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Pioneer Days: Bringing classmates together

June 4, 2011
The Mining Journal

Five weeks from this morning, I will be riding a float in the Pioneer Days parade among the only group of people on earth who should know who said the following: "No jungle music..."; "That's a 5 in citizenship..."; and "Only urchins chew gum..."

As well as knowing who: Broke her ankle at flag football practice; bought a car from his nightcrawler sales proceeds; and spray painted '76 on the water tower one Devil's Night.

People who should know these answers would be other members of the Negaunee High School Class of 1976. We're almost to our 35-year class reunion.

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That's rather hard for me to fathom. Honestly, 35 years went by in a blink.

But in reality, we have each gone through a lot since we grabbed our diplomas on May 30, 1976 and charged into the future.

Most have married, some more than once. Most have children and many have grandchildren.

Probably a majority have experienced the death of at least one parent.

We've won jobs and lost them. We've triumphed and we've fallen.

Some have fought health battles. Some are still struggling with illness.

Hopefully, life has been more good than bad for the NHS 1976 crew. Every five years starting in 1986, we have gathered to check in with each other.

It's something I look forward to doing. It's fantastic to be able to catch up with those who have made homes far from Negaunee and with those who never left our hometown.

Family gatherings are awesome, no doubt, but getting together with the people who share the memories from kindergarten through graduation can be amazing.

We had experiences together that no one else could just by the nature of going to school. Some of us remember those days vividly while others sometimes need a gentle reminder of our class history.

But it's a blast to gather to check in with one another.

For six months, a group of us have been gathering to plan this year's reunion. It's a wonderful, diverse bunch of people. We meet, talk reunion business for about 30 minutes, then solve the world's problems for another hour or two.

Our fondest wish is to bring as many classmates together as possible. One thing the past 35 years has taught us all is life can change in an instant, so seizing the joy while you are able is a precious thing.

A nice number has already signed up to attend reunion events and I hope this missive serves as a reminder for those who haven't replied quite yet to get those registrations in.

While I am certainly looking forward to that 40-year gathering in 2016, the 35-year reunion coming up is important to me. Who knows what the future holds?

But in early July, some of the dearest people in my life will congregate to remember our days at Negaunee High, to laugh a lot, to cry a little and to create new memories.

Thanks to the planning crew for all the work: It's going to be a good one!

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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