We moved to Muleshoe from Edna, Texas, a town about the size of Muleshoe on Highway 59 down on the Gulf Coast of Texas, about 570 miles southeast of Muleshoe.I taught language arts at the 5th and 6th grade school, Sam Houston Elementary, which, as it turns out, is no longer there! I also coached junior high girls basketball, volleyball, and track across the street at Edna Junior High, which, as it turns out, has been remodeled and looks nothing like the school where I coached! Things change after forty years. Oh, my, do they ever.
If they were nice enough to invite a teacher they had not had in high school, which is the usual group invited to a reunion, I thought I should go. And I am glad I did. It was quite a road trip back in time.
A storm, almost a tornado, had hit about three days before I went, and most every house had at least one pile of limbs and branches stacked up in front of their house to be picked up by the city when they could get around to it. Edna is blessed with amazing live oak trees as well as other large trees, and many of them had been blown down in yards and on some houses. This is not one of the bigger trees, but you get the idea.
Now, this is one of the bigger trees! In the back yard of Tab and Nancy Simons, friends from our time in Edna, who put me up for weekend.
Nancy and I did the tour of the city to see how much looked familiar. As it turned out, not much. This beautiful old house I did remember.
I remembered the Mauritz home which always had lovely trees which took a hit with the storm.
This is the house we built, the last house we lived in. And it looks nothing like what I remember! Just the ravine beside the house where AJ played and the shed where we kept the horse feed looked familiar to me. And we had no trees that had enough time to get that big before we moved.
Bill’s office had been remodeled, and it looked nothing like what I remember. And of course, the name has changed since then. He was the assistant manager of the Federal Land Bank in Edna back then.
After the tour, Nancy and I headed out for the reunion. We drove a short distance, turning off the highway at Hillje to the Rustic Chandelier.
We were met at the door by Chris and Christine McBride Hyek, who helped put the night together.
Then I proceeded to try to recognize kids I had not seen for forty years! And I got in their faces and took pictures of as many as I could. It got to the point I was having to ask, have I taken your picture yet?-which was also annoying! So I finally decided I had just about everyone. But if I missed you, it was not intentional. Please forgive me.
Christine’s mom and dad, Danny and Zora McBride, were there. He was one of their coaches back in the day.
I saw Shari Campbell Ruzicka and Carole Tompkins Moore next.
Youlanda Allen Robinson was one of my basketball players.
Here we have Anthony and Terral Ramey Stevens and Nancy Simons. Nancy had been the high school librarian.
Here’s Lori Koop, Steve and Cathy Psencik Mitchell, and Monica Ruppert Lee.Cathy was the person who contacted me asking for an email address so they could send me the invitation.
Uh oh, not one of my cleaner shots, but I didn’t want to leave out Adam and Cindy Knudsen Anderson.
Demetric Sheppard Taylor and Christine. We all thought Demetric should have been off on a model’s shoot somewhere for a fashion lay-out!
Sue Robinson and Cathy.
Scooter and Lana Roades Webel, Stanley and Debbie Latimer Myers.
Senior English teacher Judy Butler, Mark Hubenak, Alan Berryhill, Youlanda.
Kelly and Donna Morton Kazmir.
Peggy Brockenbush and Nancy. Peggy was the high school counselor. Not one of my best pictures, either, but I don’t want to leave anyone out.
Kim Rab, Debbie, Cathy, and Monica.
Cathy and me.
Doyle Koop, Monica, Cathy. and Debbie.
Sharon Blanchard Canion and Doyle.
Christine thanked everyone for coming and blessed the food. And then the serving line was open.
The meal was catered by Stay Smokin BBQ from Edna, owned by Derrick Bermea.
A table honoring the deceased was arranged by Shari Campbell Ruzicka. Those memorialized included Endrika Barnes, Tom Bolander, Karen Caesar McKnight, Ronald Callis, Jackie Hester, LeAnn Jansky, Rosalyn Mercer Kresta, Mark Moody, Shelton Ross, Pat Washington. They are missed.
Nancy, Doyle Koop, and Ann Marie Thomas.
Duane and Stephanie Cavazos Muncrief, Mark.
Jon and Weide Koop Cutshall.
Shannon and Tara Simons Orsak.
Robert Bobo Young and Shannon Orsak.
Chad and Kim Stary.
Becky Berryhill and Barbara Jones married classmates in this reunion, and they said they were just having a good time!
Larry Allen, Eusebio Palacios, Alan Berryhill, Lee Jones. Larry reminisced about an encounter we had involving a bit of discipline and it didn’t ring a bell with me as we talked. Well, Larry, as I drove back to Edna that night, I got to thinking, and by golly, I do remember now!
Standing: Mr. Mathis and Arlisa Cook Mathis, Sue; sitting: Anthony, Terral, Demetric, Youlanda.
Corrinne Koch Copeland.
Kenny Moore, Kenny Ruzicka.
Leonard Tello was the DJ. He played plenty of music, but it took a while for the dancing to start. Everyone was too busy visiting and catching up.
Yours truly with Keith and Sharon Blanchard Canion.
Sam and Samantha Gerjes Idlett, and in the background you can see Susan Porche Timm and I think Michael Rab.
David and Dorothy Johnson. Dorothy coached with me at junior high briefly and then went to the high school. David was our friendly DPS trooper.
Brent and Shari Bain Blanar.
Arlisa and Demetric.
Randy Reed and Polly Rodriguez.
Susan Porche Timm, James and Jamie Sheblak.
Steve Thompson, Hector Jacinto-who were, they told me, the cutest guys there!
Steve and Cathy Psencik Mitchell, and Monica.
Glenn and Terri Mason.
Here we have Duane Muncrief, Brent Blanar, Doyle Koop, and Michael Rab; second picture is of John Hamman, Hector Jacinto, and Adam Anderson. These pictures were share by Tara Orsak.
Of course, what would a reunion be without a whole group shot. I was invited to be in it, too.
Dancing and more visiting followed. I decided to call it a night since I had gotten into just about everyone’s face asking to take their picture, but the party continued. And this is after taking a boatload of pictures! I even had to have my tech support adjust some settings to put this many pictures on one blog story.
When I pulled into Edna, I saw that this relatively new statue was indeed bathed in Cowboy blue light, the primary school color, which meant that the Cowboys beat the London Pirates, which is a small town outside of Corpus Christ.
The rest of this road trip continued the next day when I drove over to Ganado to visit friend Jenice Williamson who used to live in Muleshoe.
She and her significant other, Ken Kainer, took me on another tour, this time to see their land and cattle and Lake Texana which was not there when we lived in Edna.
After our visit, I set out for Kyle to see son AJ and family, which took me by a Buc-ee’s between Yoakum and Gonzales again. What a crowd of people! I forget how many people are in the state of Texas in these more densely populated areas than Muleshoe with our one red light!
I spent the night in Kingsland and headed back to our wide open spaces Monday. I’m glad I made the trip, all 1,319 miles of it! I was gratified to know that those kids remembered me after all these years, and I enjoyed seeing them and who they had grown up to be. And several of them were nice enough to say that I looked the same, but just had shorter hair! Bless their hearts!
Go Cowboys and Cowgirls! Or, as they were when I knew them in junior high, Rustlers and Girl Rustlers…
Thanks to the Simons family for hosting me for the weekend, Jenice and Ken for their hospitality, Shari Campbell Ruzicka and Shannon and Tara Orsak for their help putting names spelled correctly with all the pictures! Thanks to Christine Hyek and Cathy Mitchell for inviting me to the reunion. What a deal!