Monday, September 24, 2012

The reunion

I am back home after one of the best times I have had.  The HS reunion was a blast.  For some reason, I knew that it was the right time to go and am so glad that I did.

The venue was great.  The event was held on a large farm owned by classmates who married after HS.  They have a lot of huge farm equipment, a crop dusting plane and a helicopter. The latter was in operation for most of the time of the reunion because R. was giving rides to anyone who wanted to go.  He and his wife A. had set up many tables in their plane hanger and each was decorated with chrysanthemums.  The photos will speak to the event much better than my words.



I reconnected with so many people I hadn't seen since graduation.  And, yes, many of them still live in the county where they grew up.  But everyone was funny and engaging.  One fellow told me that he never had a shot at the good looking girls or the smart ones, so when he married one of the most popular girls he definitely "married up".  Another school friend said that he would do his best to cheat off my paper in the math classes where he sat behind me.

So many people would come over and shake my hand or give me a hug, recognizing me after all these years.  I have to say that more people recognized me than I them.  Loss of hair and weight gain made it hard for me to tell who most were.  I had to look at the name and the photo on the badges.  I still have hair and haven't changed much in weight.  I apparently got taller too! What mattered was that once we recognized each other, there was sheer joy.

I saw several of my old teachers.  Mrs. P. who taught me algebra, geometry and trig was there.  And I talked to my former political science and government teacher.  I am grateful for the good education I received from them and others.  Mrs. P. was tough and had old school gentility.  She wasn't a particularly likable person, but I found out later that she had a difficult husband and her only child who was a wild fellow, died in an accident.  Knowing the burdens that others have makes it easier to understand their behavior.    

I saw my old girlfriend from HS and some other ladies that I dated.  My former girlfriend came up behind me and put her arms around me.  It was nice to talk with her and find out about her life.  She has twin boys and lives in California.  I also talked to another lady who has known me since first grade!  We had a great time laughing about the adventures we had growing up. She remembered that I would keep trying to crawl out of the classroom in first grade and that I stood in the corner a lot!

Several of my classmates have died--some by suicide.  The girl that I took to the prom my senior year killed herself a few years ago.  A memorial table had been set up for those who died.  That was a nice touch and a reminder that I'm glad to still be here.

I went to this event with low expectations, and I came away with a wonderful feeling of friendship.  I made amends to those that I thought I had wronged. I don't care that most of these people have different political or religious views or that they didn't go to college. We didn't talk about any of that.  We just shared what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now--just telling our stories to each other and connecting in a good way.  I've already signed up to go to the next one!

And here are some photos from my home town. So glad to know that I can go home again.
near the Court House
Main Street 
Looking north on Main Street
The old Ordinary (or tavern) dating to the 1700's
The old library where I checked out so many books
The former drug store where I read comics
Family graveyard
One of the old places that I remember, badly in need of restoration now

22 comments:

  1. Syd- this makes me so happy. I am SO glad you went! And if my old town looked like yours, I'd probably go back to my reunion too.
    However. It does NOT. Okay, that's not a good excuse is it?

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    1. This was my first time. And it was really good. Every situation is different though.

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  2. Syd, that sounds so wonderful! I am so happy that you had such a great time. :o)

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  3. I once had a very difficult, mean boss. Years later, I learned she was in a violent, alcoholic marriage. That explained so much...

    Wow, talk about old town, USA! Still looks frozen in the 50's. Great pics.

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    1. Most of the town actually dates to the 1700's. A lot of new people have come in so times have changes. The outskirts of town are really developed with condos and Big Box stores. Wish it were still the sleepy little southern town where I grew up.

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  4. that is pretty cool....nice to visit....never been to one of my own, really not many there i wish to see but...

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  5. thanks for sharing the cool pictures of your trip.

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  6. Wow, your home town is so pretty. I'm glad you had a good time. It's amazing that even though hs was long ago (for me), I was basically the person I was going to be. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. That's great that you had a good and memorable time.

    I have a 40th reunion next month that I will not attend. I really don't care to mix with that crowd. LOL

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    1. I totally understand. I was amazed that everyone was so happy and sociable.

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  8. I love that place that needs restoring and the tavern, all of it.
    I'm pleased you went and enjoyed connecting with so many friends Syd. It must feel good to know that you were so easily recognisable after so many years.

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    1. Thanks, Bugs. It was a fun time. And good that I was recognizable.

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  9. I'm really happy you had a spectacular time. Love the pictures!

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    1. Thanks, Judith. It was really fun.

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  10. I'm glad to hear that you had a good time. It's really rewarding to make or renew connections that are honest and warm.

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  11. it sure is nice to be able to go back to one's home town and see all the old familiar places. sure looked jovial, and by your count, a worthwhile visit. i have not gone to a single re-union, and don't know if i will...

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  12. Oh Syd, I am so glad this was such a wonderful experience for you. The photos look very much like the little town in eastern Ohio where I grew up. Everything was hundreds of years old. So pretty!

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  13. Oh Syd. You reminded me how much light comes in to an experience, when we have few (or no) expectations...What a beautiful time. Too much hugging, though? Rest up now and stay well!

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