Grim's Tales: Where did the time go?

A reflection on the Pine River-Backus class of 2004

Photo illustration /

Last week I woke up and turned on my computer only to be bombarded!

As newspaper reporters, we have long had professional Facebook pages to keep an eye on businesses and individuals in the community. Doing so has given us a heads-up to many interesting stories and a surprising number of people are nigh impossible to get in touch with by any other means.

Both of my stories on the Normans hinged on contacts made through Facebook. It was also the means by which I was informed of Miss Pine River's very cool dress. The platform has been surprisingly helpful in finding news tips.

Read more of 'Grim's Tales'

But this time it wasn't news!

Some folks from the Pine River-Backus class of 2004 had been talking in the early evening and what seemed like through the entire night into the morning about planning a reunion. Now, why would the older folks in the class of 2004 be reaching out to me, a young'un, you might ask (har, har).


Prepare yourself because, yes, that is my graduating class, and we are approaching our 20th year reunion of graduating. Where did the time go?

I remember my school years fairly fondly. I was fortunate that I've almost always been a bit of a social chameleon, able to at least fit into the periphery of almost any group.

Of course, I had specific people whom I would call friends, that I preferred over just anyone else. But we didn't always have the same classes, and when that was the case I still had no problem finding people I got along with.

That's probably why I look more fondly on those years than a lot of people may have. My best friend since elementary school is still in Backus, so I'm lucky that way. The other people I hung out with are all over the place: Seattle, Michigan and even Hawaii. They all spread with the wind and some of them I haven't seen in almost 20 years.

I was certainly more carefree back then and less risk averse to the point of stupidity. We didn't do anything too illegal, but I'd be lying if I said we were never really at risk of some sort of ticket or fine.

Even more so, we were quite often at extreme risk of injury. But we usually survived our dumb behaviors with little or no pain.

I do have a lot more sense since then. I was empathetic toward certain people in my life, but outside of those people I was surprisingly unaware. I have a lifetime supply of memories to make me cringe at my inconsiderate behavior and sometimes semi-twisted understanding of the world.

I know a person shouldn't live in the past, but at least my embarrassment and maybe shame in some cases is an unrivaled learning opportunity.


I've been in a position to interact with my classmates, at least the ones who didn't move away, thanks to my job. One works in a city hall that I frequent. I did a story on another opening a tattoo parlor not so long ago, and I run into others in various other places.

That being said, I'm curious about those I haven't seen much over the years.

We had a lot of shared trauma, losing one classmate to cancer while still in school and another to suicide years after graduation.

As far as classes go, I think our grade did surprisingly well. Many of my classmates are, or have been, business owners. Some serve in government positions, one is in Australia and I think the vast majority of us are at least making it.

In a way, that's the most important standard for measurement.

That being said, if you were part of the Pine River-Backus class of 2004, here's your heads-up, There's a committee looking for you. The plan seems to be a big celebration with fundraising and more than a year of planning.

So if you haven't heard about this yet, let me know and I'll pass along your info so you can stay in the loop.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Opinion by Travis G. Grimler
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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