Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 1, 2014

Reunion, wedding, memorial fill photographer’s busy life

By JULIE JOHNSTON, Ledger photographer | Nov 29, 2012
Photo by: JULIE JOHNSTON/Ledger photo The Pekin High School Class of 1962 recently gathered for its 50th year reunion.  Julie Johnston, chairwoman for the reunion, said 22 of the remaining 35 classmates attended.

Usually when my thoughts hit paper it is because I have given them considerable time to come together in a somewhat cohesive manner to share with you, the reader.

Life has been so full of activity the past few months that thoughts put on paper have not been at the top of my list of things to accomplish. Since many have asked about my daughter’s wedding (which we have yet to get on the Lifestyles page), my 50 year class reunion (oops! Just gave myself away, didn’t I?) and other events over the past three months, I will try to give you a synopsis of said events.

As a member of Fairfield Kiwanis I had asked Don Kremer to let me see the schedule for the work we do leading up to Old Threshers in Mount Pleasant as soon as possible so I could put myself down for early in the game. I have a tendency to procrastinate and wanted to get that out of the way early leaving time nearer Labor Day to attend to my class reunion and the wedding. He did and I did, all of which was great. THEN, Marv Septer asked if we could trade days as the Friday before Labor Day he had a conflict. Well, OK, I guess one day three days later than I preferred to work wouldn’t be a problem. Oh, yes, and Don was short of people for that Saturday and needed a full day shift filled. Not knowing the simple word “No” I said yes. There went two days just one week before my class reunion.

I was the chair for the class reunion and had badgered and whined at my classmates to get a good attendance. We had 22 classmates attend, which out of the 35 remaining wasn’t too bad. Two backed out at the last minute due to ill health and five others sent regrets, leaving six from whom I had no response whatsoever. We gathered for meals and visiting at one of the cottages where four of us “single” girls stayed, with the banquet at the hotel on Saturday.

OK. Two events down with Kids’ Day and the wedding the following week left. Oh, yes, did I mention that I had to get ready for my BIG trip of the year? I had to leave home on Oct. 1 for three weeks to Czech Republic.

I didn’t do too much to help with Kids’ Day and I hope my fellow Kiwanians understood. I finally told The Ledger I couldn’t work wedding week, well, maybe a little. Silly me!

With plenty of assistance from valuable relatives, especially my sister Kate and my already son-in-law Pat, as well as others, we managed to pull off a lovely wedding and reception at Jefferson County Park. God helped by sending us a lovely, rather windy but sunny, day.

Anne’s attendants were her sister Christine as matron of honor, best friends LeeAnn Clark and Megan Reed as bridesmaids and niece Abby Adam as junor bridesmaid. Her friend Regina catered and Eastern Star sisters and brothers served. Friend Mark Clark officiated.

Perhaps the most interesting and important person of the wedding party was flower girl Lily Fjell from Arizona. Her grandmother, my husband’s niece Mary Beth, was my flower girl and Anne was Mary Beth’s flower girl. She fullfilled her duties beautifully and it was lovely to have such a nice family tradition.

Guests came from California, Hamilton and Red Lake, Ontario, Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon, many locations in Iowa, and perhaps others I have forgotten. One special couple in attendance was Dave’s (the groom) maternal grandmother and her husband from Oregon. She had been ill a few weeks prior and the doctor had told her she would be unable to make the trip. At 91, she had a lot of grit and determination and was going to make it to her grandson’s wedding. Period. She not only came, she was lovely, funny and we got great photos of her and the happy couple.

After a brunch the following day many of us left for Des Moines for a memorial service for my niece’s husband who had died earlier in the summer in Arizona. It was lovely, but sad, and 5-year-old flower girl Lily gave a wonderful eulogy for her grandpa. No adult could have been more poised or spoken so purely from the heart.

Oh, yes. I must tell you that we had bad news about three weeks ago. A phone call from Dave’s grandma’s husband told them that Grandma had experienced a fatal heart attack, a very sad event for his family, and especially for Dave, as he and his grandmother were very close. Dave’s mom said of her mother, “She went out with her boots on.”

As my boss limits the number of words I can write for any one column and I am over my limit, I guess my adventures to Czech Republic, which includes a tidbit about well-known Fairfield residents, will have to wait until the next time I put pen to paper — or rather sit at the computer and type words on the screen. Somehow that just doesn’t seem as poetic as pen to paper ….

 

Julie Johnston is The Fairfield Ledger photographer.

 

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