I cherish my senior class ring. Embedded in it is my ruby birthstone.
Graduation always is a wistful time for me. I will never forget how sad it was to have my four years at Newburg (N.D.) High School come to an end. Our 14-member class was brother/sister close and it’s safe to say we all loved every minute.
Besides all our studies, band and choir concerts and the music festivals we took part in together, there was our senior class play titled, “The Campbells Are Coming.” It is just one highlight of our days together.
I was Ma Brannigan, head of a clan of Hillbillies who had a summer cabin by a lake in the Ozarks. Still have my playbook and the corncob pipe I pretended to smoke on stage.
We’ve only lost one classmate and when we get together, which we hope to do again this summer, we talk about what happened to the hat Cyrus Scudder (played by Roger Wahus) tossed high in the air during one scene. It never came back down and we discovered at plays’ end that the hat got caught in the above-stage curtains. We actors had to hold it together as it set off a roar of laughter from the audience when it seemingly vanished into thin air.
Every year, after final exams, our class picnicked together somewhere in the country. And how we looked forward to donning our handsome blue band uniforms to play and march from the school to the cemetery for the Memorial Day services.
I have the yearbook from my senior year, but I cannot turn a page. They are all stuck together after being saturated in the flood waters of 1997. I did not have the heart to throw it out so I hang onto it for posterity. Maybe time will untie its pages.
Inside the front cover is a message from my dear younger friend, Karen Wahus Irey, who died much too young from cancer. And on the opposite side is a picture of Robert Hunskor, beloved teacher/coach, to whom we dedicated that year’s edition of “The Eagle.” You may recall that Bob Hunskor at one time was named North Dakota’s “most winning” Class B boys basketball coach.
I don’t have a photo of my senior class to show you, but I do have our 7th grade class picture. I am front row second from left with white shirt and black dickey. Does anyone wear dickeys anymore?
I’m sure today’s graduating seniors will have just as many fond memories of their high school days as I do of mine. I will, however, keep to myself the number of decades I was already out of high school the year their mothers gave them life.
I don’t recall my senior class motto, but I do remember our 8th grade class motto. It was musical: “Be sharp, be natural, but never be flat.”
I enjoyed Sunday’s Herald section which saluted 2015’s graduating seniors. I especially appreciated their class mottos. Every proverb offers insight and wisdom for all ages to ponder. I’ve listed some of them below:
- Each of us has different talents, different dreams, and different destinations. But all have the same power to make a new tomorrow.
- If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. Everybody has had them, but obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
- I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.
- How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
- Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.
- Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- And so, the adventure begins.
- There are many roads we have crossed, many hills we have climbed, and so many dreams we have yet to realize.
- The best is yet to come.
- Believe in the promise of tomorrow, but live this day to its fullest.
- Here on earth and in heaven above our class is bound always by never-ending love.
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- Started from the bottom – now we are here.
- A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
- Take pride in how far you have come, have faith in how far you can go.
- This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
- Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
- Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
- Work hard in silence, let success make the noise.
- Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.
- Believe you can and you are halfway there.
- In the end we’ll all become stories.
- Tough times don’t last; tough people do.
- Chase your dreams, but always know the road that will lead you home again.
- Learn from yesterday, live for today, dream for tomorrow.
- I like the dream of the future better than the history of the past.
- Our fearlessness shall be our secret weapon.
- I hereby command you; be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9.
- Behind us are memories, beside us are friends. Before us are dreams that will never end.
- Success is a journey not a destination.
- Behind you are all your memories, before you all your dreams, around you all who love you and within you all you need.
- If we wait until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.
- We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
- Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
- We met as strangers, grew as classmates, and leave as friends.
- Your attitude is either lock or key to the door of success.
- Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
- Adversity equals opportunity.
- You have seen what we have done, but not all that we will achieve.
- The path to a fulfilled dream is filled with ordinary days surrendered to an extraordinary God.
- But He knows where I’m going and when He tests me I will come out as pure as gold. Job 23:10.
These last two express my sentiments exactly:
- No matter how far apart we are, in our hearts we’ll always be together.
- Together we have experienced life. Separately we will pursue our dreams. Forever our memories remain.
And so it is that no matter how far apart new beginnings take us, home will always be home and the friends and memories made along the way will never be forgotten.