Quanah Indians 1958 50th Reunion 2008

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My 50th high school reunion was one of the most heart warming experiences I’ve had in a long time. Quanah,Texas is in the Panhandle is in East Texas,  just 9 miles from the Red River which crosses over into Oklahoma.

There were 75 in my graduating class, and 36 of us actually showed up.This was my first class reunion since I left high school. Last year, I returned to Quanah with my mother for her 70th reunion. And it was a real hoot! Right then and there we decided we would go to my 50th this year and we did.  My mother enjoyed the reunion as much as I did, and my stepbrother from San Antonio and his wife went  with us.

Must say I was amazed to discover that 21 which is almost 1/3of my graduating class were already gone. And 13 more had serious illnesses.

As I had not seen my classmates in so long, I volunteered to make name tags carefully putting each person’s picture, along with their name  they graduated with on the tag itself. Indeed, I would not have recognized many yet looking at the photo on the name tag and their name, I could put it together.And each time I could, I found myself grinning ear to ear with pure delight.

My sentences may look a little strange right now as I am speaking  not typing this.I’m practicing with my speech recognition software in the hope of gaining more time to do things just like this.It’s definitely a learning curve but I’m hoping will be really worth the time. I still have such a passion for life that I need at least 48 hours in the day .

Besides the people which was of course the highlight of the reunion,we were asked to reflect upon the influence of Quanah on our lives. In reflecting I was absolutely amazed how profoundly Quanah indeed had influenced my life.

First was the attitude that prevailed was”What do you mean you can’t do it? You’re from Quanah aren’t you?” Failure was not an option.Victim mentality was scarce.Whatever you set your mind to do, you were expected to succeed.Anybody could if they were willing to work hard. And I must say even today, I still believe I can do anything I set my mind to do. Some things may just take a little longer.

The second attitude that was the next biggest influence on my life was a saying “Rules are made for fools and those that can’t govern themselves.”And it was instilled in me to govern myself, to have self-discipline. I believe it was this attitude that truly propelled me into the alternative “new age.” Once I left Quanah if ever I encountered what I perceived as rigid rules,I felt quite comfortable setting up my own rules to get similar results.

While in Quanah,I was a majorette, always out in front of the band performing, entertaining people at halftime during the football games. And without realizing it, the role of being out in front, performing, entertaining people became totally natural for me. Staying out in front, being a pioneer, being on the cutting edge is where I feel the safest.  And I must say it has its plus’s and minus’s  being out in front all the time. This allowed me to be seen with all my flaws as well as with my assets.

Depending on when you knew me in my life, I may have been someone for you that was an example of the road not take. Especially when I was at the beginning of a learning curve.And indeed most people would let me know indeed that one I was acting out an extreme which, in one way made me feel rejected but was extremely helpful to me. it would make me aware that I was off-track and in an extreme and I’d go back to the drawing board until I got good.

I would say they life for me is very much like the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. That movie had such wisdom for me. If you haven’t seen it,  Bill Murray repeated Groundhog Day over and over and over until he got it right.And right meant being heartfelt and then he indeed was the winner. That’s my experience I’m only finished when I’m in a really heartfelt place about a person, a situation or experience.

There’s one more step for me.  I always start laughing. It’s humorous when I look back at me on my learning curve about anything.  All I can do is really sometimes lie on the floor kicking my legs as I laugh and reflect. Anyway, the influence of being out in front in high school influenced me greatly throughout my life.

Also  another big influence was  we did not have many things that we have today like cell phones, computers, even television.It was the time of creativity, of hard work, but creating things out of nothing almost. And I must say even today, I watch very little television. I would much rather write then read,   I would much rather be a participant then, someone who watched anything. I like to be fully engaged in life and I always seem to have a passion. Starting way back in Quanah, life was nothing to be afraid of. Whatever you applied yourself to, you could do. And the gap between having a vision and doing or manifesting something was an adventure. And that’s still the same today.Life is an adventure and I’m still in awe of it.

Here I am  at my 50th reunion getting ready to walk up in front and speak. Would you believe I got so teary-eyed and had such a lump in my throat,I really couldn’t continue. It was one of my shortest speeches which I’m sure was most appreciated.  Our next reunion will be in 2013 and for sure I plan on being there.