Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Wonderful Weekend in South Texas

The trip home for the football reunion was wonderful. It turned out to be much more than just a reunion of the football teams on which I played. As a matter of fact, hardly anyone took the time to watch the DVD’s of the games that were playing on 4 different televisions. We mostly sat around a got caught up on old times. It was really a class reunion of multiple classes. They had tables set up for folks to group around according to the decade in which they graduated. The oldest grad was from 1937. There were 14 out of my 1971 graduating class of 54 present, as well as several from the year ahead and the year following our class that I knew very well.

I had a number of very interesting extended conversations with folks. One was with a guy who was one year behind me in school. He was a standout actor in high school, performing the lead role in a play that won 1st place in state in the University Interscholastic League competition. He went on to major in theater at Texas Tech and later attended Dallas Theological Seminary. I knew that much about him from conversations with others. What I learned from him was that he stayed on at DTS and has been teaching there for 25 years in the area of ministry through the performing arts. He frequently accompanies Chuck Swindoll on trips, cruises, etc. and shares dramatic monologues in conjunction with Swindoll’s teachings. Kind of interesting for a guy from a South Texas town of 2,000 people. His wife helps manage the finances for a Christian missionary group, Central American Mission (CAM), which has extensive work in Guatemala. We talked about ministry there in light of my multiple trips there in recent years.

I also enjoyed visiting with my former college roommate from my freshman year at UT-Austin. We were the only 2 from our school to head to UT that year so opted to room together. We had known each other forever, both attending FBC in George West. He stayed on in Austin after getting his civil engineering degree and worked for the city up until recently when he took early retirement. He still works a couple of days a week for them on a contract basis. One other guy is doing well as a vet, a couple are CPAs, but the large majority of the guys I spoke with are involved in some way in the oil and gas industry. That’s still pretty big business in South Texas.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to visit with my former high school English teacher who was also our youth Sunday School teacher when I was growing up. She asked if I’d be willing to preach if she could clear it with the pastor and to make a long story short, I ended up preaching on Sunday morning in the church I attended from first grade through high school graduation. That brought back lots of wonderful memories. Several of the people I knew then are still around and it was delightful to see them and visit after the service.

I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with my mom on the trip down and back. Her younger sister still lives in George West so she went with me and it was really good to have some extended time to talk. All in all, it was an outstanding time of strolling down memory lane for a bit and getting caught up with folks whom I hadn’t seen in 30+ years.

1 comment:

Glynis Holm Strause said...

Hey Gary, it was great to see you too after all these years. Being with you and Joe after all those years at church and school was a great trip down memory lane. Thanks for coming home again. Glynis