That would be my 50th High School Class Reunion, held this weekend. A variety of activities were planned, including a golf outing on Friday, a tour of the school and drinks at a local watering hole Friday afternoon, and a big dinner Saturday night. I have to say that I was one of a class of 700 in a city high school, so there were hundreds of “classmates” who I never even met in all our three years. I was also pretty much of an outcast, with few friends and few activities. Most of the “cool kids” wouldn’t give me the time of day, way back then. I discovered to my delight that the years dim memories, and when I met people at reunions, starting with the tenth, they had mostly forgotten that I was unpopular then, and were nicer to me than I had expected.
At the fortieth reunion in 2007, I actually became re-acquainted with a friend from school who I knew as very conservative, and a fan of Richard Nixon. Well, it turned out that I had turned conservative over the years, and we now had lots in common. It was just wonderful to get back in touch with someone who I now could relate to much better. Over the last ten years, she and her husband have joined me and my husband in a variety of activities, including Hillsdale College functions.
Since the Friday golf outing was being held at a country club pretty close to where I live, I offered to tag along and be the “unofficial official photographer”. The event organizer said he’d be happy if I went, so I took Friday off work and met the group at the ungodly hour of 8:00AM at the golf course. Aside from myself, there were four women and six men in the group, which made three groups. I went with one of the male groups, and took a golf cart with a gentleman whom I had never met in high school at all! It was absolutely delightful talking with him, and I was sorry I didn’t know him in high school. The golf course is very pretty, and very hilly! I not only took pictures of the players, I trained my camera on the course itself.
See that sign to the left of the golf cart path? It says Caution 35 degree slope! And those speed bumps were actually welcome-that path is really steep!
The 18 holes took over four hours, and they just sped by. We all had a great time, and met back at the club for lunch in their beautiful dining room. It turned out that the host and his wife (who met in high school and have been married 47 years), live right by the golf course, which is only about 5 miles from where I live. No excuse for not getting together again soon. Here’s the golf group at lunch.
I went home after the golf outing feeling just wonderful. I’d gotten re-acquainted with people I hadn’t seen in ten years, and liked every one of them. I was pretty sure that everyone had appreciated my photography, and enjoyed my company as much as I’d enjoyed theirs. Everyone had done something different with their lives, and moved around the country, but now we were all back for a while, and the years just seemed to fall away into insignificance.
Saturday night was the big reunion dinner at another country club in town. There were over 200 people there, which is pretty remarkable after fifty years! If you just closed your eyes and listened, you could hear multiple “Nice to see you” and “Great to see you” from small groups and individuals all over the room. I must have re-met dozens of people I had known, and even some that I hadn’t! Some people never change-I recognized more of the women than the men (who had lost more hair!). Since I don’t, I did notice that the majority of the women color their hair, so there was less gray than there might have been if everyone had remained all-natural like me.
Fifty years is a very long time. Most of us are different people than we were in high school, but everyone mostly was successful in life. Classmates showed pictures of their kids and grandkids, and discussed careers and travels. From snatches of conversation I heard, many of us had traveled the world, both for work and leisure. Dozens of us had been or still are teachers, and many different professions were represented. I was pleased to see that I’m not the only one still employed and loving it.
As I look back over my life, I have been through some trying times, and always landed on my feet. Fifty years is a long time, but I can’t say I feel that old. And I think many of my classmates feel the same. A few people used canes, and there were a couple of walkers in evidence; but that didn’t keep them away. Everyone who came looked like they were having a pleasant evening, and I think everyone went away happy, with new memories to add to the old ones that are fading.
It was an excellent reunion weekend, and I’m so glad I went. And the Memory Book that we bought has addresses and pictures for most classmates, so we can stay in touch. As we get older, friends and family become more important, and classmates aren’t far behind. “What I am to Be, I am Now Becoming” was our class motto. Would I have laughed then, if I were told that what I would become was what I am today (planner/buyer, Business Survey Chairman)? Probably. In any case, I’m very proud of what I have become, and my high school education helped get me started.