My 30 Year High School Class Reunion?...Not Possible!

This past weekend was my 30 year high school class reunion. It was difficult to believe that 30 years had passed since my graduation. I had already reconnected with many of my former classmates through facebook. There seemed to be quite a few people coming back home for this particular reunion and...OH MY GOSH! I needed to get into high roots were showing!

I had actually helped to plan our 20 year reunion and was planning on helping to plan this one. However, as things turned out, my mother was in the hospital for a while and then came the onslaught of wedding plans. Even though I would not be involved in the planning phase, I was definitely going to attend. The high school I graduated from is also where my late father graduated and my two oldest children. It would be fun seeing and visiting with all of my former classmates. The plan was to meet at the school's football field Friday night and watch the game, followed by a get together at the old general store, across the railroad track, turned museum. My two oldest sons actually had played football here, with David being somewhat of a high school football star. Watching the Indians play again would be bitter sweet.

Upon arriving at the field (which is also beside the Jr. high school), there were signs indicating that we to speak, "follow the yellow brick road". OK, OK...follow the gravel road. Butterflies of excitement were fluttering around in my stomach in anticipation of seeing many of my friends that I hadn't seen in years. Oh...I had wrestled over what to wear this weekend and yes...I had definitely had those roots done. I was just hoping that, like in years past, we did NOT have to wear a name badge that sported our senior picture (ugh!) However, if that was the case...I had a PLAN! I had cut out a picture of Jennifer Anniston out of a magazine and would merely slip that picture over my own. Go ahead, admit it...GENIUS, huh?

We followed the signs up to the Jr. high school gymnasium, where there was a sort of meet and greet session with hamburgers provided. I had sent a message to a friend of mine who was on the reunion committee the night before and knew that a couple of my friends who live here, would not be able to attend; this disappointed me. I had hoped for ALL of our old gang to get together again. However, I found out that one of my other best friends from 6th grade through graduation, who now lived in Florida, WOULD be there. So, upon arriving at the gym and signing in, I began to see faces that I somewhat recognized. Facebook had definitely helped with that! The most difficult faces to recognize, though, were the guys. Sorry, guys! They all looked so different...there is so much a guy can do to change his appearance, I suppose. For instance his hair...does he have any? Is is gray, short, long? And facial hair...slick face, beard, mustache. I must admit, at this point I was glad to have those name tags to look at. From the gym, we headed on over to watch the game.

The game did not was SO FREAKING HOT! The humidity was killing us. Looking around, people had sweat pouring and they were wiping their faces with tissues. Where had that lovely "cool snap" from the past weekend gone? We sure could use it now. Because of the unbearable heat, most of us headed on over to the museum right after the halftime show. The museum was a project that some kind soul had overtaken in years past, but I admit that I had never stopped to enter. Upon climbing the steps, I immediately recalled the old general store that it had once been. My grandmother had taken me here with her as a child; the old wooden slat floor looked the same. I reminisced with a friend how when stopping in as a child, I would always purchase the same treats...candy cigarettes and little wax filled cola bottles. The old copper post office boxes were still in place, with a life like replica of the post master standing behind a desk. Someone had put a lot of work into this place and it looked great. As I made my way through the museum, I could hear sound of 70's music playing...ahhh, some of the greatest music ever created. We continued to visit and take pictures for quite some time. I had determined earlier that I would attempt to speak to everyone I could, so pushing my way through people, I did just that. It was nice seeing that so many people had made an effort to return to their Alma mater for this event. We left for home, anxious to see even more familiar faces the next evening at the formal event.

Saturday, Robby and I decided to make an entire night of it. We got dressed and first headed to a locally owned restaurant near our reunion site. This was a perfect way to start the evening. The Diamond Grill was once a family owned jewelry store. It sits in the middle of old downtown Alexandria and is a beautifully restored, historic building. After dining, we headed about one block up the street to where my formal reunion event was to be held. It wasn't difficult to find the class of 1980 could hear the strains of "Cherokee Nation" and other familiar high school tunes being played upon entering the building. After signing in (and donning that badge with the horrible picture again...yes, I wore it!), I became whisked up in a frenzy of hugging, catching up and picture taking. More people were there that evening than had been there the previous night. As the event progressed, I was determined to continue on my quest to talk to as many people as possible...I know that there were still some that I didn't get around to (and I do apologize for that)...BUT, that 70's music began to play...and my feet just couldn't be still! My friends and I ended up dancing and laughing and singing all night was simply FANTABULOUS!

I would have to say that by far, the 30 year high school class reunion was the BEST reunion yet. Why? Well, I believe that there are several reasons for that. Face it...we are all nearing 50 and the simple things in life are more important to us now; our health, peace of mind, happiness, being content. There was a board set up in one corner of the room that displayed some of our class photographs and memorabilia. One of those boards was a memorial to those former classmates who were no longer with us in this life. In adolescence, we believed that we were invincible and would live forever. In this phase of our lives, we realize that is not true. Pretenses have fallen and we are now able to see life more clearly. If you are a classmate of mine who missed this reunion, please don't miss the next one. If you are someone who has an upcoming reunion and are contemplating whether to go or not...go! This isn't high school any might be surprised; while renewing old friendships, you may form a few new ones as well.

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