Rattler reunions are for sharing stories and making plans
Published: Saturday, July 30th, 2005
Hundreds of Rattler Alumni are busy packing bags to head home for the Rattler Reunion next weekend, and many local alumni are working to see that everything is in order for the gathering. By browsing quickly through the Golden Rattler Directory, I noticed that we are apt to have people coming from 37 states and can guess that most of the other states will be represented by many of the younger Rattlers. Although we have scattered from coast to coast and border to border, we remain proud of our school and our home area. When the first all-school reunion occurred 35 years ago, my brother and I happened to be in town at the same time and heard the gathering would take place at the Elk’s Lodge. We decided we might as well check it out and were there but a short time before going after our parents so they could enjoy visiting with many of their classmates. All of us then spent the remaining time having great fun. As I recall, we spent Friday night just visiting with people of all ages and seeing old friends we hadn’t seen in years. We then spent much of Saturday greeting new arrivals and dressed rather formally for the banquet and dance. Bob Sandusky entertained us at dinner and kept the audience laughing long after he had finished his program. We were all delighted that Marian Farmer Knapp and friends had come up with the idea to hold an annual all-school reunion in order to give us the privilege of being together to remember our past and to honor our alma mater. During that first reunion, I was one of the younger crowd but enjoyed visiting with my parents’ and brother’s friends as much as visiting with my own because we had all known each other forever. Little did I dream during that gathering that I would be a Golden Rattler and have the younger ones asking questions about the olden days and thinking of me as an anachronism. Throughout all the intervening years, I have missed two reunions but have enjoyed each of the others because people who have never attended decide to appear and to give us a chance to catch up on all the news. For the most part, we tend to talk more about our school years than we do about all the years since, thus letting any listener know just how much our school and hometown have meant to us throughout our lives. We talk much about our teachers and all they did for us, again letting any listener know how much we respected those mentors and how much we learned. Of course, we also mention various incidents in which we were involved to let people know we weren’t always model students. We had time to learn and time to get into mischief, and sometimes created more of the latter than was really necessary, but we were young and very active. Although our parents and teachers tried to keep us under control, we just had to break away now and then to test our skills at getting into one kind of trouble or another. Overall, our antics were rather mild by today’s standards, and we were usually caught before we could get into major trouble. We accepted the discipline, learned from it, and then went off on another trail to try the patience of all concerned. During the coming Rattler Reunion, we will share many stories of the past, collect more memories and begin thinking about the next gathering. Hail to the Rattlers!
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