Monday, September 17, 2007

Round-Up brings people home again

The school I attended in northeast Oregon was small. Really small. So small that individual classes don't even attempt to have class reunions because if they did, the number of attendees would probably all be able to fit in the cab of a four-door pickup.

Every so often Echo High School will have an all-years or multi-year reunion and try to get pretty much any graduates to come back. But from many of us from that part of the country, there is sort of an unofficial reunion held each year during the Pendleton Round-Up. That is the time of year when many of us who no longer live in the community try to return home to visit family and see old friends.

I was fortunate last week to attend the 97th Pendleton Round-Up and see friends and family that I don't get to see nearly often enough. But unlike many Round-Up reunion celebrants, my primary reason for being in Pendleton was work. I was invited to help out the East Oregonian for the week. The EO is one of the Capital Press' sister newspapers and it's always nice to be able to help out family.

I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to the EO family for their hospitality during the week. My family also helped me out by providing accommodations and a few meals, which I'm sure my employers will appreciate, as that will be a few less costs to have to pay.

In bigger communities, it seems like there are activities and events going on pretty much every weekend. Some large, some small. But there is something electric and magical about smaller communities that put their heart and soul into one big event each year.

I was just one of thousands of former residents, and thousands more regular visitors, to make the trek to northeast Oregon last week. Whether for work, or for pleasure, it's good to visit the place and the people you come from now and again. Thanks for the great homecoming gathering.

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