Eagle Grove reunion brings on fun, hugs

Scientists like hugging.

They say it takes four hugs a day just to survive, eight for maintenance and 12 for growth.

So, what’s that do for someone who lives alone?

Granted, I’m not above hugging someone on the street, but most people shy away from that. I can see it now. Standing on the corner hugging everyone who passes.

Don’t worry about seeing that for a while, though, because I’m plumb full of hugs. The Eagle Grove High School Class of ’65 held its 50-year reunion last weekend, and you can’t see people you’ve not seen in 40 or 50 years without hugging them.

Well, I can’t. You can even hug people with bad backs if you’re gentle. You scare them, but it can be done.

Our class has reunited every five years since graduation, and some classmates hope to start informal reunions more often. Like when we’re all 70. Seventy. I used to think that was old, but now that I’m almost there, it’s just another number. My heart tells me I can do anything I did when I was 40, but my head refuses to listen, and I’m pretty sure my head rules my heart in this case.

We had 135 graduates, give or take, back in 1965, and we’ve lost 19 of them. About 65 came to the reunion, so that’s a pretty good percentage. I’d figure it out, but we all know my math skills. A friend called it 55 percent. We had some teachers too, and people from other classes. We’re a fun bunch. Others like to be with us.

And we’re modest, to boot.

Don’t you ever wonder who decided the phrase “to boot” meant in addition to? I wonder a lot about words and who decided what words mean or how those words would be spelled. Stuff like that.

But I never wonder what holds our class together. It’s caring. Even if you weren’t fast friends in high school, you can’t help caring when someone is sick or needs help. Such closeness may seem strange to those who don’t give a fig for class reunions because these reunions remind them of school and any reminder of school gives them bad memories.

And that’s the sad part because if they went to even one reunion and stepped outside themselves for one night, their memories might change, and it’s a good bet if memories change for the better, life changes for the better.

We make a memory book for our reunion, full of pictures and information on as many classmates as share. Some share more, some less. And we have an auction, silent and live, to raise money for scholarships for the school. This year we voted to give two $500 scholarships. We’ve got enough money to keep this up till we’re 83, and after that it’s possible no one will remember to care about scholarships.

Neither time nor age, however, will stop classmates from caring for one another, so getting hug after hug after hug after hug can happen.

And that’s a perfect way to spend any day.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at mcsalt@frontiernet.net.