I’m getting ready to attend my 26th high school class reunion. Year 25 zipped right by without a party but I am not complaining. I do hereby decree that anyone that complains about this unconventional reunion year is automatically assigned to the 30th (or 31st) reunion committee. I’ve never done the planning for a high school reunion (only the grade school ones, but that is another story), and I can only guess it is a fair amount of work to track down all those former students.
Note to self: thank the committee this weekend.
A 26th reunion seems like a better idea anyway. The 25th anniversary of anything carries a silver plated set of expectations, like the memories from the event need to be nice and shiny after it is done. 26? It is a cottony kind of year, nothing fancy. And indeed, this one is a outdoor picnic kind of night, which sounds just right to me.
It was the location of the reunion that sealed the deal for me to make the trip back. That and some facebook friends. It will be held in the little unincorporated town where I grew up (estimated population 300), not the bigger town where the high school was located (pop. 2500), or the bigger town where some large events like weddings take place (pop. 50,000). We will be at the Marytown Athletic Field, a hub of social activity throughout my youth in the 70’s, the place where I played softball for several grade school years; the site of the annual 4th of July Picnic and the place where I spent many shy hours wanting to be outgoing and goof around more with the other kids but instead quietly sitting and watching and waiting. Not sure yet what I was waiting for…
I have been gone a long time. I left home for college right after my 18th birthday and never returned for a summer. My parents moved to a lake house a couple years later, so even the too-brief trips back to visit family did not take me back. I expect that the memories will be intense, when I drive back into town and set foot back on the dusty parking lot. It has been rebuilt into a very nice ballfield and park, which must mean it is still a hub of community fun and activity.
So, there I will be, with the scholar and the muse, the cowboy’s weekend whereabouts still unknown. There will surely be many other characters from my past. I meant to dig out the old yearbooks to refresh my memory on the names and faces. Then I reminded myself that there will not be a quiz so I don’t need to study. Nametags will suffice. Enough time has gone by to blur the faces from what they were, and soften any craggy memories of youthful high school angst.