Father Time catching up 58 years and counting for LHS Class of ’51

By Susan (Saunders) Means August 26, 2009 07:08 am

While looking forward to attending my 58th class reunion Saturday in La Grande it occurred to me that it might be fun to think about writing a treatise on “When Did I Get Old?”

I’m sure that in our memories we still see the young, vital and energetic students we were when we marched forward to receive our high school diplomas. We’ll be thinking about when we marched in the band, played in the orchestra, sang in the chorus or were members of the Honor Society, Quill & Scroll or perhaps the pep club. None of us will ever forget the drama club under the direction of Mrs. Ragsdale or the orchestra with Mr. Weigel.

There’s an old adage that says age is a matter of the mind and if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter, so I try to approach the aging process like “Maxine” and laugh at the inconveniences that growing older sometimes presents. For example, when I have to use a ladder and can’t get past the first rung without pushing the panic button or I forget my password and constantly have to ask my computer to forgive me (it helps to have my grandson’s phone number on instant redial) or forget people’s names when they look so familiar. However, I still prefer talking to my friends rather than reading about them on Facebook and reading with a book in my hands rather than listening to the book on an Iphone.

To try to stall off the inevitable I read books like “When you Lie about your Age the Terrorists Win” and “When I’m an Old Woman I’ll Wear Purple.” I haven’t sat on the curb or tried spitting as the author suggests, but I have worn red and purple together. I’ve purchased numerous Sudoku books and I try not to look at the answers if I can’t figure them out.

I’ve learned to juggle so I can stimulate my brain, but people look at me funny when I pull out my three bean bags and attempt to keep them all in the air. My philosophy was to try to outrace “Father Time,” but it appears he’s caught me.

Carol Leifer in the book “When you Lie about your Age the Terrorists Win” talks about attending her 30-year class reunion and discovering that whatever age you are is just the right age. I think I’ve come to the same conclusion. Wisdom comes from knowing you can do the things that need to be done and say the things that need to be said. Recognizing the special times and people in your life makes each day a memorable one.

The sagging, the wrinkles, the aches and the pains go on and on. We’ve survived the twists and turns in life up to this point and we can still look forward to tomorrow.

I’m proud to be a member of the La Grande High School Class of 1951 — 58 years and counting.

Susan (Saunders) Means, Ph.D, was born in Richland, grew up in La Grande and now lives in McMinnville. She graduated with the LHS Class of 1951, which will be holding a reunion Saturday. Her son, Ted Kramer, is editor and publisher of

The Observer.