Do you remember the dinner bucket you carried to school when you were a kid? Mine was a flat, square metal box sporting worn green paint. It had a leather handle. My mother had probably carried her sandwiches to the same one-room school in the same box 20 years before.

I destroyed it a few years later in a fit of ignorance by shooting at it with a .22. It was not my intent to ruin the dinner bucket. The bullet was coming in at an angle and I thought it would ricochet off and whine away into the woods. It didn’t. I can’t tell you what I did this morning, but I remember the day 70 years ago that I destroyed my mother’s old dinner box.

By 1953 the one-room schools were gone, but we still had our high school. Eighteen of us finished, making it the second largest class to graduate in St. George. Many boys had been lobstering part time since they were 12 and had dropped out because school got in the way of making money. Their wives were often married in their junior year, so graduating classes were small. My sister Sonja, unmarried at 18, was a spinster.

Around 1963, when St. George was suckered into joining a school administrative district with Thomaston, our high school was closed and the building torn down quicker than the Maine State Prison was, lest a use be found for it later.

If your town’s high school was closed during the construction company-generated consolidation madness of the ’60s, you know what happened to your alumni association. Ours is no different. With no new graduates, attendance dropped every year.

To preserve and ensure the growth of the association, this year it has been suggested that we invite our eighth-graders to be our guests at the annual meeting of the new St. George School Association. We hope that, being young and not knowing any better, they will quickly seize the reins of leadership.

At our last Alumni Banquet, there was no election of officers. Every time the officers held an election in previous years, they were nominated over their protests and pressed back into office. So no election was held and, because officers are only elected for one year, their term of office expired, and they were free.

We are talking about some very clever guys. It took me almost a year to figure out how they did it.

At the time of their un-coup, a few of us expressed an interest in continuing the yearly meetings with or without officers and, to preserve the association, including anyone who had ever attended a school in St. George. I quickly collected the names and addresses of people who wanted to be reminded this spring that the annual meeting would be held at the same time and place.

The friends who gave me their names will be contacted by email or telephone soon. Notices will run in local newspapers two weeks or so before the meeting and posters will be put up around town.

The Tenants Harbor Oddfellows Hall has already been rented for May 26, and an effort is being made to locate the catering woman from Waldoboro who did such a wonderful job feeding us in past years. She should be easy to find.

If you went to school in St. George, please come to the banquet. Anything you could do to help, like spreading the word and encouraging your friends to attend, would be appreciated.

At one of our memorable meetings, WMTW’s Marty Engstrom showed slides and told us about winters on Mount Washington, and how can you beat that?

This year we are breaking new ground because it will probably be the first time since Alfred Hocking and others started the association back around 1939 that we have held this banquet without any officers or anyone in charge of putting it on. Somewhat like Botticelli’s “Venus on the Half-Shell,” it is going to rise up between two lobster boats in Tenants Harbor all by itself.

We will call it “The Inaugural Unorganized Banquet of St. George Schools.” Because no one wants to be in charge, it will be one of the very few organizations in Maine in which there is no infighting, quibbling or backbiting among the membership.

Any complaints about the food, decor or people present will be seen as a move to seize and consolidate power, and the guilty party will have automatically elected himself/herself president of the association for the upcoming year.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at his website:

www.thehumblefarmer.com/ MainePrivateRadio.html