Out of My Mind 40

Never know how thingswill turn out

Those that graduatedwith me from Oroville High School are gradually having their 50th birthdays.It’s hard to believe that the OHS Class of 1979 is half of a hundred — ofcourse the 30th Reunion two years back should have been a clue.
It wasgood to see the people I attended school with and although every ten years wesay we’ll stay in touch it doesn’t always happen, even with our friends wholive right here in town. Those that live elsewhere are even harder to keep intouch with. Of course now there’s Facebook and that has re-linked many of us,but even that can’t tell us what’s really going on with our friends — whattheir troubles might be.
I say all this because last week on the Spokane11 o’clock news I got quite  a shockwhen I heard the name and  saw the photoof one of my classmates. He had been shot five times and killed by the IssaquahPolice after shooting several rounds from a rifle in a school park lot.According to reports in the Seattle Times and elsewhere he had beendemonstrating strange behavior prior to that day, even going to the Issaquahpolice station carrying a gun in his belt, which when asked he handed rightover.
Was it “suicide by cop?” It certainly seems like it was. Idon’t want to sound like a cliche but the kid I remember was always a nice guy– ready with a smile and to lend a hand in woodshop. When we saw each other atthe reunions I didn’t get the impression anything had changed — maybe justhint of melancholy, but I admit, at the last gathering I didn’t get much  of chance  to talk with him.Speaking with others that knew him — at least back in the day, they all agreehe was a nice guy.
I’m happy that no one else was hurt in the incident,especially school children and most of us can understand why the cops felt theyhad to do what they  did. It justsaddens me that he couldn’t get the help he so obviously needed.