Dear Fellow Classmates,
Those words that we all once sang together have indeed come to
reality in my life. After my wife passed away almost five years
ago and with my children all grown, I began to contemplate what
I wanted to do for the rest of my working career. The more I thought
about it, the more I determined to return to where I started my
career - secondary education. Of course, it only seemed
natural to return to the place that played such a formidable role
in my life and where I began my career in teaching in 1970. I
retired from my twenty-six year investment career and came back
to those "Culver days."
We all know the words of Thomas Wolfe, "you can't
go home again." That is indeed true. Not only have I changed,
so has Culver. But, there is a lot familiar about this special
place. The campus is as beautiful (and isolated) as always; the
cadets still march and wear uniforms; the academics are rigorous
and the faculty dedicated; parades are much as they used to be;
and reveille is still at 0630 (except when there is a sleep-in!).
More important are the familiar faces that continue to inhabit
this place. I periodically have lunch or dinner with old friends
Bob Hartman and King Moore. Other retires in town I see occasionally
include Jerry Thomas, Chan Mitzell, Chet Marshall, Al Pare, Ron
Noel, and Al Bunner. Classmates abound as well. Bill Roth continues
to devote his teaching life to the school and vows to continue
until our 50th reunion year. Dick Swennumson spends much of his
time here at the lake with his wife Mary Anna. I see or talk with
my dear friend Brad Schooley down in Indianapolis on a regular
basis. Gene Palmer and Mike Atkinson have been here recently to
begin planning for our upcoming reunion.
Much is new at Culver, however. New buildings, new sports, a
new Commandant, the block schedule, more student freedoms, and,
most significantly, girls (at least new to us "old-timers")
have all become a part of our school.
I am extraordinarily blessed to be back at the place which left
such an indelible mark on my life. I reflected often during my
life, as I'm sure you have, on the lessons learned here
and the friendships which continue to this day. Let's all
come back to those "Culver days," be with old friends,
and share where our lives have taken us. See all that is new at
the same time.
As Mike and Gene begin making plans for the 45th,
put May 16-18, 2008 on your calendars now. That is only a few short months away, and at our age time moves very quickly! Mike
and Gene promise a great weekend for you and your family. Importantly,
we also have planning work to do for our 50th
reunion in 2013, and we want everyone to be part of that process.
hear the bugle call - old memories how they thrill me,
And proud am I of Culver - and to be a Culver man.
John M Bartlett, '63