented graduation gowns, exchanging little name cards, telling one another that we'd stay in touch. Why, of course we would! Some of us had seen each other almost every day since we began kindergarten, or since we met in 7th grade. Together, we had learned to decode squiggles on pages, and we had learned to write our own words, and we had learned to divide fractions. Of course we would stay in touch!
And then life happened. We made plans, but life happened. Few of us maintained contact over the many decades. Fewer of us saw one another with any frequency over the many decades. When we would make contact, usually we would paste on a smile with each trying to convince the other that, Everything's fine! We all know that not everything was fine for all those decades. There have been successes and happinesses, but there have been enormous losses and sadnesses and agonies. Remember: I've worked the genealogies for almost every one of you. I've seen the records of some of those agonies. Some had suffered major agonies even before graduation day.
At least 86 from that old group have
Back to that graduation day: Ten of us gathered a few times in advance of graduation to plan the graduation events. The others were class officers Randy Marks, Joe Jasiewicz, Cosimo Natali, and Penny Reynolds; student council president Dave Nevel; M-Men president Randy Shayler; and the other honor society presidents, Carol Nix, Becky Smith, and Dan Nicolini. Our faculty class sponsor, Jeannette Davis, was in charge, but she was not always able to push us where she wanted us to go: She was not in favor of an outdoor ceremony, but we insisted. She did not like the idea of the Symphonies in White tradition, with two girls from the junior class leading us into the commencement ceremony, dressed in white full-length gowns and carrying red roses, but we insisted. It was a beautiful tradition, and Cheryl Tagliaferri and Cindy Theilking lead us onto the football field and to where we sat on the bleachers.
I recall the graduation committee
meetings back in spring of 1968. I was tasked with
designing the cover of the program for what was called
Class Day. The 1st design I offered was not
liked. I'd spent a few hours on it, but my efforts were
rejected. That 1st design is lost and forgotten. The 2nd
design would not have been my choice, but it's what
others on that graduation committee wanted:
There was a song popular back then,
But that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone.
That song seemed fitting for the day: Yesterday's gone.
I had begun kindergarten at North Side with Lois, Randy, Bob, Eve, Christina, Marsha, Glenda, Tom, Billy H., Bill B., and Tim Farr. In the photo below, top row, from left are Bob H., me, and Tim Farr. Next to Tim is an unknown girl, then Randy. Directly in front of Tim is Lois. To the right of Lois is Tom. Then two unknowns. Then Marsha. Then an unknown. Then Christina. In the front row, Eve is 2nd from the left, then Bill B. Then two unknowns. Then Glenda. Our teacher? That was Mrs. Russell Uhrenholdt, born Ruth Frances Blanchard, in 1933.
Four years before we began kindergarten, in 1951, our kindergarten teacher had graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, in Washington, D.C. Just three months before we began kindergarten, she had graduated from University of Wisconsin, Madison, and married Mr. Uhrenholdt at a Methodist Church in Madison. At her wedding, whe wore a "white lace waltz-length gown with a scoop neckline trimmed with mother-of-pearl sequins." And, "her shoulder-length veil was fastened by a small crown of matching sequins and seed pearls." She had a bouquet of stephanotis with a white orchid. After the wedding, she and her new husband moved to South Bend. In September 1955, she begin teaching kindergartners at both North Side and Twin Branch, where she would play the piano for us and encourage us to be quiet by telling us to listen for a pin to drop. She was a nice lady. She and her husband now live in Rochester, New York.
Just three months before high-school
graduation in 1968, I took a phone call from Tim Farr's
mother. She asked that a thank-you message be printed in
the school newspaper, to thank people who had offered
kindnesses after Tim's death. Tim died March 3rd, our
senior year, just a few weeks after he and six other
young MHS '68 men had dressed up fancy and served as
attendants in a wedding: Tim, Dave Hoskins, Ken Quick, Rich Gottman, Steve Hartley, Jeff Barcus, Alan Evarts. Now, four of those seven are gone.
But back to our graduation day, it was unlike what would happen in 2023: The ceremony opened with a prayer by a Catholic priest and closed with a prayer by a Lutheran minister. 1968 was a time when we prayed, a time when people believed in God, a time when most attempted to follow God's laws, a time when we felt guilty when we goofed. And we all goofed along the way. Well, perhaps not you, but I surely goofed over the years.
We left the Mishawaka High School grounds that day, and there never again has been anything official about the Mishawaka High Class of 1968.
Some won't like what I say next, but
you can't send me to detention or order me off school
The USA became an occupied nation on January 20, 2021.
Biden's disasters and harms against the USA are so numerous that one loses count: Afghanistan, highest inflation in 40 years (inflation = a tax), Ukraine, the southern border of the USA, totalitarian mandates in the name of COVID, sky-high gas prices, baby formula shortages. Then there are his pro-abortion efforts (all while pretending to be Catholic) and his pushing the tranny-crap so that men-who-pretend-to-be-women have the right to intrude in women's private spaces -- complete with their ding-dongs swinging. Women locked in prisons have been raped and impregnated by men-who-pretend-to-be-women, and the main-stream media response is "ho-hum."
Biden is the worst USA President in our lifetimes and perhaps the worst USA President ever.
I'd like to see some folks from the old
MHS '68 group one last time.
For a few folks in the MHS '68 group, I really am their crazy cousin.
According to paper-trail genealogical research, these folks are my distant cousins: Keith Smith (GRIMES line); Sandy Young (CRIPE line); Sandy Eberhardt (CRIPE line); Pat McGee (SANFORD line); Tammy Reed (KEIM line); Dawn Housand (KEIM line); Sharon Gill (SOULE line); Pat Semprini (SOULE line); Mike Hass (HOTCHKISS line); Ron Wise (BUNNELL line). According to autosomal DNA, Spider Draves and I are distant cousins, somewhere on my father's side; that's a puzzle yet to be solved.
I stress "distant." The connections are beyond fifth cousins, and sometimes it's a half-cousin situation. And, of course, for all but Spider, the info is based on the paper trail, and sometimes paper-trail genealogy is not what it seems.
I have a massive amount of genealogical
information that I'd be happy to share. You'd have a hard
time finding a genealogist as good as I am, and I do it
for free for MHS '68 folks: