Monday, November 27, 2017

Gold Reunion

A classmate from my old high school alma mater sent me a note this past week. She said it was time to start planning our 50th high school class reunion. Staring at the message for a few minutes, I wiped
the screen with my thumb, to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I wasn’t. Math was never a strong point in my education, but after counting a few times on my fingers, I saw she was right. I’m officially older than dirt.
The thing is, I rarely think about age. I still do most everything I want to do. I don’t sprint like I once did, and my knees are wonky – but still. I haven’t started comparing scars yet. And I haven’t competed in the, “I take more medications than you,” game when I get around other folks my age.
But there are signs. For example, my hearing is spotty. Jilda describes it as selective hearing. When she asks me to do some chore, and it doesn’t get done, I can say without lying that I didn’t hear her. It still doesn’t get me off the hook, but my conscience is clear – so there’s that. I also seem to spend a lot of time looking for things that I had in my hand only moments before.
Benchmark reunions are sometimes hard. I wasn’t a class officer, but in the past, my work with computers and networking made me a natural to help planners with reunions. I’m glad to help, but one thing I heard time and again was – “I’m not going to the reunion because I’ve gotten fat. Or, I’ve lost my hair.” It’s been my experience that time messes with everyone’s waistline and hairline.
Some of the people in every graduating class aim high. It’s easy to dream when you’re young, and your first light bill and car notes haven’t arrived. But life gets messy. Couples get married, have kids, and plans change.
I remember comparing myself against the lofty prospects of some of my classmates. I wasn’t sure I’d ever leave my mark. In the Song for Adam by Jackson Browne, there’s a line that summed up this phase of my life.
Though Adam was a friend of mine,
I did not know him long
And when I stood myself beside him,
I never thought I was as strong
I don’t remember having many dreams when I graduated. When I enrolled in college, the Jeff State College guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. Shrugging, I told her that I had no idea. “We’ll worry about this later,” she said. And I was off and running. It’s been a life of going with the flow.
If the size of one’s house or the size of bank accounts are measures of success, I’m sure I’d fall somewhere toward the middle. But if the number of smiles you’ve had, the number of miles you’ve traveled, and the strength of relationships with spouses, family, and friends figure into the equation, my life has been a successful one. I’m making a life decision here when I choose to use the latter.
And there’s no way I would let the lack of hair, stop me from competing in the “pharmacy bingo” match at my 50th class reunion. Let the games begin.


  1. I have avoided my reunions. And will probably continue to do so. Not the happiest days of my life, and not a place I want to revisit.

  2. I'm not much into reunions, I avoid them.

    Love the term selective hearing :)

  3. My 50th reunion has gone by the wayside and I didn't attend. I would have if I'd had someone to go with. I don't keep in contact with any one from my school days, so stayed home instead. Those milestone moments really are something we should celebrate.

  4. I've gone to reunions off and on and Jack is usually one of the planners of his. I wasn't anything special in high school but I enjoyed my friends and classes. Some of the "most likely to succeed" didn't and I think you've done many wonderful things in your life and certainly would be considered successful!

  5. Fifty years? FIFTY YEARS? Boy, you're an old geezer. But you're a successful old geezer when it comes to being kind and making people happy.


  6. An interesting post. My fiftieth is coming up in 2020. I was our senior class president but I've yet to attend one of these reunions. You've got me thinking about going.

  7. Congratulations, some folk skip years to get to the 50th. I tell my Sherry, See, if you were a dropout like me, those things would not come up! Not bragging but I still have and wear the shoes I bought for her 30th reunion, over 30 years ago.
    But I do enjoy attending with her, you will have a ball, but then you know that!! ;-)

  8. Just this past week I received an invitation and save-the-date card for my 50th. Norma says she doesn't want to go. I don't want to go without her so I guess she made up our mind.

  9. Have fun. At least you have the loveliest wife. Who else can claim that?

  10. My high school years weren't so pleasant, so I never felt the tug to spend oodles of dollars to attend a reunion.
    While our coming (50th) sounds compelling, I think I'd rather plan/participate in a get-together somewhere with several classmates (67, 68, 69) I'm still close to.

  11. I've gone to many of my husband high school reunions and it was a blast from the past and so much fun. We renewed old friendships and reminisced and had a blast at every reunions we attended and at every one the numbers of survivors dropped.
    Yes, some were fat, some were bald and some has a new wife or maybe on their third wife, but all in all everyone who attended had a great time. Those who were too insecure to attend never knew what they missed and the rest were dead and gone to greener pasture.

    You are successful as you are living your dream so by all means, go for it and have a blast from the past. Maybe there's a new book for you in there. or at least, a Sunday column.

    Have fun, hugs, Julia

  12. Never been to a school reunion, not done much here in Aust

  13. I forgot to mention that you look kind of cute on that graduation photo.
    Maybe you and Jilda can be part of the entertainment in the program. Go for it.
    By the way, I only give good advise. lol.
    Hugs, Julia


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