Mark’s Musings – May 8, 2019

| May 7, 2019

Mark Fortune

May is the month of graduations of course. High school, college and sometimes we even celebrate our youngsters moving from one chapter of life to another at the younger levels – preschool, sixth grade and so on. You get the idea here.

May is also the month for alumni banquets. Yes, a few of them drift into the summer months too but a lot of the county school alumni banquets are held in May. Many Beacon readers know that there were numerous county schools at one time- and Coshocton City School. These county schools later consolidated to become the River View and Ridgewood school districts. Again, this is all information that you already know.

Union was one of those county schools. The 73rd Union alumni banquet was held on Saturday evening, May 4 at the Career Center with a large attendance. In fact, a total of 137 former graduates, faculty, spouses, friends and guests attended a wonderful event to celebrate this school on the far western edge of Coshocton County.

Union High School had students graduate from 1939 to 1965 which is when River View High School opened its doors. Many of the family names are familiar and their children and grandchildren attended Union Elementary School. And again, more information that you already know – the school will be closing at the end of this school year. This column is not a case for or against that decision by River View. As a River View Local School District resident and voter, I trust the decisions that are made by the administration and school board to invest our tax dollars wisely.

My purpose is to talk more about the impact that these schools had on the people that attended. A better way to say this is the impact that the people had on each other. Many of them dated a young man or woman from the same school, married, had children and are now enjoying retirement and grandchildren or maybe even great-grandchildren.

Or maybe they dated someone from a neighboring school, i.e., West Lafayette, Fresno or Plainfield, Roscoe to Union or Conesville, etc. You get the idea. Some folks went way off the reservation and dated someone way across the county – like perhaps someone from Union dating someone from Fresno.

As someone said at the Union banquet, “It was about making lasting friendships” and tonight is about getting “A little piece of the past back.”

The point that I am trying to make is that these people have friendships that have endured across the miles and the decades. You could see it and feel it around the tables and around the room at the Union alumni banquet. This doesn’t mean that our youngsters have any less enduring friendships by any means – I think that they are just different. These generations were also blessed to have jobs and careers that kept them local so they could keep their friendships alive. They have done that and something that we may not consider is that these connections all across the county have helped our community in so many positive ways.

Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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