Catching up

by Gary Torres

I believe it was Pippi Longstocking that said, “Time flies, and one begins to grow old.  This autumn I’ll be ten, and then I guess I’ll have seen my best days.” 

Three graduations later, one wedding, and a 50th anniversary party have kept me out of trouble this last month.  And the way I am feeling, me and Pippi have probably seen our best days.

I shed a tear of sadness as I watch the kids walk down the graduation isle as blissfully as a walk in the park.  They walk in willingly, heading towards a new life. 

I always want to stand up and wave my arms, “Go back!  It’s a trick.  If you leave high school you’ll have to go to work, pay taxes, buy insurance, and get a 30-year mortgage!” 

But they wouldn’t listen; they never listen.  They think they are free, they think that new adventures await them.  Who am I to tell them that they never had it so good? 

Not that I would deny them their next profound growing experience, but they remind me of sheep to the slaughter; just merrily walking up the isle like it ain’t no thing.

This year is going to be a big change as there are several large families that are kicking their youngest child out of the nest. 

These are families that have contributed many kids to the town and school system, families such as the Butlers, the Adairs, the Palmers, the Torres’, the Abrams, the Bartons, the Frosts, and the Sondereggers. 

And those are just the ones I can think of right of the top of my head. So if you see all these parents with either a sadness that can’t be filled or happiness that can’t be squelched, you will know why. 

Another useless factoid about these students; seven teachers at the elementary school had a graduate this year.  Maybe we will all get together and go on a cruise.

I guess that means that other families are going to have to pick up the slack and have a dozen or so kids (maybe out at the Lewis Compound, where grandkids are popping out like rabbits), so a new bumper crop will arrive. 

It is harder to have big families these days, but nothing has been as fun as having a litter of kids playing kick-the-can, fugitive, and sleep over on the trampoline. I’ll miss it and they didn’t even let me play.

By the way, we will have a new band teacher this year.  A new old face.  Mr. Erickson taught me band when I was in sixth grade. 

You know how he convinced me to play trumpet? He said, “Because all the girls know that trumpet players make the best kissers.”  That was his sales pitch and it worked. 

I stayed in band through my senior year and actually had a music scholarship to the University of Utah.  Now there is a blast from the past.

Nobody knew that about the old CaveGuy, did they?  I wasn’t always this cool or good looking. I wore braces and played in the pep-band. 

Mr. Erickson needed trumpet players in his marching band, so a few of us eighth graders got to go with the high school band to the Calgary Stampede. It was the adventure of a lifetime for a small country boy.  And we won Best All American Band at the Calgary Stampede in Canada.

So Daniel graduated, and me and the missus are going to be “empty nesters”.  The biggest change this will have is that I can fall asleep watching Fox News at Nine without embarrassing anyone. 

I suppose it is time to give up my sideline pass and start watching football games like Pard and Sandy; in my truck with a bucket of popcorn.  With a new football region and a new football coach, maybe the stands will be full again.

Some of you may wonder about my exercise program with Natasha, the Hungarian Olympic Shot-Put Champion.  Oh sure, I thought she was cute, but that was until she made me work out. 

That’s when I decided that at my age, getting up to go to the fridge for my bowl of Haagen Dazs would be more than enough exercise. 

I had to take a week off from exercise just so I had enough energy to write an article.  I hope they deport her back to wherever she came from.

One last note, if you see my niece Kendyl, please open the door for her.  She is a straight-A student, homecoming Queen, All State volleyball player, all around perfect kid, but lately she has a hard time figuring the mechanics of how doors open and is sporting a black eye for all her trouble.

Her pride was hurt more than her head; although with all her relatives teasing her, I am sure she won’t be showing up in public for a week or two.  I promised her that I would not tease her about her black eye so don’t say a word to her if you see her; just open the door.

San Juan Record

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Monticello, UT 84535

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