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Denny Fender

March 2005

'65 Wildcats.....

I regret being unable to join you for the reunion but that there are a few things I've learned during the last 40 years which I want each of you to consider.  I'm not a philosopher, nor an accomplished writer.....I'm just an old retired fighter pilot turned high school teacher.  But my experiences in war and peace, military and civilian life, in health and sickness, in my youth and now in middle age, have taught me a few things that I think are appropriate for this gathering.  Please consider these thoughts.....

  1. Life is precious and short.
  2. It can end with little or no warning.
  3. Enjoy life every day.....life is not a practice exercise.....its the real thing.  Generally you only have one chance to do it right.
  4. Time is a mindset.....don't let a clock completely run your life.....MAKE TIME to do things you enjoy.  The memories of it will serve all of us well.
  5. Do something you've always wanted to do.....you all are approaching 60 years of age...its time to do those things that will make you happy and provide lasting memories.
  6. Smile a lot and try to be happy regardless of the circumstances.....it's a choice you can make and it's way more fun to be happy than to go around with an attitude and a scowl. 
  7. Hundreds of thousands of men and women, including some of our classmates like Bill Dent and Charley Clark, have paid the price in blood for you to have the freedom to be here today.  Don't forget them.  Honor them by by loving your country, voting, and being proud to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  It is your RESPONSIBILITY to do this.
  8. If there is some one you love then frequently tell them that you love them.....its not a sign of weakness to tell someone that they are important in your life.  Hug your wife and kids, call up an old friend,  take some time to play with a child.  Do it because it's important.
  9. Don't forget God.  He is your best friend.....He will never forsake or forget you and He will be your strength during the most difficult circumstances if you'll just talk to Him and lean on Him for support and strength.

I wish each of you the best of luck and hope to see you at the next reunion.