Welcome to the home of the 1965 Collinsville Kahoks! We're glad you're here to share a few moments with us. The picture at the right, obviously, is of our old High School. The picture was taken on September 22nd 2007 during our "Birthday Bash" celebration. It no longer serves as the Township High School, as the lettering over the main entrance proclaims, but it remains one of our memory's favorite places. (To see a larger image, just click on the picture.)
Those halls saw each of us struggle to reach adulthood, watched us laugh, cry, and bond with each other. The football stadium is long gone, and the old gym no longer stands to the right of the main building. The third floor classrooms are probably still just as shaky as they were back then though - wouldn't it be fun to find out? We had the chance to walk through the old halls a couple of reunions ago, and it seemed so quiet and peaceful - so different from what I remembered.
We were, and are, the 1965 Collinsville Kahoks. Our basketball team became the 1965 Illinois State Champions under the guidance of Coach Fletcher. All of our sports teams battled hard for us and helped us to learn dedication, effort, and the joy of difficult jobs done well. Our scholastic teams and clubs helped us to learn some of the same lessons, and encouraged our desire to do our part to make our world a better one. We watched as John Kennedy was taken from us, and mourned with the rest of the nation. We learned to contribute, in large ways and small, what we could to our country and our community. We grew, not only in age but in education, and as citizens of the greatest nation on earth.
Collinsville High School. We have come a long way since our days in class and Friday nights at the Tepee. We've travelled many miles, and have experienced so much. As I look back on our years there, I am reminded of so many friends. Some no longer with us. Others that we have lost contact with over the years. And still others who I hardly knew back then, but who have become much closer with the passing of years. As I age, I am reminded that old age is like a bank account, where we withdraw what we have deposited along the way. Every day is a gift, and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the happy memories that I have built up over the course of my life.
We have another reunion coming not so far in the future. I hope that all of you will start making plans and arrangements now, so that we can gather together one more time and celebrate not only our often-forgotten youth, but celebrate who we are as a class. We may or may not have accomplished all that we once thought that we would, but we have weathered the journey. In many ways we are closer together today than we have ever been. I hope to see you all again.
By the way, have you ever wondered how we originally became the "Kahok" tribe? I was able to locate the story on the webpage of the CHS Soccer team at http://www.kahoksoccer.com/ under the "History" menu of the Boys Site. Not having any further information, I will accept their account at face value. Click here to get their story.
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