I graduated from Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota in June of 1984. The three guys with me above were my friends from grade school and we share many great memories together and still stay in touch via text, Facebook and occasional personal visits. In the photo above from left to right they are: Me, Craig Johnson, Jeff Klassen and Greg Avant.
I admire the various accomplishments that each of them have made to the world and the men that they have become. I consider myself lucky to have been raised in a town like Rochester where I found special friends whom I still love to spend time with today.
If you’re interested in what we look like today, the photo below was taken about a month ago when we all got together at Craig Johnson and his wife Tracey’s stately property in Prior Lake, Minnesota. From left to right below (30 years after the above photo): Craig Johnson, me, Jeff Klassen and Greg Avant.
It’s pretty amazing how when we get together we quickly fall back into the cadence and roles of our group from 30 years ago. We laugh about the same old stories and enjoy hearing about new ones. The four of us did a lot together when we were in high school. Sure, there were a few other guys that we ran around with, too, but the four of us had a special bond that has stood the test of time. I am grateful to still call each one of them an old friend.
On a moment’s notice I will be there for any one of them and I believe that I can count on the same from each them, too. We’ve all taken different paths but amazingly ended-up in careers consistent with our personalities that were formed so long ago.
Jeff’s a leading orthopedic surgeon, Greg had a nice playing career as a professional golfer and is now a golf course owner and Craig still enjoys a successful career in the dental products business. We all have great wives and families that keep us busy and still like to get together whenever we can.
When I think about things in my life that I am grateful for, these three guys often come to my mind. I am also grateful, and mindful of the fact, that we were all fortunate to grow-up in a town where education was valued, we had parents that encouraged us to become whatever we wanted to be and in the end we still make an effort to remain connected to each other. To me, that’s all good stuff!