ever wake up one day, and realize that something’s got to give?

“If you gotta play at garden parties
I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang
I’d rather drive a truck”

Garden Party
Ricky Nelson

I’ve heard tell that at our age, self-examination is a common thing.

And I’m not talking about prodding around, looking for lumps.  Unless you’re talking about the psychic kind.

No, more like re-examining my priorities, and how I want to spend my time remaining on this earth.

So, at the age of 51, with one full time job and another part time obsession, a grandchild on the way, and juggling at least  three different volunteer projects, I did what so many of my age cohorts are doing these days, and  took stock of my life the other day.

Not quite a mid-life crisis.  Not hardly — for one thing, I consider myself well past the mid-point.

I didn’t buy a Corvette. Though I did suggest to my brother that I ought to borrow his for a week or three.

I didn’t dye my hair (why bother?  my hair is the one thing that doesn’t seem to be aging that much!)

But I did look myself in the mirror, and declared:

SOMETHING’s got to change!”

So, realizing that I was hopelessly overloaded, I did what any normal middle aged guy would do:

I signed up for a college course and decided to go back to school.


It’s a distance learning course, leading towards a certificate in “Green Design” — something I’ve lectured at at various universities across the country for the past 15 years — but figured it would be fun to see how others are viewing it.

So far, getting back in the swing of doing homework is NOT easy.   Then again, I was never exactly a disciplined student….

All this is a roundabout way of making excuses for not spending a lot of time writing a good tale to tell with this latest batch of photos, which comes from my very own photo archive, along with a contribution from Michelle [Waggoner] Williams.  The photos follow below, and I must apologize for my incomplete naming of people in the pictures — anybody who can add to the ID’s is welcome to send me more info.

As always,  if you click on the photos, you can download the larger version.

I should also mention that I invite any of you who have class photos to share — I’m happy to post them to the blog.   The more info you can send about who, when and where — the better.

So here’s the first — Olivia Park, Mrs. Henderson’s class, 2nd grade 1966

Ms. Ness, 4th grade, 1968.  I remember that Ms. Ness had a complete fixation on the state of Hawaii, and had the bad judgement to force 4th grade boys to learn to dance the hula.  To this day, Hawaii is the ONLY state in the union that I have not visited, and I hold her responsible….

Mr. Anderson, 6th grade, 1970.

And from Michelle, a 7th grade (homeroom?) class photo, from Olympic View:

I hope that you guys are finding these as entertaining to receive, as I am to send them out.   It’s amazing how quickly some of the names come to mind, and how others lurk just at the edge of memory…..

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