Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bringing Back Old Memories

Our 50th wedding anniversary celebration included a memorable trip back to near Salem, Oregon.

Back in 1972 Alma Jean and I and our two sons, three and five, moved to the Willemette Valley in Oregon for a two-year stint as interim head of Western Mennonite School while their principal, my friend Glen Roth, was on sabbatical leave. This weekend we attended a forty year reunion of the classes of 72-74 to which we were invited, an event that brought together well over 100 of the students we came to know and love during our time there.

I was only 33 when I took on the WMS assignment, full of idealism and with a mere eight years of prior teaching experience at Eastern Mennonite High School.

Western was half the size of EMHS, having an enrollment of around 110 mostly five-day boarding students from western Oregon and surrounding states and Canada. From the first day, I grew to love these refreshingly rambunctious students and the parents and church friends who supported them. To hear their stories and to see their good progress over  the past four decades was an experience we won't soon forget.

We always found folks in the area incredibly friendly and hospitable and the scenery extraordinary (beautiful Mt. Hood was within sight of our home). But the students and staff at Western are what truly won our hearts, and to be able to love many of them all over again was so, so worth our trip.
Post a Comment