St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota; Lutheran affiliated; 3,000 students), was the site of my 50th reunion, June 1-4. During the weekend, I hung around with people I always liked yet, except for a handful, have not talked to/seen since graduation.
-Men were harder to recognize than my women friends; the Midwest is where the bulk of my classmates remain, so the dominant accent…think Fargo. Yup! Made me smile the whole weekend.
-I still like the people I enjoyed in 1963-1967
-I’m proud my class raised more than four million dollars for the St. Olaf endowment. Here's the check
-My class was highly influenced by Viet Nam (many served; some died in the war; lots of us protested), Kennedy’s assassination, the rise of the Peace Corps, and the civil rights movement. The majority of us went into social service careers. One of my classmates still runs a center to assist victims of torture.
-Humor as well as spirituality lead in our personalities
-We celebrated vague memories, worthy, but elusive. Details seemed less important than how we still feel about each other.
-The campus has expanded! The bar where we drank as seniors disappeared! Students pay $55,000 a year to attend; I paid $1900 a year!
-We like to sing, still; we’re not comfortable with rules. I admit, I took a bottle of wine out of our dinner venue when I wasn’t allowed to…but it was almost full (I hate waste), and I took it off campus to enjoy with my friends J
-We lost 60 classmates (out of a class of 480). The poignant remembrance service was a highlight of the weekend. Here’s a shot of the chapel:
Remember my goals for the reunion? Here they are, with my conclusions:
1. A reminder of who my classmates were and how far they’ve come
Oh my! The class of ’67 accomplished amazing things, and some of my pals even made money! Almost half of our class contributed to the St. Olaf endowment fund, raising more than four million dollars.
2. To recall who I was back then and how far I’ve come. I think I was the only ’67 grad who made it to the high school principal level…public schools. I’m the only grad who writes suspense novels, deep into a new career.
2. A second reminder of the fun I had back then and the fun I’m still having (which is the truth). I never got into bed before midnight each day…and we had lots to talk about/share.
3. A couple new readers (I mean, come on, one of my books-Lie Catchers-is full of Norwegians!) The interest and support I got as an author brought tears to my eyes. I had friends come to my book sale to support me…I have friends who can’t wait to read my stories.
4. A good feeling about the aging/saging years. When dozens of people said to me: “You haven’t changed a bit,” I concluded I hadn’t let my body go to pot. Feeling active and youngish at a 50-year college reunion was a bonus for me.
5. Recalling what special people I went to school with for four years (One of my roommates was a brilliant mezzo-soprano who sang operas in Germany!). My classmates are as active as I am in these later years. One of my friends went to law school when she was middle-aged! My class is a fascinating group of accomplished people.
6. Enjoying the three days for what they are, a time when a bunch of bright, successful, aging Scandinavians get together to share memories and sing old fight songs. We sang, we laughed, we drank, and we told stories…and we look forward to the shining days we have ahead!
Here we are, carrying umbrellas on a 90 degree day, in the all-class procession. Why we chose umbrellas for our class signature item is a mystery, but the shade they provided was perfect!
I’m already on Facebook with some of my old buddies, and I’ll try to keep in touch with others through e-mail. All in all, an excellent adventure.
So here’s my golf/spelunking novel, BAD LIES http://a.co/0DuYNPn:
Italy’s haunted caves spell danger for an American golfer and a NATO geologist
Sophie Maxwell is a late-blooming, unorthodox golfer, and mother of a precocious thirteen year-old. Determined to put divorce, bankruptcy, and a penchant for gambling in her past, Sophie goes to Italy for a qualifying golf tournament.
Jack Walker turned his back on a pro golfing career to become a geologist. As a favor to his ailing father he’ll caddy for Sophie; off hours, he’ll find caves on the Mediterranean coast, suitable for NATO listening posts for terrorist activity.
Someone is determined to stop Jack’s underground hunt and ruin Sophie’s chances to win her tournament.
On a Rome golf course and in the Amalfi coast’s haunted caves, all the odds are stacked against Sophie and Jack. In their gamble of a lifetime, who wins?
Seven Suspense Novels Spiked with Romance
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