Those 70ish girls… Did Someone Say REUNION?

By Lav Yeckel

I can’t sleep.

I can’t eat (much).

I can’t concentrate. I’m too excited about attending another reunion in a few weeks. My cousins and uncle and I are meeting again to party with some more South Dakota folks in Arizona. This gathering has morphed from an older Jones County Picnic. It’s a reunion of snowbirds and visitors who hail from a couple counties in our home state. We like to get together and talk over old times, compare memories, gossip, take pictures, tell jokes, remember folks we have lost, and eat. We don’t always know everyone there, but it’s fun to meet new people. We ask ourselves why we’re going. You might ask us why we’re going. My California friends ask me why I’m going. The answer is that we hold a bond, a special connection with these people who grew up in or near our small town of Murdo. These folks might be a bit younger or older than my cousins, Uncle, and me, but they knew our family. They might remember our Grandparent’s store or when Uncle Jeff ran the store. They might remember Uncle Bill’s Plumbing business or Uncle Jerry’s construction company or the motels my family owned. They might’ve known my dear Mom or Dad. Who knows?

My cousins and Uncle usually remember a lot more folks at the reunion than I do since I didn’t live in Murdo very long. That’s why I like going, because they make me feel better and make me feel like I’m part of something bigger.They fill in the blank parts of my life growing up partly in Murdo. They include me and can connect me to some awfully kind, friendly South Dakotans. They’re part of my history.

We four just met in Rapid City this past July for a school reunion in Murdo where we met MG’s fans and drank rhubarb shakes and had a bbq and dance, and attended Bill’s special 60 year alumni dinner, but we’re ready for another reunion no matter what kind it is. You might call us Reunion Groupies or Sanderson Groupies. Maybe we like to go to these things because we’re getting older and when you’re our age, it’s heartwarming to look back at all the good times, to know others remember you and your relatives. You fit in with their lives. They might even recall dumb things you did when you were young, and they still can laugh about it, even if you can’t. The stories abound, true or not.

2016 Murdo All School Reunion From Left: MG, Paul Thomas, Ralph Thomas, Jerry Elrod, Patti Arnieri… Seated: Judy Dykstra- Brown, and me

So we will let you know about the Arizona Reunion and what it’s like, and share pictures and selfies. It will be a lot of fun. By the way, if you know of any other reunions coming up this spring or summer, can you let me know? Maybe you can get us an invitation or just pass the word along that we’re fun people…Reunion people. Thanks.

2022 Murdo reunion, me with Ralph Thomas and his sister, Susan

2022 at the Rhubarb Drive In, MG, me, Sherri Miller, and Dianna Diehm

Uncle Gus, MG, and me at the 2018 Mesa gathering
Add Bobby Brost and Billy Francis. 2018
Uncle Gus, MG, Me and Billy at the 2020 Mesa Gathering

2 thoughts on “Those 70ish girls… Did Someone Say REUNION?

  1. Anonymous January 26, 2023 / 2:01 pm

    Oh what fun and laughter is awaiting us in Murdo. I guarantee
    “It Won’t be their first (or last) Rodeo”. Will Kristi be there??


  2. Valerie Halla January 26, 2023 / 10:52 am

    So much fun at these reunions. Remember the one’s Stephanie and Andrea planned as well and Cousin Bobby and Blake. Maybe we should hold our own!


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