Reunion 35 years in the making

It dawned on me the other day that it’s been 35 years since I graduated from high school. After the shock and awe wore off, I also realized that I hadn’t heard anything about a reunion this summer.

Apparently, neither had anyone else in my class. Those who are members of my hometown Facebook group seemed to remember at the last reunion that two dynamic classmates volunteered to head up this next gathering. Of course, that was five years ago and a lot can happen in five years, it would seem.

That last reunion was very well-planned. Most classes hold reunions during the big annual Madrid Labor Day Celebration. Our 30th gathering was a four-day extravaganza with gatherings at a classmate’s home on Friday, the official reunion on Saturday, the all-school alumni banquet on Sunday and then everyone hopped on a float to ride in Monday’s parade.

Some people did that. I couldn’t with a 7-year-old son at home. We actually attended the Saturday night event and the all-school banquet. My Dad loved that gathering – probably because he was the senior statesman of the event. He was one of the few remaining graduates of the class of 1935. It will be strange to attend this year without him.

In talking with some of my school chums, we decided to pare down the festivities and shoot for something a little more compact and convenient. The alumni banquet is on Saturday this year, so several of us thought it would fun to attend that, then move on to another venue for the class of 1978 event.

Of course, even this streamlined adventure will take some planning. And the planning meetings are part of the overall fun. I know there are a few of us who will gather a few times in the coming months to get things organized and make sure everyone knows about the reunion.

I went to my first class reunion five years after graduation. It was kind of fun then to see what everyone had decided to do with their lives. Some had chosen college, others had entered the military and went directly to work and started families. I lost touch with many through the years, but then Facebook came along and it brought all of us back together again.

As I get older, it seems more important to maintain those connections that were so dear to me through the years. Last weekend, when I was in Madrid, I had a chance to see some of those friends from high school. Some have changed quite a bit. Others, barely at all. But at heart, they’re all the same great people I knew way back when. People who helped shape who I am and what I believe in today.

So, if we can pull this off, it should be a fun, hassle-free gathering of old friends. Keep you fingers crossed for me.