Have you been to a high school class reunion? I have now been several times and, in fact, just a few days ago I attended my most recent one.
I graduated from high school in a Columbus suburb in 1963. This class reunion was what you might call an off year one. It had been only five years since our last one and attendance was down a bit. There were originally 350 people in my high school class and nearly 70 are deceased. You can tell we are aging and sadly, a few of my favorite people from high school are not with us anymore.
Now about appearances – some of the attendees were a bit strange. There’s one couple, both of who were in my class and always come back from Denver, Colorado for each reunion. Clearly, Colorado has had an effect on them. I would say you could call them “earth children.” Often they arrive in what we would consider bohemian attire. At this reunion, they came in patriotic flag-covered shirts. That was cool. I also noticed she was not wearing one bit of make up and now he, with seriously white wavy hair, had a ponytail. Oh my gosh, it’s so hard to imagine them so different from high school.
As you may have seen at your high school reunions, some people haven’t changed a bit and you would recognize them anywhere on the street. Others, you can hardly see the person they used to be, the one you knew so long ago in school. Some of the other girls and I decided that there’s more of this problem on the men’s side. Some of them have lost their hair and really, really look different. If women lose hair, they can just augment it. But that’s not so easy for a man.
Then there’s the person you hope will be there and maybe even one you hope will not. In my case neither one arrived.
In the suburb where I grew up, the Fourth of July was a huge event. It still is. It’s not just a parade. It is the happening of the day. Everyone comes to or is in the parade. All the neighborhoods make elaborate floats and when I lived there we were always in the parade. It’s fun to see your friends and neighbors – recognizing nearly everyone in the two-hour event.
Then there are baseball games, cookouts in the largest park and of course fireworks, where you return to the same park with a blanket or chair. So all the reunions from my high school are planned around the Fourth of July holiday when people will definitely come back.
Of course, I’m always looking for some wacky event to report to you, but I would say this reunion was pretty calm. It was part of a three-day event, which included decorating golf carts to be in the parade, the reunion dinner, and then participating in the parade in the golf carts. There was also a tour of our old high school, which will be torn down this year and a new one built nearby on the far side of the property.
Then there’s the issue of whether or not to take your spouse with you to your reunion. Do you or don’t you? They might know only a few people. I would say about half my classmates who had spouses (some are on their third) brought them along. I will also say that mine has cheerfully, well maybe not really cheerfully, gone with me to each reunion. But of course, he owes me big time since I’ve been to all of his high school reunions and several college reunions (we went to different colleges).
I hate to leave him alone too long while I catch up on events with my friends, but he has met several over the years. This was crazy … the guy he knows best from my class and we see regularly was leaving as we arrived. He said he’d been there an hour or so and that was enough for him. He was going home. I pleaded with him to stay, but no luck, he left.
So, all in all, it was an interesting evening. The food was great and the dessert was cake pops. They looked like Tootsie pops on a stick, but when you took the gold or the black rapper off (which are our school colors) it exposed a ball of chocolate covered cake.
Yes, my school colors are gold and black and I will say, when football season comes and the Golden Bears of Upper Arlington play the Monarchs, even though I’ve lived in Marysville now most of my life, I still do have mixed feelings about the outcome.
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
...For the full story, select an option below.