August 17-19th – Medford, Oregon
This is a bit of self-indulgence on my part, as text and the pictures in this post will be of strangers to you unless you were in my high school class in Medford Oregon.
It is quite hard for me to belief that 50 years has passed since I, along with over 600 other students, graduated from high school together.
When growing up here in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Medford was a relatively small town. The Rogue River Valley was known for our pear crops (Harry and David) and lumber industry. We also had a pretty darn good football team – GO BLACK TORNADOS!!
As the population grew, it became clear that we needed a second high school in town. Not wanting to split up our winning athletic teams to make our boys compete against each other, those in power decided to reconfigure our schools so that we had 1-6 in several grade schools, 7-8 grade in our two junior highs, 9-10th in what was our “old” high school and 11-12th grade was at the “new” high school.
The class of 1968 was the first graduating class from the “new” high school, now known as North Medford. We have a bit of pride in being the “first”, and have bounded together to provide scholarships each year to graduating students who are following in our footsteps.
The reunion committee really outdid themselves in creating a memorable weekend for all of us who were fortunate enough to attend. My hat goes off to them for the HUGE amount of time, work, love and effort that they put into planning everything. I will not list all of them by name, except that I do want to give a special shout out to Becky Adams (Becca Webber) who somehow managed to corral everyone and pulled this all off like a pro.
Well done and thank you to ALL of the committee members!
Our events started on Friday evening with an informal get-together at the high school cafeteria. Badges were provided at check-in that included our high school picture. Thank goodness for the name badges! I don’t know about anyone else, but I was nervous as to how many of my high school friends I would recognize.
Thankfully, other than a few awkward moments where I drew a blank, the many years since we had seen each other drifted away. Many, many warm hugs and wonderful happy memories were shared.
A buffet style light dinner was served, followed by a tour of the school.
Pictures from Friday night:
Saturday morning golf had been arranged at a local course. Tim had not held a golf club in somewhere in the neighborhood of 32 years. Thankfully Cheryl and Karen have very understanding spouses with a good sense of humor. They welcomed Tim into their group and tales were shared afterwards amidst much laughter.
While the guys were on the golf course, we girls ran some errands and then joined some of our classmates at Abbey’s Pizza which had been a popular hang out when we were kids.
The big shindig was that evening where we congregated at the Rogue Valley Country Club. Cocktail hour, silent auction and of course much more visiting and reminiscing followed before our dinner.
Pictures from Saturday Evening:
The evening was topped off with a live auction where all funds went toward the scholarship fund. We had some very talented artists in our class and paintings by both Kay Breeden Driver and Cheryl Erickson Scott were donated for the auction as well as a work from Paris, a fabulous framed photograph and another painting that was done by (I think) a classmates father.
Tim and I were hopeful that we would be able to outbid others and walk away with one of Cheryl’s paintings and YIPPEE we were indeed able to do just that.
This beautiful painting of the Rogue River will have a prominent place in our cabin and will bring back such wonderful memories each time we look at it.
One of our classmates (Greg Middlekauff) very generously offered to match all donations!
Sunday morning was our last get-together with a brunch served at the hotel where many of the out-of-town guests stayed. Originally we were scheduled to gather on the patio, but due to poor air quality from the smoke of nearby fires we were moved inside.
Pictures from Sunday Brunch:
A couple special moments that stood out for me was seeing Terry Scroggin who reminded me of the three legged race we were in together in 10th grade. One of our classmates made a collage and there happened to be a picture of that event, so we with much joy and laughter tried to recreate the moment:
And when Jon Hudson came up to me and let me know that he had prayed for me “every single day” since learning I had a brain tumor almost eight years ago. I was left speechless and grateful beyond measure…
We celebrated Creigh House with a group kazoo sing-a-long rendition of Happy Birthday. About half way through the song, Leslie Manion was kind enough to help me out by gently turning my kazoo around. I had the wrong end in my mouth, LOL.
To all of our classmates who joined us, I am so happy that we had a chance to say hello, sometimes share a memory or two, or a hug, or a laugh. I’m so sorry that I did not get photos of many of you. Somehow the time slipped away, and I missed capturing you.
To our classmates who were not able to be there, whether restricted due to health, distance, finances or other commitments, please know that you are not forgotten and many, many times I heard people say “Is ___ coming, or does anyone know where ____ lives now, or has anyone heard from or seen ______.”
You were missed!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the many classmates who made the journey to Medford for our 50th class reunion. You are a part of my history as I am a part of yours. I have no idea what the future holds for any of us, but I am forever thankful that I was able to share a few moments with each of you.
COMING NEXT: We are in the RV and plan on continuing up north into Idaho and parts of Montana. Would love to have you tag along…