I thought I had seen Daddy’s yearbook in a storage tub and it took a bit of searching but I located it. Side note – I saved tubs and tubs of paperwork, Air Force manuals, bills of sale for his old business, sports programs, tickets, random pictures, greeting cards and anything that was generally left behind. It was like I could not let a single thing go for fear I was letting Daddy go along with it. The result: several tubs of stuff for which I have no idea what I tossed into them (some without actual use but are attributed to my emotional clinginess when it comes to my Parents). In addition, when Ma passed away, I had a number of storage tubs and a cedar chest full of things. And, although she passed eight years ago, I am only know sorting through it all.
Dad had an amazing amount of pride for the school he attended, the sports he played and the friends he loved. A great number of those friends were within reach the vast majority of his life. Kingston High School, at one point, would have (I believe) an (bi)annual get together like a reunion (all classes, not a specific one alone). For a number of years it was held over the course of a weekend at the site of the old high school. A picnic was held at the school, a dinner at a local place and then some drinking that ended up on occasion at the Owl’s Club (is that place still there even?). The spouses of these folks became an extension of the Kingston High family. The get togethers were fun, loud and raucous. They would start telling tales on each other. The laughter was amazing. Those…those are some of my fondest memories of my parents together, interacting with good friends.
The 1960 Senior Class of Kingston High School, Kingston, WV:
They do not have pictures of sports other than basketball, so my hopes of finding a baseball picture were dashed. But, he played basketball as well (of course he did…). And tucked in the pages of the basketball section was his certificate for earning a letter in sports. I believe these two yearbook pages can be seen at the voting location in Mossy (the old hotel I think that was/is owned by the Gray family?).
And, as I leaned back in my office chair, reading the names that I have heard so many stories about, this slipped out:
I miss my Daddy. So very, very much.
If you have your Parents still, do me a favor and give them a call right now, no matter what you are doing. Tell them you love them. If they are close enough, give them a squeeze. But, most importantly, ask them to tell you their stories, write those stories down and, if at all possible, record their voices and their faces as they tell those tales. Pictures are two dimensional, I miss my Parents’ voices more than anything else.