NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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“Today decides tomorrow.”

Have you ever heard that famous statement? Does it apply to any of you in your walk of life? I know it applies to some of you, especially if you graduated from New Richland High School. At New Richland High School commencement exercises on June 2, 1954, the class motto was, “Today decides tomorrow.”

I was lucky to be one of the 49 graduates that day as we played our lives forward into tomorrows. In the tomorrows we became farmers, truckers, clerks, accountants, medical professionals, bankers, salespeople, teachers, business leaders, even a preacher, and at the same time moms and dads.

On Friday, July 15, the class of 1954 held a reunion at the Starfire Restaurant in Waseca. It had been decided to stop the tomorrows for a day and check on the 1954 graduates. Darlene (Molkenthin) Johnson, chair, and the rest of her committee decided 62 years later, when most of us were octogenarians, would be a good time to do this.

Of the 49 graduates, 14 are deceased. Nineteen attended, while 16 were unable to attend due to health and other reasons. Twenty-four of the 35 living are residents of Minnesota with three having a New Richland mailing address. (Who said in the olden days people didn’t leave home?)

The reunion began at 4 p.m. and the restaurant closed at 10 p.m. The room was a constant chatter with the two most spoken words being, “Remember when?”

We did manage to leave just before 10 p.m. Some of the attendees just continued on to their third floor bed and breakfast suite. The food was good, the conversations even better. There were many told tales that grandchildren would not believe their grandparent was involved in.

The meal ended with a happy 80th (or almost 80th) birthday cake. A piece of the 80th birthday cake was served specially to Bill Goette as we sang “Happy Birthday” to him (for July 22). He then invited us to his birthday party on July 24 at the farm.

LaJune (Strand) Hagen volunteered to be the committee chair for our 65th class reunion in 2019 (she assured us the cake would have 65 candles).

All of the 19 attending graduates had one thing in common, being, “I’ve never missed a tomorrow—yet.”

At the end of the evening, it was back to, “Today decides tomorrow.”

Happy birthday to my fellow and going-to-be octogenarians, New Richland High School class of 1954.

———

Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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