It was a particularly smoky morning, twenty-four and a half years ago.
Over near the bus garages at the old FHC high school, the twisted chicken wire and burned paper mache were the first things we saw and smelled. Then we turned our eyes to the tragedy, ranking up there with the disasters of our time … our beloved Gopher homecoming float; dead, barbecued, and burned like a cheap frat-house sofa after an all-night campus party. All that remained was a pile of charred Charmin and two big goofy-looking rodent ears smoldering on the floor.
But in less than 24 hours, nine McDonald’s runs, and a lot more TP and chicken wire (I have no idea where the beer came from) our Class rebuilt that gopher, ears and all, hauled it around the track on it’s still-smoking trailer, and the won the Homecoming float competition of 1982.
If we can raise a gopher from the dead, who says we can’t put together a 25th Class Reunion in less than five months?
As it looks like we’re starting a little behind the eight-ball on this one, it still certainly can be done, and I’ll step in from this end of the country.
As everyone on this email list already knows, it’s a lot of hard work, of course. I remember the 15th wasn’t easy, what with having to watch the tag-team of Tilstra and Tamblin drink all my finest Scotch at 3AM in the morning after a planning meeting. And then having to watch the moons of Dangl and Westerhuis at the event itself at Cannonsburg. Memories of trying to keep up with Sue Anderson-Anderson, Maria DeVos-DeVos, and Jenny Pullan-Pullen at the Harley Hotel wasn’t easy for our 10th. And paying the staff at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel only elicited lengthy dissertations as to how we were the only group ever to make money on a pre-paid cash bar in the Ambassador Ballroom during our 5th reunion … which was, well, actually pretty fun to hear at the time.
Promise you’ll bear with me for a couple weeks first – my wife and I are expecting our third child this Tuesday (May 29th). (Talk about a very pregnant woman right now.) The fact we still live about 1,500 miles away in Naples, Florida, also doesn’t help with logistics, but I’ll as quickly as possible make initial calls, grease some politicians, and put the time in to get this rolling. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again this year – it’s a rarity a class throws a reunion every five years without exception. Our Class was never known to miss a party – we simply have to make our 25th Reunion happen.
We’ll all have to depend on each other again, resurrect that old ‘82 spirit, and obviously appreciate each other’s busy schedules. It never gets any easier, and I know one more thing on your To-Do List is probably not exactly what you need right now. But your help again, in any and all capacities, will be appreciated as always by the entire class. You’ve put in so much work for past reunions; hopefully we can all take on a little part of this one and make the load easier for all of us once again. And then all look forward to another great, great reunion.
We have a lot to celebrate, remember, pay respects to, and be thankful for, with the classmates that at least in some way helped influence a part of who we are today. And with whom we had such a great time with in the process..
I’ll start with my old committee list, albeit from 1997, go from there, and try to contact you in the next few weeks … once, of course, I kick the in-laws out, learn how to pitch a diaper again, and get some sleep…!
Long live the Gopher.
Take care, all the best, and we’ll talk soon.
Timothy Jon Jackoboice
Class President ‘79-’82
Most Balding Grad ‘87
Still Having Kids and Asking Why ‘07
8799 Muirfield Drive
Naples, FL 34109