Gee, It's Swell!!

I received an interesting box in the mail yesterday packed with my dad’s yearbooks from high school.  He was the Class of 1948 at Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona.  My dad, George Beall, passed away in January of 2012.  I remember him daily (my mom too) and it was so fun to glimpse into a part of his life before I was born.  

I had fun thumbing through the pages and reading notes from his classmates.  Everything back then was “swell” . . . “I think you are a swell guy.” “You really are swell.” “I’m wishing a swell fellow lots of luck and happiness in the future.”  “You are really a swell fella.” “It’s really been swell knowing you this year and last.” “Here’s wishing a swell guy all the luck in the world.”  Noted throughout were comments about typing class – I would love to know what really went on in there . . . It, too, was swell!

His football jersey number was 11.  He was the class president his junior year.  He belonged to the “M” Club and Gah Tso Club – social clubs that one year raised money for new seat covers in the bus.  There was also the National Honor Society, Boys League Council, Student Council, Varsity football and basketball and track manager. 

He was part of the JackRabbit Club – Dispatcher of News and Recorders of History.  A club to make sure everything would be remembered.  I wondered how good I am at remembering the events of my life and getting it recorded.  I want to leave my kids and grandkids a legacy, one where they feel connected to prior generations.  We too often forget the importance of remembering our history and sharing it with our families. Think of the stories in the Bible and how history was recorded over thousands of years and how we have it still today.  It’s our responsibility to carry forward the teachings and make God real every day. 

On page 38 of his senior yearbook I read something very interesting that I did not know: “The prom, one of the most original and outstanding ones ever to be given, was enthusiastically staged by the juniors of ’47, under the capable leadership of George Beall, Helen Harper and Frieda Nielson, officers.”    I found this fascinating as my son Karl did the exact same thing in high school – helped to lead one of their most successful proms.  I called him to tell him thinking that grandpa may have shared that with him but he said no and was just as surprised.  Karl and my dad were very close and I see that they share many things especially when it comes to leadership.  I am so thankful that he took time to invite our kids into his life and become their friend and teacher, a listener and cheerleader and all around great grandpa.

So I think it’s swell that even though my mom and dad have passed on that they really do still live on through me, our children and grandchildren.  And I thank God that he formed and shaped me as one of His own and that I am part of his blessed lineage.   

Remember who you are and whose you are.

Life is swell!

Nancy Nickoley


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