Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A 50th High School Reunion

Writing about the reunion weekend is proving to be more difficult than I imagined. First there were my mixed emotions to deal with. On the one hand I was eagerly anticipating the gathering of old friends and classmates, and on the other, I was surprised by the anxiety I felt as the reunion drew near, would anyone remember me, would I have something to talk about, and if I did, who would I talk to? (I have always been uncomfortable mixing with others in “small talk” in large crowds.) Underlying all of my anxiety was the fact that I remember so little about my school years, and being from Landisville, I rode the bus home everyday after school and had little time to hang around with the other kids.

Needless to say, my anxieties were totally unfounded. I remembered, and I was remembered, I found things to say and classmates to say them to, and in the end, had a wonderful time.

Reunions are great events, especially 50th reunions. Last weekend I looked past the balding and/or bald heads, the faces lined with the years of living and all the joys and sorrows that brings, the expanding belt lines, and deformed joints. Instead I saw everyone as they were when I last saw them, young, beautiful, and full of promise. And that is the image that will remain with me, as long as I am alive.

I saw my friend Stanley. To say we were friends is a bit of a stretch, because I can't remember anything that we did together. But, I remember very clearly that whenever we were together, we laughed and had fun, and that I suppose is the essence of what our relationship was, we made each other feel good and it was no surprise that nothing had changed.

I talked with classmates from Landisville who shared all 12 years of school with me, including some that I had not seen for 50 years. I desperately wanted to see them at least once more in my lifetime, and I did!

I saw some folks that I always wished I knew better when we were in school, We talked, and I still wish I knew them better.

I heard and read abbreviated biographies and realized how much I underestimated some classmates with my adolescent standards in the late 50's. I was impressed with their many accomplishments.

And, I saw the “girl” on whom I had a crush since first seeing her in our 10th grade biology class. The truth is I have had this crush for 50 years! She was as beautiful as ever, no, even more so. We talked, and we shared a dance, and when I left the reunion I knew that my 50-year crush was justified.

For the privilege of this amazing weekend I am forever grateful to Addie and her committee who did such a great job making it happen.


V said...

Oh Bill, what a wonderful time you must of had...



Brenda said...

I'm glad you had such a good time! My 50th high school reunion is coming up next year, and I'm really looking forward to it...