1. When my Kellogg High School, Class of '72 friends get together at Diane's in Vancouver, I really enjoy getting up as early as possible and going with Ed down to the Spirit Mountain casino so we can have some long conversation and try our luck on the machines. Friday night/Saturday morning, I got to bed around 2:15 or so, but when Ed texted me a 6:00 a.m., I sprang into action. I got showered, went down to the first floor of the Phoenix Inn for some breakfast, and revved up the car so Ed and I could drive to Grande Ronde. We had a great time. I didn't lose too much money and the drive down and back was fantastic: great scenery, easy traffic, and great conversation.
2. Diane and her sister Donna, with the help from others, made a fantastic Greek dinner for our birthday party which officially kicked off at 2 p.m., but had really been going on for nearly twenty-four hours by then. Diane's house has a lovely bar with a big television screen and a good many of us either bellied up to the bar or stood behind it and watched the Belmont Stakes, rooting hard for the failed attempt of California Chrome to win the Triple Crown. We all loved the post-race interview with Steve Coburn: he sounded like he was from Kellogg! The alcohol was great, too: Mike's Hard Lemonade, Crown Royal whiskey, Bushmill's Irish whiskey, ice cold bottles of Kokanee, and, in addition, thanks to Mr. Turner, I enjoyed a fine bottle of Widmer's Alchemy Ale. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I got a little drunk and went a little off the rails, got a little raunchy with my humor -- and I loved every moment of it. If I can't make a KHS Class of '72 ass out of myself on occasion with my longest and best friends, who can I make an ass out of myself with? Few filters. No harm. Lots of laughs. Ahhhh! Oh! And here's a picture of me in the early evening, catching a few zzzz's and definitely getting my second wind.
3. Here's what I love the most about my friends from Kellogg High School: we work hard to get together. We have class reunions. We celebrate birthdays. We have come from all over the Pacific Northwest (and even Alaska) to get together over Presidents' Day. One year it was Father's Day weekend. We get together to hear Ron and Carol's band play out at Rose Lake. Don Knott hosts us in his back yard in Kellogg. We get together in Pendleton over Veterans' Day weekend. Sometimes just the guys get together. Sometimes just the gals. Sometimes a lot of people can make it and other times our gatherings are smaller. I know I won't make it to Rose Lake in August, but I will come west for Veteran's Day. But we work at it. We love each other. We love seeing each other. We don't wait for something to happen. We make it happen. That's what I love most about my Kellogg High School, Class of '72 friends -- and the others from outside our class who have also joined in.