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One thing that you learn as you become an adult. Time flies. I mean really flies, fast, lightening speed. So fast in fact that it has been 20 years this summer since I graduated high school.

We can’t have a reunion without some events and some party time. Even at my age. We do it and we do it well.

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My friends Ann, Amy, and I decided we would rent a house here in Valley City. Who knew Valley City has a house on AirBnB? Well, they do. We rented it for the three day weekend of activities.

Family time was first. Where else? Lake Ashtabula, of course!

Several friends and family gathered to hang out and have a BBQ. We didn’t have a ton of time, so we rented an outdoor space and had everyone join us on Friday.

What’s next? Who doesn’t love a parade? A thank you to the VCHS Class of 1996 for putting together this float, despite the rain. It turned out to be a great experience. I can only assume Dentist’s like parades as we handed out a ton of candy.

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Great to see these classmates again and have a fun time.

Apparently I got into the candy…

Up next, a tour of our high school. Some things change, some don’t…

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Who else has a bridge for their high school logo?

Amy and I created this masterpiece above the art room door in 95-96. I didn’t imagine that 20 some years later it would still be there and relevant. Our homage to van Gogh’s Starry Night.

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The final act of the weekend. The much-anticipated Croquet Party Reunion.

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So about 17-18 years ago. My friend Jerr, his dad, cousin, uncle, and a few friends decided to start having a croquet tournament. It was intended to test their skills and determine who was the ultimate croquet champion.

Well, that is how it started and over the years it became an annual tradition. We in fact had 10 years of these parties. We created t-shirts, traditions, croquet doctorates, a Kerry Johnson original wood carved ceremonial “Bear,” and a traveling golden mallet for the winners.

Eventually, life moves on and other things become the center of our lives. The last official Croquet Party was in 2010. So this year, a reunion was in order.

Morphing from a few people and some beers, to a lot of people, camping, and kegs. We have moved from “let’s see how fast the keg will float,” to “if I have more than two beers, I’ll need a nap.” Life changes, but we picked right up where we left off.

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Amy & Jack had never been to a croquet party. I would dare to say Amy had never even played croquet. Apparently, she didn’t have to because they took second place, leaving the veterans and Dr. Kerry Johnson in their dust.

Congrats to Chad and Burt! After 11 years of croquet parties, Burt finally won! Pictures with Bear and The Golden Mallet! Congratulations guys!

Thank you to Kerry, Jen, Jerr, Shannon, and Mr. Brody for hosting us this fine summer weekend. We appreciate your hospitality and all the work you do to bring this event together.

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Time may change, but this is what a reunion is about – family, friends, laughs, and celebrating life together.

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