Well it only took 15 years, but we finally did it. Last weekend, the Fergus Falls Class of 2004 got together at the Eagles for our first reunion. With a class that graduated over 200 people, I was interested in seeing what old what’s his name is doing and how much each of us have changed.

First things first, I need to mention that I was not there for the whole shindig. I already had plans (coaching a football game in Fargo) and was not going to be able to make the 7 p.m. start time. My wife and I planned that we and a friend couple would try to make the reunion at 10:15.

Well, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” I had told the head coach of the team that I would have to quickly exit after the game because of the reunion and was ready to leave. Due to issues that were out of my control, 10:15 p.m. turned into 10:45 p.m. and I still needed to freshen up before I went.

After a quick shower and having my wife pick out some clothes, we were off to the reunion (nice, only 45 minutes off my estimated time). Our friends were already at the reunion (never tell people exactly when to expect you…) and we ended up being the last people to walk in. I was slightly worried that I missed a lot of my former classmates as we pulled into the parking lot and slightly over 20 cars were there. Well, I was going to try to catch up with whoever was there.

As we went upstairs in the big ship, one of my classmates followed suit. We exchanged pleasantries and she gave a short rundown on what was happening both up and downstairs. That was the last time I spoke with her during the evening.

As we entered the upstairs area, I immediately spotted my good friend Dylan and his wife, Heather, standing at the bar talking to several people. I made my way across the dance floor (don’t floss, don’t floss, don’t floss) and up to the bar. My wife and I were quickly grabbed by the host and given drink tickets while being introduced to a few people that were not in my class.

After the pleasantries, I made my way back to the bar and purchased a drink. I spoke with my friend and let him know that my wife and I would be chilling over on the couches across from the bar and that he and his wife should join us. I was still exhausted from the day and it was nice to sit on a comfy couch and relax. My wife and I conversed about the kids and the evening before our friends finally joined us.

Our discussion immediately went to the reunion and how for a class our size it seemed like we were missing a lot of people. We blamed Facebook and other social media platforms for the lack of turnout from some of our classmates as reunions were partially put on to see what everyone is doing now. Well, for the most part I know what a lot of my classmates are doing. We had a few jokes about it and moved on.

As the time began to wind toward midnight, several people made their way in to our little corner of the room. We had great conversations with a couple that were high school sweethearts, a guy who played bass in a popular high school band who is now working for the University of Minnesota, and three buddies that, despite leaving Fergus Falls, have managed to remain close (even marrying people who are friends or related).

As the clock neared 1 a.m., my wife and I decided to head out for the evening. I gave a hug to a buddy of mine and said goodbye  to a few others on the way out the door. Walking on the dance floor again, the music played another classic from my high school days and it was hard not to want to let loose a little bit more.

As I left, one thought came to mind was the fact that we didn’t have a 10-year reunion. I left the reunion feeling pretty good but would I have five years ago? I believe that if I would have had a 10-year reunion, I would have been a little panicked about getting my life together. I know one of my classmates felt that way after, but in reality, happiness is the most important and I believe that she is happier now than a few months ago.

Although I was unable to talk with everyone at the reunion, I felt like most of us were in good places in our lives. Looking at how much people have changed in both dress, style and look is a good thing. It shows that my graduating class continues to grow, showcase their talents and be happy in where their lives have taken them.

Zach Stich is the managing editor of The Fergus Falls Daily Journal. His column appears Friday.

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