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Best of 2020 #3: Not Sure I Can Take Anymore Memories

December 30, 2020

I wrote this before COVID hit. My class and our high school, has had our share of deaths. And since writing this there are been several more. As the title said, I’m not sure I can take anymore memories.


Not Sure I Can Take Anymore Memories

February 28, 2020

Mark Lovelady Class of 1989

Stephanie Cresswell Class of 2015

Jamie Sandifer

Jon Paulson Class of 91

died by suicide 2013

The messages pop up on my Facebook feed unannounced. Some familiar. Most not. All of them tragic. Many of them jarring.

Raymond Estores Class of 2012

Scott Crapo Class of 81 or 82

Nick Walker Class of 84

A fishing accident with his grandfather

I graduated in 1983. My generation grew up with computers. We remember our parents buying their first microwave oven. And we remember our first computer.

We are the “old” people that are the reason the current generation abandoned facebook. But us? We are all over it. We use it to keep up with our grandkids (who are too young to know it’s not cool.) We are friends with our neighbors and church members. We plan our reunions with it. And we use it to keep track of our friends from high school.

Some friends from high school created a new facebook group and invited me. It’s called Timberline Blazers Gone, Never Forgotten. As you’ve probably realized by now, it’s a memoriam group. It’s a group dedicated to remember those from my high school who have passed away.

The crazy thing is that my high school is younger than I am. It opened in 1970. In May this year there’s going to be a celebration of the first 50 years.

What that really means is that most of the people who have passed away are close to my age or less. Despite my earlier comment I’m not old. I don’t consider myself old. And people who aren’t old shouldn’t die.

A couple of the posts in the group hit kind of hard.

Brad Tullis-Class of 83? in 2012

Brad was part of my group of friends. It wasn’t a huge high school. We had about 350 in our graduating class. I haven’t seen Brad since high school. But, knowing he passed away was a shock.

Some of the posts were personal.

Lavel Godwin – died a few years ago from brain cancer

Lavel was my brother’s sister. I wrote about it a few years ago. I actually didn’t know her. But, knowning she’s gone was a shock.

One of the posts hit closer than any others. I knew it would be there, and yet it was still sad to see it.

Danny Murdock – Class of 83?

While attending College, in a car accident

Danny was the first to die. He passed away before the first reunion. The posts in the forum sometimes are just a name. Sometimes they incude a graduation date. And sometimes they include a cause of death.

My class is in our 50s now. We are dying of the things that people die of. Some are sickness. Cancer mostly. Some suicides. Murders. And accidents.

Danny died in an accident. He was attending BYU. . .the same school I attended. I think I was possibly on a mission for the Mormon church at the time. Danny was driving down Provo Canyon. It was a winding mountain road. Two lanes with a mountain on one side and the river on the other. It winds for 20 miles from Provo to Heber, Utah.

Danny was headed back toward Provo. As he came around a curve, a car coming from the other direction crossed the center line and hit him head on. His car flipped into the river. He died immediately.

Danny’s family and mine were very close. We were in scouts together. We went to church together. We were in classes together. In fact, my brother and Danny’s brother married sisters.

I added an explanitory comment to the post about Danny. He’s buried in Utah. I’ve been to his grave a couple of times. I didn’t think Danny’s death could affect me. I was wrong. Several people posted fond memories of Danny. And there was one post,

It was tragic I was in Utah at the times and saw his obituary, later i met the dude that hit him it was tough.

The group has only been around for a few weeks. People are still joining. I invited a bunch of high school friends to join, just as someone had invited me.

And because it’s new, many of the names keep getting posted for the first time, and some for the second time. And each time a new message pops up on my Facebook feed I have to wonder if it will be someone I knew, or just another stranger that sat through classes in inside the same four walls where I spent four years.

Not sure I can take too many more memories.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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