Where Were You In ’55?

Lincoln Elementary School

Lincoln Elementary School

A very interesting discussion took place in 2010 at an informal reunion of our high school classmates and friends we made during those formative years.

We met 55 years ago when we were 5.

It was 1955.

We lived in the same neighborhood in a small Iowa town.

Our formal education began at Lincoln Elementary School

My family moved to South 9th Street … two blocks from the school … the summer before I started Kindergarten.  I was 2 blocks from my school, 2 blocks from by church, 3 blocks from the big store, 2 blocks from the little store, 2 blocks from my cousins.

Dozens of us lived in an area that was about a half-mile square.

Almost everything important in our lives
was within walking distance.

School, Churches, Grocery Stores, Dime Stores, Cousins, and Friends … all close to us.

Our lives would have been quite different
if we had grown up under different circumstances.

Several of us who had moved away following high school graduation started to reminisce about our early years … and speculated about how different things might have been without that beginning.

People I know who grew up in the city of Chicago and in the boroughs of New York talk about neighborhood reunions, not class reunions. To them, your specific class was only part of your roots … it was the neighborhood that was important.

My hometown may have come to the same conclusion.

In September 2011 there will be a Clear Lake All Class Reunion. Most of the All Class Reunion events are this weekend, September 17. The venue is the Surf Ballroom … well known by Rock & Roll fans as the location of the last concert given by Buddy Holly. Our hometown has the ignominious distinction of being the place where “the music died.”

The “Surf” however is still a great venue for concerts and dances, and still has a full schedule of bookings of a wide range of performers.

I remember when it happened, but I was too young to know much about Buddy Holly … and certainly too young to be allowed to go to the dance.

I was looking forward to seeing my classmates again. It sounds like the attendance might be quite good.

Unfortunately, I made the long drive home a week early in order to be with my family. We gathered to for my uncle’s funeral services.

I plan to attend next year, and look forward to seeing a larger cross-section of the people who were part of my world during my formative years.

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