It's now been about 14 months since I made my relocation back to western Kansas from southeast Michigan.
Up until moving back to Garden City last year, I really hadn't considered myself a resident of the area since 1977 when I had been the sports editor of the Dodge City Daily Globe in 1975.
While I was moving and packing boxes for my move to Garden City from college-crazy football place Ann Arbor, I came across the scrapbook and yearbook of my senior year in high school.
What peaked my interest from this scrapbook was the rediscovery of newspaper articles that I had written while a senior at Syracuse High School.
I had not seen many of my high school classmates nor other class members from that 1969-70 school year in well over 30 years. In some instances, I had no idea where friends now lived. Several of us determined to bring together a group of unlikely football players and classmates for a reunion.
It had been more than 15 years since I last attended one of my class reunions. I always used the excuse that I was too far away, didn't have enough time or some other self-explaining conflict I could think of. Times do change in a person's life.
I pulled out my yearbook and the scrapbook of this special group of athletes once I un-boxed everything in my Garden City residence.
As I turned those yellowing pages it brought back fond memories of another time, another part of my life. I could only begin to smile as memories flooded back of those high school years.
For it was in the fall of 1969 that I served as the team football manager of the Syracuse Bulldogs. We were a somewhat motley group — senior linemen with only one or two skill position players dotting the roster.
Following on the heels of what many had described as one of the most talented teams in Syracuse high school history (a team that faltered and finished with a 6-2 record), it was my class, my senior mates, who carried the banner for that 1969 football season.
Turning those pages that have the edges torn and slight tears, everything became crystal clear to me. It was time to get the gang together.
Like so many high school classes, we went off to college or the military and eventually settled in parts unknown and far away. We lost track of addresses, phone numbers and sometimes couldn't put the name to a face unless we had the yearbook for an aid. We were never really great at organizing class gatherings. I was as guilty as any. The last one I attended was my 10th, that being back in 1980.
One of my close boyhood friends who still resides in Syracuse — Rob Gale — helped with my 2008 move-in here. We rekindled many memories and one of those was the football team of 1969.
But the fire was set and off we went to organize this reunion. It's just a week away now.
I'm glad that I found my scrapbook and my yearbook. I'll explain soon why this reunion is important, not just to me, but to those who were in high school at Syracuse 40 seasons ago.
Sports Editor Brett Marshall can be reached at email@example.com.