Last weekend, I attended my 40th high school reunion. We have been holding them religiously every five years, with a 55th birthday celebration thrown in. I have attended five of the reunions over the years. Let me give credit to Karen and Tanya as our stellar reunion coordinators, who have made it all happen.
At the Saturday dinner and dance, the alumni wore tags with our senior picture and names. The married females who changed their names had maiden names highlighted for our memory banks. The guy in my picture had far more and darker hair and a thinner face. The unseen torso was thinner as well.
Frank and Glenn, two of my three best friends, were there and made it more special. John is not a reunion afficionado. Yet, seeing other good friends, acquaintances and classmates was fun. We learned of children, grandchildren, illnesses and recoveries, and some who are struggling. There are several of us who can trace our histories back to the same elementary school, which adds more seasoning to our collective stew.
The music was vintage 1970s with a little 1980s thrown in. We graduated in the disco age, which may not be the greatest lyrical music, but does lend itself to dancing. Even us oldies can move if the inspiration is supplied. That inspiration would include The Commodores, The Spinners, KC and the Sunshine Band, Earth Wind and Fire, Donna Summer and The Bee Gees to name a few.
The stories were plentiful. Here are a few remembrances from years past:
- Cheryl could never keep a rear view mirror on her car, as it kept breaking off as she and her friend kept shifting it to put on lipstick and make-up.
- Jimmy could shoot a basketball from such long-range, he once made one from downtown, but the referee waived it off because he stepped out of bounds.
- Randy would be seen running when we went to the beach and we would see him still running when we came back.
- Our biology teacher called everyone Professor, so we would refer to each other in the halls and in class in that manner.
- Returning from a baseball games still in uniform, we came up to a toll bridge. We realized our money was in the trunk, so a quick run was needed to get the quarter (yes, a quarter).
- We used to wear these ugly leisure suits with wide collared floral patterns. The first time I wore mine, my girlfriend burned a hole in it with her cigarette while dancing.
- Our German teacher looked like Mr. Clean. When we perplexed him, he would pull at his bushy eyebrows. Alternatively, he would rub his eyes with the palms of his hands.
- My best basketball game was when I had to borrow Frank’s shoes. Frank, of course, attributes my new scoring touch with his shoes.
- The older bully who tormented our class is now a high school principal. Our class life of the party is now a minister. You just never know where your journey will take you.
- Becky, one of our talented gymnastics and dancers, just retired from teaching arts and dance.
- Frank became the sports reporter he planned to be and now has a sports talk show. Sherri, Glenn’s wife, laughs and teases Frank about being paid to talk the way he always talks.
- Speaking of Glenn and Sherri, they met at our high school and remain married to this day. Jimmy and Rhonda are as well. That is unusual in this day and age.
I could go on, but suffice it to say, it is nice to have this foundation of people and memories. I hope we will continue.