“Hope” is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops ... at all - Emily Dickenson

Sunday, October 13, 2013

50th H.S. Class Reunion

We went.

It started out wonderfully. Friday afternoon our guests started filtering in. Some of them would be staying with us for a couple of nights, others at motels. When our appetites reached a critical mass, nine of us headed to a restaurant for a nice meal, then back to 1410 for drinks and talk far into the night - some old tales, but more about how we were spending our free years, and how our children and grandchildren are coping with life. A couple of friends are lawyers and they continue to work, taking only cases that strike their fancy. Another is a college English professor. Fate has left him as the single parent of a 14 year old son, and he has to keep grinding away beneath the wheel, teaching Lit 101 to his grave, so his child can go to school too. The rest of us are just general layabouts, obsolete designers, teachers and computer nerds, reduced to living off the fat of the land. 

After breakfast on Saturday we split into smaller groups and continued drinking strong coffee, running a few errands, and simply talking to each other.

Saturday evening was the actual formal reunion. I found it agonizing. What did I learn? Most 68 year-old people are not old and wise, they are just old. Physically, health-wise, I have been very lucky and compared to most, my wife is damned hot. I realized that high school was not the high point of my life like it apparently was for some others. For me high school was unpleasant, something that had to be endured so I could move on with my life. I found I didn't care about stories of John Bailey's high school parties, Bill Emstad's Northside friends, clever tricks played on teachers, or climbing water towers in the middle of the night. I found that the cliques still existed and the young people who were asses in high school, still were. Only older. Shortly after the meal and program I went home and listened to music until our guests returned with my wife .........who is obviously far more sociable than I am. 

This morning, Sunday, one last breakfast together and our guests all hit the road for the four corners of the country. I love them all, but it is a relief to be alone again.

Reunions? I will welcome the pilgrims, I will open my home to the travelers, but I don't think I'm going to go to another reunion myself.


Anonymous said...

What if the next time the program is in different hands? The format is egregiously outdated. Many of the people who had the microphone thrust in their faces as butts of some lame joke did not appreciate being put on the spot. I thought most of them seized the moment and reiterated the point that we have come to appreciate each other in new ways.


George A said...

Your assessment that high school was not the seminal event of your life is the reason why I circled my name and wrote "deceased" by it when I saw that my school was looking for a group of peeps which included me. I've continued to evolve since graduating and hope to always do so.

Gunnar Berg said...

@Cheri, I will support you and "your people" in a coup d'etat.

Johann Rissik said...

"I realized that high school was not the high point of my life"
Well put.

reverend dick said...

Damn! I'm gonna start circling my name and writing deceased at every opportunity. That's funny.

As for high school- I have never wanted to see any of those fools again.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that High School was not the high point of my life either but I found spending the weekend dealing with my mother-in-laws passing was a better way to spend this weekend. I couldn't agree more with your comments about certain things never changing with people dealing with others.

Gunnar Berg said...

@ Bob, Missed you. Sorry to hear about Diane's mother. But at least she didn't get cheated for time.

Elaine Toft (BloggerToots) said...

I just attended a 55th and had to laugh that I'd worn a borrowed, Harley t-shirt for the 50th. I liked the comfort and its tasteful dose of bling against the black.Too bad I'd never ridden bikes. Yes, there were for sure, long liturgies by some regarding health. I wasn't out to kid the kids this time; emceeing was enough. Lucky for us all, going w/with whatever came out of my mouth was a holler-whistle hit.Yet it seemed so disingenuous to have gained a "popularity", if even for an hour, that had never seen the light of day in memories of school...