Photo courtesy of Anna Patterson (Bonica)
The Liberty Bell High School class of ‘98 caught up on 20 years last weekend.

By Sarah Schrock

Among the thousands of visitors to the valley over Memorial Day weekend, one group included locals returning home for Liberty Bell High School’s class of ’98 20th Reunion. The 20-year reunion marks a unique passage of time because it’s the one where graduates have been out of school, away from home, for longer than they were under their parents’ roofs. In other words, they are finally all grown up. 

Big life-changing events seem to happen between the 10th and 20th reunions; things like marriage, kids, divorce, home-buying, career ascension or changes, sicknesses and loss of loved ones. These events enrich the depth of our human experience and there’s a genuine desire to reconnect with old friends as time passes two decades or more.

According to Anna Patterson (Bonica), who helped organize the event along with Eve Russel (Herstein) and Beau Bourn, the turnout was impressive. Nearly three-fifths of the class of about 50 returned home. Given that many have now started families, the reunion included family-friendly gatherings along with the kick-off at Mick & Miki’s Red Cedar Bar on Friday night, where classmates got to catch up without the distraction of little ones.

After the Friday night adults-only gathering, a Saturday family-oriented bike ride and walk at Big Valley was followed by a barbeque at the Twisp Valley Grange. Emily Potter takes home the unofficial title for coming from furthest afield, as she arrived at 11 a.m. to SeaTac from China (where she’s a designer for a sports apparel company) to make the Friday night gathering by 9 p.m. She booked her flight two days ahead of time and jetted home with her fiancé. 

According to Lisa Doran, class of ’97, who attended as a spouse, Liberty Bell’s class of ’98 was very close.

They ended the evening at the Grange with dancing and a circle of sharing where each classmate was able to share a memory or give a personal message to the group.

If you get to the paper early enough this week and read this, you might be able to catch my family’s presentation on Thursday (May 31) about our recent travels to Madagascar. As part of the Methow Valley Community Center’s Armchair Traveler series, we will share our journey through tropical jungles, antics with lemurs, and adventures through one of world’s most endangered biodiversity hotspots. Join us! There will be a casual picnic at 6 p.m. in the Twisp Commons park, followed by the program 6:30 p.m. in the gym. It’s free, with a suggested donation to the Community Center.

Coming up later this weekend, the Rockchuck Ranch will host an event for the Public School Funding Alliance (PSFA) to celebrate 15 years since its inception. The PSFA is a nonprofit organizaiton that supports education and enrichment at our public school. It has funded over 100 programs to support teachers in all disciplines as well as enrichment in music, art, special equipment and technology. Come celebrate with free refreshments and learn more on Saturday (June 2), 1 – 4 p.m., at the Rockchuck Ranch (formerly the Tice Ranch) along Highway 20 on the way to the Loup.

Finally, the May flower of the week is the cat’s ear lily. Now this gets confusing, because I had always called it cat’s ear lily or a Mariposa lily, but on a walk with a friend she referred to it as sego lily. The plant I am referring to is Calochortus lyallii, and in fact it goes by the common names cat’s ear. However, mariposa and sego lilies are closely related, sego being less hairy and with more-rounded petals, Mariposa being pinkish to burgundy in color. The three-petaled lily is hairy with a distinct burgundy collar around the center with yellow stamens. It often grows in swaths and can cover an area with a furry blanket.  It only lasts a week or so, get out there before it retreats to higher altitudes. 


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