Being from Whiting is certainly a common denominator. I had written about going to the class of 1953 reunion, and assuming I wouldn't know anyone there.
As soon as I got out of my car, I met an old friend with whom I used to drive to Chicago daily for work back in the 1970's. He, a 1953 graduate, told me that I was going to be amazed at how many people I would know.
As he said, "After all, remember, it's Whiting." He was right.
Of the 40-plus people attending, I probably knew about 20 percent of them, many of them people I've known for years. I just didn't realize they were from the class of 1953.
While driving there, I had considered the one possibility at this reunion that would disturb me. Naturally, it happened and it took all of about five minutes.
One of the gentleman of the class, whom I did not know, came up to me and asked, "Were you in our class?" I just sighed. Either I looked great for 78, or he just wondered why he didn't recognize me. Either way, I was just 4 when the class of 1953 donned their caps and gowns, so his greeting didn't do wonders for my self-esteem.
Nevertheless, I had a great time. I laughed when I was told a story about a lady who had almost flunked gym, only to find out that she and I had the same physical education teacher. People had all kind of great stories and shared their hometown memories with me. It was truly a Whiting afternoon.
If you would like to have another great Whiting time, come to this year's Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 5, running from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in downtown Whiting. Once again, the festival will hold its annual Chili Cook-Off where, for $5, you get to taste all of the entries and vote for your favorite.
New events include a BBQ Showdown. The entry fee is only $100 and all meats for the contest will be provided. The grand prize will be $1,000.
For you bakers, there will be a best pumpkin or apple dessert contest. Once you're done tasting the chili, for another $5, you get to taste all the desserts and cast your vote for the best.
In addition there will be a beer garden, hay rides, arts and crafts, live music, amusement rides and a Kids Zone with a root beer float "beer garden," too.
Oktoberfest has a little something for everybody and really makes for a nice family outing. For more information, call the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce at (219) 659-0292.
In addition, the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society will be holding its annual ID Day at Studio 659 on Oct. 5. This is the day we drag out a ton of photos from our museum and display them with hopes that somebody will recognize someone or the event pictured.
So come to Whiting next weekend. And until it's time to "leave," I know you'll "fall". . .for us.