Gene Linder's Closing Remarks
I haven’t lived in Kirksville for over half a century, but whenever I come back for the class reunion it is like coming home again. My wife, Carol, is a graduate of a high school in California and she prefers to come to our reunion, rather than hers.
We have been to her 50th Reunion and found it to be. . . so, so. The only interesting thing that happened there was her old boyfriend coming up to us and telling me that “I was the luckiest man in the world” for having married her. [pause] We never went back. I told her later that no one at the Kirksville reunion would ever tell her that she was the ‘luckiest woman in the world’ because she had married me.
There is something special about our class, however, I don’t know if it is due to the Midwest, or Missouri, or Kirksville upbringing, or it is just unique to our class. These folks are pleasant, warm, and welcoming, genuine and [authentic] in their behaviors.
I am sure you recognize this from your experiences this weekend as you renewed old acquaintances, perhaps made new friends, and brought each other up to date on what is happening in your lives.
Well, this all didn’t happen by accident. In addition to you all showing up, there was a 60th Anniversary Reunion Committee that did the good work to bring this all together.
I would like to express our appreciation for their good work and better results by calling them by name, having them stand until the list is complete and then give them a deserved round of applause [the list is read off and applause from the audience follows].
Now there are three other things I want you to consider with me before we end the night. First, when you go to bed tonight (which won’t be long for most of us), when your head hits the pillow, I would like you to spend a few minutes thinking about those classmates who are no longer with us. We had good times with those folks, and some pleasurable activities. I think you’ll find that a rewarding and pleasant activity. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.
The second thing I’d like you to consider is that although we have a great turnout tonight, there are several classmates who are around but not here. I would like each of you to consider a classmate you could contact (however one communicates these days) and within the next week tell them what a great time you had at the reunion and encourage them to join us next time.
The third thing I would like you to consider, and this is meant personally for each of you, is this:
TIME IS SHORT! DO THINGS THAT BRING YOU JOY! Good night.