Once a Mingo, Always a Mingo

I am not sure how your class reunions work, but ours has a casual get together the night before and then a more formal dinner the next evening. At our casual get together on Friday evening I made my rounds, stopping at each table as we shared memories, future plans, and many hugs.  It was so wonderful to see them, some of which I hadn’t seen in years.  Isn’t it strange how you can live in the same town with someone for years and your paths never cross?

My thoughts kept turning to, “Why did I wait so long to attend a class reunion? I have missed so much!” As we all laughed and shared, the thing that stood out to me is that time is such an amazing equalizer.  In that room were the cheerleaders, the band geeks, the majorettes, the athletes, the outgoing ones, the quiet ones, all so very different, but here now, we were all equals.  There were no cliques, no hierarchy, no cool kids, just a group of people who shared similar experiences reliving them together. It was both refreshing and meaningful. I had the often-wished-for opportunity to thank some people that I never had the chance to express my gratitude to.  Those who were especially kind and patient to me during those challenging high school years. I even took advantage of the chance to apologize for some of the things that I regretted or neglected doing and saying as an immature teen.

After that lovely evening I was really looking forward to the following evening’s time together.  It didn’t disappoint. I was able to continue catching up with a few of my classmates from the evening before, but some new ones as well.  I was so impressed to learn that individuals came from all corners of the country.  From Arizona to Florida and other points in between.   Obviously, they understood the importance of staying connected even if I hadn’t.  Some of these people had been my classmates throughout my elementary school years as well as high school.  They were part of my story.  Part of who I was and part of who I am. A part that I had neglected to give its rightful place.

To all of you from the Chief Logan class of 1978, I have missed you, it was good to see you! To the rest of you, please learn from my mistakes.  Go to your class reunions, remember, and hold in high regard those who have been part of your story.  Connect and support each other whenever possible and I guarantee you will be glad you did.   As the poet William Wordsworth penned, “Life is divided into three terms-that which was, which is, and which will be.  Let us learn from the past to profit the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.

Rhonda S. Kelley, Executive Director, Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce