The Harbinger Online

Senior Column: Michael Kraske

I could sit here and type out 350 words about how much I’m going to miss Shawnee Mission East and the Harbinger. I could delve into the fun, and even the not-so-fun, times that the world of high school has to offer. I could write about all the relationships I’ve made along the way, the skills I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had – I could go on and on.

But I’m not going to bore you.

Rather, I’d like to dedicate this, my final story for the Harbinger, to something much more important to me. Something that’s shaped my high school experience, something that’s turned me into the young man I am today.

Every year since I was in elementary school, I have attended the Nepstad annual “Oktoberfest” at my lifelong friend Ellis’s farm. This tradition has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.

It started as a few close elementary school friends, drinking too much soda and eating too many hot dogs, having airsoft wars and sleeping in tents. Those airsoft wars were taken more seriously than our grades were. We all stocked up, buying as many pellets as our allowances could purchase. Splitting up into two equal teams, we fought to the death. Then, we’d fall into a deep slumber, exhausted from an evening upon the battlefield.

But it’s become much more than that.

In high school, the fest became a band of brothers meeting annually to celebrate our brotherhood. Members were added, and each year we started staying up later and later, until high school, where we now pull all-nighters. The airsoft wars have passed, but the connection has grown immensely.

Next year, the fest will be even more fantastic, as all the boys will be coming back from our college towns for an epic night reunited.

The fest has epitomized my high school experience, and the brotherhood shared among me and my bros.

So until the next fest, I’d like to salute the rowdy gentlemen who have made these high school days so memorable. I’ll miss it.

Until the next fest.


If I die, by God, bury me on the Milburn Golf course.


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