Reunited (and it feels so good)

      A high school reunion is an event not to be missed. My 40th high school reunion on Saturday night at the Peabody Marriott was a twisted trip down memory lane – but a trip well worth taking. 

     I graduated from Everett High School, class of 1976 – the year of our country’s bicentennial anniversary. It doesn’t matter where you attended school geographically. A high school reunion is a universal phenomenon. And last week’s gala affair lived up to my expectations.

     Upon arrival I was given my name tag by the cheerful reunion committee who worked tirelessly to make this event a reality. Luckily, our name tags included our yearbook photos so classmates could recognize each other. After all, forty years is a long time, and time has a way of changing people (some more than others).

     After a much too long moment of silence for the staggering number of classmates who are no longer with us, the welcome speech kicked the night into high gear. Everyone at the function hall was in the mood to party, just like when we were in high school.

     I was impressed by the number of people who travelled a long distance to join the gathering. An entire Californian coalition was in attendance determined to make an appearance. (Don & Cheryl among others). And they were not disappointed.

     Forty years later, our class still has it all: smart girls who married jocks, wall flowers who became knockouts (and vice-versa), football players whose athletic careers peaked at age seventeen but have settled comfortably into middle age, and a class clown, to no one’s surprise, still dancing on tabletops.

     It’s always fascinating to meet childhood friends from grammar school, to talk about vivid memories from our early days like they happened yesterday. I’m also amazed at the number of classmates I’ve never seen before even after spending four years rubbing elbows with them in the school hallways.

     I had a great conversation with Lisa from the Drama Club. I asked about her untimely exit from the group back in 1975. After comparing notes, we both agreed there was more drama going on behind the curtain than on the stage.

     I was happy to be in the right place at the right time for a candid photo of me standing beside the most beautiful girl in our class (hi Linda!). We made a great looking couple in our color-coordinated gray attire. That photo has already made the rounds on Facebook where it earned quite a few “Likes”.

     You would think after 40 years, the signs of aging would be overwhelming, but in our class there were a lot of people at the reunion who defied aging, (myself included if you don’t count my red hair that’s now grayish-white, or as I like to say, blond-ish). Our generation refuses to be put out to pasture. That’s why the Gen-Xers and the Millenials have an attitude problem with us. We Baby Boomers refuse to leave the limelight. We’re not going to take a backseat to the new generation like our parents did when the youth-oriented “hippies” emerged to the forefront of society in the 1960’s. There’s a lot more life in us yet. We’re not going to walk off into the sunset of our golden years. We’re going to keep dancing to David Bowie’s “Golden Years”. We’re going to grab Facebook by the face and not let go. Youngsters who don’t like us infiltrating their apps are just going to have to invent new ones (which we may also hijack as well).

     Days of wandering the hallways looking for classrooms are behind us now. Some of us are still wandering, some of us found what we were looking for, but all of us found each other again after forty years at our reunion. And for one magic night, it was 1976 all over again. There was a measure of comfort reliving those simpler high school days when you just wanted to surround yourself with people who made you happy. Some things never change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s