Feeling sentimental this evening. Two afternoons spent with my high school classmates from the Class of 57. There are ten of us left from the original 21; eight of whom were present off and on at Judy and Ray Grundmeier’s woodsy haven just south of Northome. The weather’s was northern-fall perfection, the “hot dishes” and venison and rolls and salads and pies were delicious, and the talk was low key and affectionate of times past and present. I’ve only been to one class reunion and that was twenty years ago, so I really don’t know enough about what everyone’s done in the meantime to rewrite the Statler Brothers Class of 57 especially for us—although that would have been an fascinating challenge.Here are Ray (classmate) and Judy (Ray’s wife—class of 59) dancing to what has become Our Class Theme Song.

Tommy’s selling used cars, Nancy’s fixing hair
Harvey runs a grocery store and Margaret doesn’t care
Jerry drives a truck for Sears and Charlotte’s on the make
And Paul sells life insurance and part time real estate

Helen is a hostess, Frank works at the mill
Janet teaches grade school and prob’ly always will
Bob works for the city and Jack’s in lab research
And Peggy plays organ at the Presbyterian Church

And the class of ’57 had it’s dreams
Oh We all thought we’d change the world with our great works and deeds
Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs
The class of ’57 had dreams

Betty runs a trailer park, Jan sells Tupperware
Randy’s on an insane ward and Mary’s on welfare
Charlie took a job with Ford and Joe took Freddie’s wife
Charlotte took a millionaire and Freddie took his life

John is big in cattle, Ray is deep in debt
Where Marvis finally wound up is anybody’s bet
Linda married Sonny, Brenda married me
And the class of all of us is just a part of history

And the class of ’57 had it’s dreams
But living life day to day is never like it seems
Things get complicated when you get past eighteen
But the class of ’57 had its dreams
Oh the class of ’57 had dreams

(Statler Brothers)

I don’t quite know how to feel about these last two days. I was so very nervous driving the 60+ miles to Northome—the feeling when you’re about to meet very important people on whom you wish to make a good impression. And I did wish to…  but wearing your favorite jeans and best black shirt won’t make you richer, smarter or hide any wrinkles. Damn.

Then I was there…and it was remarkably familiar and comfortable; not like I’d-just-seen-everyone comfortable—more like this is who I am and where I’m from and I wouldn’t want it otherwise.

This is melancholy I’m feeling isn’t it? For the bright and hopeful youngsters we were in 57…and the joy and drama of being teenagers together in a tiny town in the northwoods. While it wasn’t all fun and games, there are moments which it would be nice to relive. But we can’t…and here we are.

Thanks Ray and Judy. Lovely party.


2 Comments on “CLASS OF 57

  1. Labor Day with me catching up on your writings. I liked Arches and this sweet visit to friends back home the best so far. We had a week of temps over 104 and the 7,000 acre La Tuna Canyon fires are 30% out above Pasadena.
    I’m relishing your newest travel missions Ms. Neset. Take care.

  2. The same feelings when I went to our class reunion…class of 1963…nervous a bit…but when I got there it all felt good. The song is appropriate for my class as well

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