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Friday, October 28, 2011

49th High School Reunion

Our Basketball Court - Bowling Green
Today Kathy and I attended my 49th high school reunion.  (I graduated in 1962 from Hardee County High School in Wauchula, Florida.  My parents and I were living in Bowling Green at the time, a town about six miles north of Wauchula.)  Today as we approached the area from Saint Petersburg, we could either turn left to Bowling Green or right to Wauchula.  The burden to turn first to Bowling Green was irresistible.  Bowling Green brought back memories, but the urgency to go there was based on far more than nostalgia or the sense of lost youth.  It was a demand of the subconscious to pay tribute to the roots of my mental landscape.  We went by the house our family lived in and the tennis court where we boys doubled its use as a basketball court.  It became increasingly apparent to me that these were far more than memories; they continue today as part of the active matrix of my mind only lying just below the surface.  On the way to Wauchula for the reunion, I felt the experience of riding the bus every morning the eight or so miles to the high school.  I especially remembered my first trip after we recently moved to town.  There was a measure of anxiety and unease.  What would I find at my new school?  What I found was a sense of equality that has never left me.  It was a gift that has continued to bless.  Yvonne Albritton Lyons, after I took my turn saying a few words at the reunion, related to the group how my father had been a minster at Bowling Green, and how she still appreciates my parent’s sweetness and humility. I responded blithely that like teenagers do, I felt my parents were somewhat dumb at the time but have since grown to appreciate them more and more.  This was only partially true.  Actually I respected my parents deeply and greatly benefited from their goodwill and love for me.  It is the memory of their religion that undergirds mine.  It is impossible for me to comprehend an atheist’s hatred of religion—something that was the source of so much wisdom, goodness, and blessings in my life then and ongoing today.  

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