This past weekend I attended my 30th High School Reunion.
I was not physically at my high school for more than a few days during my senior year. I wanted to get a move on with life, thus, I went to the community college in the big nearby city. In those days the ‘option’ I took wasn’t called Running Start, it was simply a dual credit program with the high schools. I’d already completed all of my prerequisites to graduate so anything remaining was merely an elective class. A walk in the park!
It wasn’t until my 20th Reunion that I realized I’d missed out on possibly the best year of my scholastic life. At that reunion I saw friends with whom I’d shared experiences with since moving to the area before my 8th grade year. They all had wonderful senior year memories in common while I had the solitary recollections of a young man that thought the world would move on without him had he not acted quickly. I missed something that year I will never reclaim.
Reunions are for reuniting with a presumably happy past. As I entered the room one friend saw me and yelled “Tim!” She quickly closed the gap and offered a wonderful hug. In short order I was being hugged by more large breasted middle age females than I’d ever imagined possible. Fortunately for me, my friends still had fond memories of better times with me in school, even if not during the final high school year. They knew better than me how to walk down memory lane, I’m thankful for being led.
Going to this reunion was like finding a shiny penny on the ground. In the big picture it’s not the value of the penny that makes the find important, it’s that memory of a discovered treasure easily within reach that has escaped the eye of others. If you don’t go to yours you will miss the shiny penny!
I feel as though I reconnected with a bit of my past that was truly happy. In previous blogs I’ve acknowledged my religious fervor while in high school, wanting to see every one converted. What I saw now were people, like me, that navigated these past 30 years as best they could and arriving at this point largely happy people.
One friend reminded me of how I taught him to draw cartoons in 8th grade. He said he’d just recently been talking about that with his girlfriend who was also a classmate. They hooked up just six years ago and are very happy together, neither ever married, living their lives out solo until then. (Listen to this, I wrote it just after my 20th reunion: http://www.timhief.com) Another friend was the father of a daughter that was less than two years old. Another couple was sending their son off to West Pointe the next day. Still others had ended bad relationships and some even started new ones recently too. I reconnected with one such friend who I discovered was a tenured professor at the university just one mile from my home. He met his wife there just a few years prior, they were an unlikely pair but undeniably well suited. We were the only two men with long hair, we couldn’t resist the ‘Rock ON!’ photo opportunity. See the photo above.
My companion for the evening was a complete trooper, she took many pictures for me so my night was captured until the next reunion. It takes a special person to show up at another’s reunion and actually say they had a good time. How does a person follow another into the inner regions of such an event and survive? I now have an example.
As the evening drew to a close it was agreed by all to start five year picnics instead of waiting 10 years again. I’m already planning for it.
Thanks for reading this far.