This past weekend was my 40th High School Reunion. I did not attend even though it was held 5 minutes away from where I live. I did attend my 10th, 20th, 30th and 35th. Having reconnected with so many on Facebook it felt a bit redundant now; I know what everyone looks like, who their children are and how many they have, what they are doing for a living and for fun. There is no mystery anymore to come together and ooohhh and ahhh and exchange photos and catch up on the life we have all led for the past 40 years.
A Facebook group for the reunion was made, and the more I saw the comments that were popping up the more disillusioned I became, to the point where I left the group altogether. People hadn’t seemed to change, those who never had a nice thing to say or used sarcasm to get their point across were commenting on FB as they had 40 years ago in high school. Those who were bullies and pushy back in the day seemed so today too.
In high school I had two very close friends and then a group of friends I had classes with and occasionally got together with outside of school. My connections to most classmates in high school were superficial. We also had a graduating class of over 600, so it was hard to really know everybody. The people I had felt most connected to were those I had gone through elementary school with, kindergarten through 5th grade. They were the kids that lived in the neighborhood, that you had play dates with, that you knew each others houses like your own, their mothers were your mother too. Those bonds ran deeper than any from high school. At past reunions those were the people I sought out to chat with, to catch up with to reminisce and share a laugh with. Sadly many have died already, 40 from our high school class, 5 of whom were childhood friends. I logged onto Facebook on Sunday, the day after the reunion, and saw a post of one of those childhood friends I had gone through elementary school with. He was visiting the library in town and posted a photo of it. I quickly sent him a message asking if he was actually there now or just posting a photo from the day before, to which he replied he was there but about to leave. I told him I was coming right over to say hello. I got there and we laughed at the perfect timing. We chatted for just a few minutes before he headed back to Washington DC where he lives, glad to have connected, glad to have shared a few minutes to recapture a time gone by. That shared understanding of having come from the same starting point, that continues to bind us together no matter what. Some things are better left behind, while some of what was left behind can still be welcome in our present.
Class Photos 1967