It was just right about this very time, the merry 'ol month of May. But the time was just a bit different.

It was 1973 and I was about to graduate from Edgerton, Minnesota High School. I am proud to reveal that I graduated in the Top 30 in my class. Never mind that there were 30 or so members in the class. The fact remains: I was one of 'em.

I was not what might be referred to as a 'model student'. But I did learn a lot from those teachers, bless their hearts. For example, just because you can recite from memory all the swear words in German does not mean you'll pass German Class. I learned that just because a pretty girl takes Freshman Algebra does not make me a mathematical genius. And I learned first-hand that anything I tried to make in Shop Class (I know, Industrial Arts, but it was Shop Class to me) was going to end up being an ashtray. I could set out to make a Fish House and the doggone thing would be an ashtray by the time I got done.

But I did OK. Debate was fun. American History was fine. Civics was a hoot. The rest? Hey, like I said, I made it into the Top 30 or so in the class.

I didn't receive a stack of college scholarship offers. Academically, the colleges and I decided it would be best to, ah...explore another path. Athletically? Don't. Just don't.

So it was off to Vocational School, which hard as it is to believe, were free in Minnesota in those days if you were under 21 and a resident of the state. So let me check: Resident of the state? You betcha. Under 21? Well, if 17 is under 21 I qualify.

So there I was alongside my classmates on that May night in 1973. As I recall, I even spoke at graduation. Yes, even then I could run my mouth. What did I say? I don't know but it was, no doubt, profound and wise. Or BS.

So here I am, 47 years later. I can still swear in German, but I'm not sure I can make an ashtray. But I do have a beautiful wife, 2 fantastic kids (and 2 fantastic kids-in-law) and 5 Grandkids that make my chest puff out and my buttons burst. They all love me and I love them all.

Rich. That's what I am. Rich.

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