I recently attended my 40th year high school reunion. Not a particularly remarkable time line, nothing so dramatic as a 75th or so, but still 40 years had somehow vanished in a flash.
I’ve remained friends, over those forty years, with several classmates, so they were all familiar to me. No introduction needed.
There were others, absent a name tag, I had no clue.
I was also at the distinct disadvantage of needing reading glasses to even see the tags.
It’s not very polite to lean in, squint, and stare at a woman’s chest you haven’t seen in 40 years, no matter how much you may have done so, secretly, in the past. (Hey, this is high school I am recalling!)
There was an instant comfort level with some. The 40 intervening years not diminishing the mutual affection and shared experiences of growing up. And there was the polite acknowledgment, after an introduction, as you tried to recall the person from all those years ago and find something to talk about.
High school, for most of us, is as close to having the trappings of adulthood, without the responsibilities, as you can get. No matter that we didn’t realize it at the time.
There was the shock of learning of the death of some of our fellow classmates. The realization that, for many, it would be the last time we’d see each other.
As time takes its inevitable toll, the list names of those who’ve passed on will grow longer.
But for this night, it was a great pleasure to see those that shared our formative years. The stories were familiar and funny.
The fake ID’s
The good, and bad, teachers.
The experiences we shared in those years 1971-1974. The turbulence of that era serving as the platform of our gradual transformation into adults.
I know I would not want to go back to those times, nor change anything if I could. The cumulative effect of those times being critical to what we are today.
If I could do anything, it would be that we all remember the way we were, hold onto those memories, and live the remainder our lives well.