Redneck at the Class Reunion
August 12, 2018
This morning I decided to try my new turbo propane burner. I burnt some weeds around the edge of our lawn which unintentionally got some dry weeds and cheat grass carbonizing in the brisk breeze. The dry weeds were on my sister’s lot which doubles as my parking lot for excess vehicles.
The excess vehicles I had parked (without permission) on this particular day were my backhoe, a 3-axle equipment trailer, my fairly new Tundra pickup along with my fairly old and totaled Tundra. Also, my Corvette was parked on the same lot. I’ve always thought that the Vette gives just a little bit of class to my redneck parking lot.
Because of the dry and flammable conditions, I turned on a faucet, stretched the hose out to the edge of our grass and started spraying down my sibling’s lot to keep the vehicles safe. In order to provide adequate emergency fire suppression, I had to apply substantial pressure at the end of the hose with my thumb so the water would jet out just enough to douse the flames.
I eliminated most of the smoke and flames with my garden-hose efforts. I figured it was good enough and since the fire had already made us late, Michele and I headed for our high school class reunion. I was looking forward to seeing all the old friends.
Some have died. Most don’t care and a few more just couldn’t make it. My class had a tad over 5% at the picnic.
I have learned through vast experience that most longtime friends are not as lonesome for company as I must be. There have been times when I’ve spent a lot of time trying to track down acquaintances from the past. Usually, they are not near as excited to hear from me as I was to renew our friendship as I tracked them down.
As I thought about it tonight, I would guess that same reunion average of 5% probably also applies to friends from the past who want to hear from me. Most just don’t have the drive to socialize and reminisce with past pals. So I guess class reunions are for the socially needy 5% like me who like to stay in touch with old friends.
Admittedly, this situation has always kind of bugged me. However, after thinking about it tonight, I realize that all these past pals are not the ones with the problem. I am. In spite of the new facts I’ve just come to grips with, I’ll probably keep going to the get-togethers until I die.
So there was a guy there that I’ve been good friends with for decades. However, a couple of years ago I posted a piece on Facebook about how the Clinton’s trashed the White House when they were leaving at the end of their rainbow term. I wondered aloud if Obama was going to do the same? The truth is when looking back, I don’t think that stuff ever happened but it was entertaining news at the time.
Other people posted on my thread, making fun of the Clintons which ticked my buddy off. I guess during the time since I had last talked to him, he had gone from Rep to Demo on me. Because of the other’s comments, he blew up and deleted me as a friend. I messaged him and apologized to no avail. I chalked him up as having a shaky and shallow foundation.
I wondered if he would be at the reunion and still harbor a grudge. He was and did. It so happened that a lady at the get-together was talking to this same guy as I stood in back of them; ten feet in front of her but behind him. I could hear her say “There’s Ben Casper, his book is the funniest book I’ve ever read.”
I was pleased to get the endorsement but also knew this was a critical moment concerning me and this guy. If he turned around, I figured we were still buds. If he didn’t, our friendship was toast just like those weeds I had burned earlier in the day.
He didn’t turn around. It put a damper on my socialistic mood for a few minutes but after lunch, I decided to make or break the relationship. I located him, walked over and started talking to him. The friendship thawed and even warmed back up. I’m glad I made the effort as I can deduct him from my list of icy former pals.
We drove home from the reunion about 5 hours later. As I pulled into my driveway, I could see one of my neighbors was standing by my sister’s lot, trying to spray the smoking dry grass that had come back to life during our absence. I told Sandy thank-you and took over the hose. I was grateful everything was still intact. That fiberglass Corvette body would have notified me with smoke signals at the reunion 20 miles away if it had caught fire.