MASON CITY, Iowa - This weekend is Mason City High School's Class of 1953 reunion. And organizers say that the turnout is quite good, considering their class has lost over half of their members.
"A lot of changes have happened."
Brian Birch grew up in Mason City, but now lives in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota, just south of St. Paul. He helped organize the reunion, which nearly didn't happen after the last one.
"It was disbanded entirely. They disbanded all the funds and the bank accounts."
After getting ahold of classmates, it all came together.
"We're 83 years old on the average of the class, and we're in the final stage of our life, and with this many people that wanted to come together and enjoy one another's company, possibly the last time, who knows?"
Maureen 'Reenie' McCourt-Hague helped Birch with planning.
"Everybody kinda decided 'oh, maybe not,' but then we started checking and here we are, another one gone."
She recalls a recent encounter at the nursing home with former classmate, wrestler and Mason City icon Eddie Kline, who passed away on Wednesday.
"He'd talk about all the things, 'oh, do you think people will remember me?' Oh yes, everyone remembers eddie. And then we'd talk a little more and he said, 'but you just can't get a kiss out of anybody.'"
She and her friend planned to give Eddie a kiss on each cheek, but it turned out a little different for Reenie.
"That boy gave me a wrestling hold, and I didn't hit his cheek at all. I got his lips. Eddie got everything he needed and wanted."
Kline wanted to make it to the reunion, and classmates say he still will.
"Eddie's here in spirit with us, that is for sure."
The festivities continue on Saturday, with a picnic at City Park in Clear Lake from 1-5 p.m.
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