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The Reunion

July 22, 2022

I am often hopelessly nostalgic, so I have looked forward to my high school reunions with more zeal than most. However, I graduated high school in Southern California and now live in both Italy and North Carolina. Getting there is well more than half the effort.

Reunions were not really that important to me until my 30th in 1996. I was living in Oregon and chose not to attend. However, when I received the reunion booklet, I was struck by the memorial page that listed all of my classmates who had died. Yikes! I decided I had better make a point of attending the next one.

The 40th reunion rolled around in 2006. My wife and I made the long trip from our only home at the time in Italy to attend. The people who I had remembered were not in attendance. However I did meet a lot of my classmates that I had forgotten and we had a great time. They had a small prize for the person who had travelled the furthest to attend. A man jumped up and said, “Me, I’m from the East Coast!” I rather quietly corrected him by simply stating that we had him beat by some 6,000 miles.

In addition to the reunion itself, we spent a good amount of time visiting my old neighborhood, schools and the like. I was even able to find my old locker in high school. After the reunion, we traveled north to see some of our friends in Eugene, Oregon before heading back to Italy. The trip was heartwarming.

I promised myself that I would definitely attend my 50th reunion in 2016. Unfortunately fate stepped in immediately before that 50th reunion. I had to have an emergency endarterectomy that resulted in me having my right inner carotid artery replaced. I just didn’t have the spirit or the finances to attend. I sent off a bunch of souvenirs from Italy as door prizes along with a basket of apologies to my classmates. I just wasn’t up to traveling.

One thing that I had noticed in the intervening ten years was that the price tag for these reunions had really jumped up. An evening for $150 a head seemed excessive. And of course the event was held near the residences of the organizers which meant another transcontinental trip for me. The passing years normally don’t make us any richer and so the fare seemed a bit too steep.

Our class claimed they would have a 55 year reunion. That petered out because of Covid. There is now talk from a few of us survivors of a 60th reunion. If that comes to being, I will probably find a way to attend. After all, our numbers are definitely thinning out and it would be good to have one last hoorah (if I’m still here myself in 2026).

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8 Comments
  1. What about organizing your own? If you’re in town visiting family at some point, before you go contact the organizers – see who they still have on record. A dinner out with the group before 2 more years goes by (and for signifiantly less than 150 a head) seems like a win/win

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I missed my 50th also. We had too much going on to be able to make it. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. marv montgomery permalink

    I attended the 50th Reunion! My wife and I made a small vacation of that week. We started up North in San Jose and drove down the Coast of California to San Diego and visited all the tourist spots! I was amazed to see places I had only heard about growing up in California. I wasn’t impressed with the reunion, but had a great time driving down the coast. I would be up for an informal get together!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t know you lived in my stomping grounds my friend. I was never around for any of my reunions as they were bitter sweet memories for me. I am glad you have followed that urge and attended. Blessings to you and your family. 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna Martin Markley permalink

    What about lumping some of the other graduating classes into one reunion. I’m from the summer of ’68 Tae Jons.

    Liked by 1 person

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