On Saturday, the Parkersburg South High School Class of 1972 -of which I was a member - conducted its 40th reunion.
I wish my fellow classmates could have been here last Monday night, when I covered the Wood County Board of Education meeting.
They would have seen the passion that supporters of the school still have for South in general and its phenomenally successful wrestling program in particular.
Approximately 100 persons packed the Wood County Schools office on 13th Street, all but a handful to voice their opinion or show their support for one of the two leading candidates to succeed Paul Jackson as the South wrestling coach.
The room was filled with supporters of Dan Clevenger and Donna Dixon, both of whom are faculty members at the school.
Not only did Clevenger speak, so did other members of his family as well as those who supported him.
A current South assistant coach and a member of the Patriot wrestling team voiced their support for Dixon.
What impressed me so much about the meeting was the respect the two groups showed for each other.
Other than a few rolling eyes, there were no outbursts.
While this clearly was a house divided, it was obvious every person in that room wants what is best for South wrestling, even though there are at least two schools of thought on the direction that should be taken.
Todd Lambiotte, who serves as the police officer at Parkersburg South, was present in uniform to provide security, which is understandable anytime that many members of the public assemble in one place.
But he wasn't needed.
Several of those who supported a particular candidate mentioned their respect for the other.
It was a healthy, passionate debate.
I couldn't help but think our politicians could have learned some lessons from the wrestling fans in attendance.
They could have learned you can state your case without being nasty to the other side. That while you would give anything for a positive outcome, you don't have to tear down the opposition to achieve that much-wanted victory.
In many ways, this situation is like an election.
There are two major candidates vying for one job.
Each candidate has a group of passionate supporters.
Yet, once our elections are over, we accept the results even if it didn't go our way.
That's what I hope and expect South wrestling fans will do.
Otherwise, the most successful program in the state over the past 30 years will become a mere shadow of its former self, and that should be an unacceptable result to anyone who really loves Parkersburg South wrestling.
Yes, this has been a long, drawn-out affair that has taken many twists and turns.
It likely will take many more.
This Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, where once again the wrestling job will take center stage, already has been moved to a larger venue to accommodate the anticipated crowd.
Board members saw the passion South fans have for wrestling. It takes courage to go to a board meeting and stand up and state your opinion. I admire all those who did.
I'm sure my classmates would feel the same way.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org