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Ye Olde Stomping Grounds...

Take A Mulligan

September 1, 2019
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In the past couple of months I've returned to the Tama-Toledo area a couple of times In July, Deb and I returned to celebrate our 50th Class Reunion. Hard to believe, it has been fifty years since the best class every from South Tama graduated. It probably wasn't a scientific poll but everyone at the reunion was in absolute agreement that the class of 1969 was the best. Next year at Deb's 50th reunion, they might think differently as do all the other years.

On the way home after the reunion, I mentioned to Deb that so many of my former classmates sure looked older, much older. She just smiled and told me I looked great and hadn't changed a bit. Not sure if I was happy with that comment because if I remember kinda correctly, I was a dork back in '69. And perhaps still am!! But for the most part, a happy dork!!! Do they even use the word "dork" to describe anyone these days?

A lot of photos were taken and even our class photo, which appeared in the paper a few weeks, showed how we have changed over the years. It's too bad that back in 1969 we didn't take a group "weight picture" and then another group "weight" picture at our reunion. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Article Photos

John Sheda

But actually for the most part, I think we all looked "purty darn good." Besides the way we all have changed in the last 50 years, Tama and Toledo certainly has been through many changes too. As has Chelsea and I'm sure Montour too. Often I think that the world and all its' changes are just moving too fast for me. I enjoyed the high school dances, (I even almost danced with a girl one time), driving back and forth between the two towns, getting a root beer at the A&W and trying to sneak,(ok, steal), one of their mugs and everything else that went on back in 1969.

And just last Tuesday, we returned to the area to attend the funeral of my cousin, Sam Sheda. Sam had Down's Syndrome and was just about the happiest guy around. I hadn't seen Sam for several years but the times I remember were his bubbly face and his infectious smile. He loved sports, (hey, who doesn't), was a huge Hawkeye fan and knew his sports statistics. Nothing better in life than that. At his funeral, his favorite song, "Footloose" was played. It was a sad but also a happy time because of the joyful life Sam lived.

Sam & our class of 1969 remind me of a few life quotes from Yogi Berra and Dr. Seuss....

"Don't give up, I believe in you all; a person's a person, no Matter how small." Sam, you made a difference in people's life.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Fifty years later, we all had came to that fork in the road and we all took it one way or another.

"Why fit in when you're born to stand out." Every single one of us was born to stand out. Time is short so get going. What the heck, dance!!!

"Don't cry because it's over, be excited because it happened." I know it's just a cliche, but every now and then, stop and smell the roses.

The most important thing in the world is family and love." Yes, yes yes. 'Nuff said here!

Blessings to all you readers.

Let me know what you think at jsheda@indytel.com or heck, give me a call at 319.327.4640. Every once in a while one of you does call and I really enjoy re-connecting with an old friend.

 
 
 

 

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