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Hook, Line and Sinker

By Tony Hooker
It’s been my experience that there are several types of VGHS graduates.

There are those who stay in Villa Grove after graduation, get a job and raise their families here.

There are those who go away to college or the military and then move back to the river city. Yours truly would definitely be found in this category. After ten years of scalawagging around, sailing the ocean blue and all of that stuff, I lucked into finding the perfect woman, moved to VG, got married and raised four fantastic kids. 

There are those whose lives take them away from town, but who return for family visits or class reunions or to fondly revisit their childhood home, introducing their families to where they grew up.

And then there are those who walk across the gymnasium floor on graduation night and seemingly never return, for reasons only they know.

Quentin Rund, who passed away last week at the youthful age of fifty-seven, was one of the latter. Quentin and I graduated together (Class of eighty-two rules!) and were friends in the way that folks in small town high schools are friends sometimes, through shared experiences. We played sports together, took classes together, joined student groups together and that sort of thing. We weren’t besties, but we weren’t enemies either. He always had a certain maturity to him, in a fun way, my rampant immaturity probably wore on his last nerve. I’m sure that all youngin’s have their own peculiar ways of interacting, but for the boys in my class, a Quentin Rund headbutt ranked right up there with a Bob Reardon Wombat bite as signs of acceptance and rites of passage, of sorts. (I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but how boys survive to become men remains one of nature’s greatest mysteries. We have some incredibly strange rituals!) 

I don’t recall seeing Quentin more than once or twice after that balmy late spring day when the class of eighty-two gathered as a full group for the very last time, but from all accounts, he was a good person, a good businessman, and most importantly, a good family man. I pray that his family can take small solace during their time of grieving to know that he touched a lot of people during his days here on earth. 

By my count, Quentin is the 13th  person from our class to leave us too soon, and so I’ll end this by quoting some very prophetic words found in our VGHS 1982 yearbook, whose author is unknown to me:

“Called a beginning by some and an end by others, this graduation is neither the start nor the finish. For now, we are caught up in the game. Some of us nearer to the end than we care to be while others of us have just now cleared the starting blocks. The final buzzer is an unknown we can touch but never push…”

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