Chris Schnepf was a classmate from my school days, elementary through high school. We were both involved in the same classes, band, class plays, swing choir, and ran with the same crowd. School activities keep you close to your high school friends, as your life follows the same path. Favorite memories with him include and revolve around; jazz band practices, band trips, chorus, bus trips, speech club, a trip to Des Moines for BB tournaments, campouts, drive-in movies, taco bell trips late at night, rides home, parties,... It seemed we were always on the go back then. Laughter was a key to our friendship, whether it was going somewhere, getting into or staying out of trouble, I still smile when I think of him.
Sitting in Kerkvliet’s Corner in Larchwood with Chris and Ann talking about our future, we exchanged autographs with each other, for that day when we’d become famous and could cash in on selling each other’s autograph. I’m sure I have their autographs in a scrapbook around here somewhere. (I keep lots of those kind of mementos.)
That day was not to come for Chris, he collided with a train near his family home, derailing five engines and seven cars, the fall of 1977, before starting his Sophomore year of college. I remember the last time I saw him as he honked from his truck, driving by the park in Larchwood where I was playing tennis. Friends gathered to attend his visitation as a group, his family reserved a place in the church behind them for his classmates and friends at his funeral. I still think of him from time to time, imagining him watching down on all his friends and family from heaven.
I was going to write about others who’ve “crossed my path” but I think one is enough for this post. Make sure your friends and family know what you mean to them. Hold onto your memories.