Sunday, August 21, 2005

August 21, 2005
We are calling it the Mortality Tour. Kathy and I arrived in Kingman Friday afternoon at about four, and as soon as we landed at the King’s Inn, the legacy of death and the forced march of old age hit us at every turn. First the good news: Kathy asked for and received the AARP senior citizen discount! But, from there it was pretty much all down hill. Virtually all of my classmates have ailing, or dying parents, and more than a few of the “kids” in my class are in the process of checking out themselves. Our star quarterback drank himself to death earlier this year, ending his time on earth with an amputated leg and very sad family and friends.

But I’ll tell you this: we had one ambitious class of 126 (or was it 139? No one could seem to remember). By my count, here is what the Mohave County Union High Class of 1965 produced: five cowboys, three ranchers, two tribal chiefs, one iron worker, a dozen construction workers, a half dozen teachers and one librarian (all retired), two cops, three draftsmen, one marine, three postal workers, two health workers, five writers, three published authors, one bonified editor, two publishers, an art director, one mortgage banker, three nurses, two artists, one major drug dealer (who got out of prison the day of the banquet) a reverend and at least one scientist and one bank exec. And to our everlasting credit, no lawyers.

And speaking of the bank exec, I caddied for Jennie Torres on Saturday morning and it was a ton of fun. It was a beautiful day and the Kingman Country Club Golf Course is beautiful. I insisted on being a real caddy, and retrieved her clubs, replaced her divots and raked her sand trap shots, got her beverages and gave her zero advice. What a hoot.

At noon on Saturday Charlie Waters and I joined Bill Blake to go visit his mother Nellie, 88, in the Kingman hospital. We had a great time talking to “Mrs. Blake” and she told great stories on us, like the time she was driving a carload of kids out ot the ranch and I evidently told everyone some questionable “facts” on the Old West and then capped it with the fact that I had the “Japanese flu.” I don’t remember the rest, but it does sound like me.

And speaking of me, I tried not to make an ass of myself at the banquet, but of course, I couldn’t. That story tomorrow.

“Nothing changes more constantly than the past; for the past that influences our lives does not consist of what actually happened, but of what [we] believed happened.”
—Gerald W. Johnson

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