Jack Ohman

Editorial cartoonist, writer and Joe King’s alter ego

Reunited and it feels so good: My 35th Minnesota high school reunion...

08/30/2013 12:00 AM

08/29/2013 5:51 PM

My 35th high school reunion in Minnesota is coming up in a few weeks, and I have dithering about whether to attend. It’s not like deciding whether or not to attend your funeral (mandatory, so they say), but there is an element of zombie apocalypse to it that is keeping me from pulling the trigger.

Facebook has done a lot to ruin the formerly delicious sense of anticipation of my previous jaunts to my reunion. I feel like I get reunited with a lot of these people online all the time, and know many of them now much better than I did when my and my friend Larry were riding in Barry Howell’s exact replica of the Starsky and Hutch car.

That was an awesome car. Now I hear he has a Starsky and Hutch bass boat.

Upside to attending my reunion:

1. Will see many people who threatened my life in hallway in 1977 and can ask them what legal ground they had at the time to do so. Will have my attorney’s card to pass out.

2. Will ask several of them who had made fun of my poofy hair that “never moves” what, precisely, happened to theirs.

3. Will get to do my really dead-on Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale impressions to great effect.

4. Can now ask out some 53-year-old girls who may have turned me down gleefully then with the reasonable expectation that I may even get eye contact from them this time.

5. Will see people who can give me very reliable expert advice about what kind of snow blowers work best in California.

6. Good opportunity to hone my vestigial Minnesota accent, which is currently dormant except for when I say the word, “Minnesota.”

7. Chance to ask this one guy just what, precisely, he meant by that remark in Mr. Brobin’s Biology 2 class when he was holding the dissected cat.

8. Can put on rayon shirt with jungle print open to waist, again. Oh, and that wine-colored crushed velour jacket, size 36. And the two-tones orange/black saddle shoes with platforms. Can you now understand why I’m a cartoonist?

9. Reason to discuss, once again, with another guy who may be facing federal fraud charges in a real estate deal what he was thinking when he deliberately hit a line drive to my head.

10. Can see this one woman I liked in 1973 (who is a very nice lady now) who dropped me for a boy named “Carlton Olson,” which you think would be disqualifying for him right there.

11. Will be able to sit in corner and make an accurate count of how many people in my class are named “Bob Peterson” and “Lori Anderson” (I think just under forty percent).

12. Have opportunity to explore with classmates how my plan to become governor of Minnesota by 1998 would not have worked since I didn’t wrestle with a feather boa.

13. Great chance to also locate the southeast corner of the basement at the Stillwater Country Club for possible tornado evacuation drill.

14. One more try at lutefisk.

15. Possibility of having the same continuous tape-loop conversation with six of my classmates about why the Minnesota Twins are 18 1/2 games out of first place.

16. The fresh taste of room temperature Lienenkugel’s.

17. Another chance to see the guy who was a butterfly swimmer on our team who, when I saw him in 1998, clearly had given up the butterfly swimming for competitive cheese eating.

18. Apologize to same guy for saying something to that effect while slapping his stomach, hard, in 1998 (damn warm Lienenkugel’s!).

19. Again, Dale, sorry.

20. And I really like your wife, who was always nice to me.

Downside to attending my reunion:

1. People like me may be there.

About This Blog

Jack Ohman joined The Sacramento Bee in 2013. He previously worked at the Oregonian, the Detroit Free Press and the Columbus Dispatch. His work is syndicated to more than 200 newspapers by Tribune Media Services. Jack has won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Foundation Award and the national SPJ Award, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and the Herblock Prize in 2013. Contact Jack at johman@sacbee.com. Twitter: @JACKOHMAN.


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