I have coffee with my Dad every Thursday morning. I’ve been doing this since I moved to Minnesota at the end of 2007. Priceless. He has been cleaning out his home office for the past few weeks. This morning he placed a yellowed piece of newspaper on the table and said, “I have an article I want you to look at.” I wasn’t surprised, because he often finds gems for me in the paper–articles that pertain to my dissertation, mostly. The yellowed edges intrigued me, however.

speaking at Coon Rapids Graduation 86I opened it up and there it was. The ABC Newspaper from June, 1986. The photograph showed four young men standing on the platform. We were chosen, for different reasons, to deliver a speech at our high school graduation. Brian Olson and Troy Durocher were our class president and vice-president, super-strong athletes, fellow football players, best friends, smart, funny, and genuinely nice guys. Ken Reynhout was the valedictorian (there were 8) who was chosen to speak, a brilliant student, talented musician, and fellow choir and drama member. I was chosen to speak from some kind of people’s choice vote, I think.

article clip

The question is: was I the second to give an oration, or was it a second class oration. hmmmm….

Brian is now a Flight Commander and F-16 instructor for the Air Force. Ken earned a PhD from Princeton and is an expert in the interdisciplinary studies of theology and science. I’m not sure where Troy is, but I’ve begun to hunt for the answers. (I found his wife on Facebook. Does anybody out there know?) Then there’s me, in the final year of earning a PhD from Luther Seminary in the area of Congregational Mission and  Leadership.

Coon Rapids High School, class of 1986, was a good place for us. Many of my classmates have gone on to do great things in the world. I’m proud to be a Cardinal.

The really strange thing is that now my kids go there. Micki graduated in 2012, Ethan graduates this year, and Leah will graduate in 2017. Still going strong!

Thanks for the memories, Dad.

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