Thursday, October 9, 2014

While the Parade Passes By

noun: reunion; plural noun: reunions; noun: re-union; plural noun: re-unions
  1. an instance of two or more people coming together again after a period of separation.
    "she had a tearful reunion with her parents"
    • a social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time.
      "a school reunion"
    • the act or process of being brought together again as a unified whole.
      "the reunion of East and West Germany"
Stafford's Oktoberfest is not quite so dramatic as the reunion of East and West Germany, but, for 25 years, it has gathered people back to our little town. It began as a fall festival, but it didn't take long for Stafford High School classes to move from their traditional Memorial Day alumni banquet to Oktoberfest weekend. Now the first weekend in October has become a time of reunions, with school classes and families coming home.
Under the Friday night lights of the Lou Brock Field at SHS, the Trojan class of 1974 gathered around their spirit flag. Classmate Marcia Vasey Bauerle made the flag as a high school senior. Gemma Austin, who still lives in Stafford, has become the official keeper of the flag, and, for the past 40 years, it's flown as Trojans have left in motorcades to state track meets and other events when some extra school spirit was warranted.
On Friday night, there was no mistake: The Class of '74 was back and cheering every touchdown with a wave of the red and white and a shake of pom pons (also furnished by Gemma, ever the cheerleader).
I didn't graduate from Stafford High. But after 33 years of reunions and with two children who are also SHS alumni, I feel like an honorary member of the group. 

Our small town loves a parade, so the next morning, the Class of  1974 waved to their friends and families as they bounced down the brick streets.
"Lordy, lordy! We've hit 40" pretty much says it all, doesn't it? (Of course, I wouldn't know ... until next year, anyway.
We had two little parade goers watching for Grandpa. Well, one was watching. The other one seemed unimpressed with the small-town festivities.
Kinley was also watching for her Mommy, who was celebrating her 10-year reunion.
And we waved at Great Aunt Kathy, too, who didn't see us from her perch on the Class of '84 wagon.
I thought Kinley would be excited about gathering candy thrown from the floats and vehicles.We had her sack ready.
But her parents have obviously trained her well. She wasn't too excited about leaving the sidewalk to venture into the street.
She got a few pieces of loot and then enjoyed the parade as it passed by.

From patriotism ...

... to a small, but mighty marching band ...
... and some pretty snazzy vehicles.
Main and Broadway was the place to be.
It's good to be with family - whether it's blood that connects you ...
... or people who share your graduation date ...

... or just ties that bind in a small Kansas town.


  1. Fun, Fun! I am with you, Kim, I love a good parade and your definition of family is heartwarming.

    The picture of Kinley with her candy sack ready is priceless. That one needs to be saved for her Senior Class slide show. If Senior Class slide shows even exists by the time she is graduating.

  2. I liked that shot, too. Facebook only gave me three options of the photos to use in the link. That wasn't one of them. (So frustrating!) It was a fun day, with absolutely perfect weather.

  3. Reading this late.... Thanks, Kim, for being an important part of our Class of 74 family! And, thanks for your dedication to this wonderful, inspiring blog. I appreciate the effort involved with finding the right photos and putting a positive spin on all of life. Blessings.