Editors Note: Julia wrote this in 2005; however, it is as applicable today as then.
go to a reunion?
“Are you going to the reunion?”
“NO! I’ve gained too much weight. Don’t want anybody to see me until I shed it.”
you going to the reunion?”
“Nope! It’s not likely that anyone else from my class will be going, so why should I go?”
you going to the reunion?”
“Are you kidding me?! Travel over that road that’s crooked as a dog’s hind leg?!”
The summer of 2003 I went to the GHS reunion and decided to stay for more than just the banquet, decided to “hang out” with some of the gang and take more time to get reacquainted.
I graduated with the Class of ’67, but
several of my friends from the classes of ’65 and ’66 were there.
We met at the Conrad parking lot. (The Conrad parking lot where a wild John Currey danced the
twist on a warm night. The Conrad
parking lot where I remember watching groups of fiddle, banjo, and guitar
players gather to jam on a Folk Festival evening.)
We lounged, swapping tales from the past,
facing each other in a circle.
The images were strong of how I remembered us: the cheerleader, the soft-spoken scholar, the energetic tennis player and Beatles fan, the salutatorian, the comedic actress in her class play, the popular high school sweethearts.
We remembered with each other the images we
had of ourselves and of others – like old photos that you hold a magnifying glass
over and say out loud to yourself, “Oh, yes, that’s so-and-so!”
Old memory banks that you take out of storage and dust off – jogging a
part of you that has been sleeping. “Oh,
yes, that’s what it was like when we were younger.
How could I have forgotten that!”
It wasn’t that we were interested in how
slim our classmates look or what cars they drive.
People change and experience incredible stories to share regardless of
the sizes of their waistlines or their wallets.
It wasn’t that there had to be a specific reason we showed up this year. The classes of 1943 and 1953 and athletes were particularly
honored, but we still decided to come home to Glenville.
It’s that, sitting out there and reminiscing with old friends, we were just glad to be there with each other.
In that parking lot I saw some of the
same old social dynamics at work. I
saw how I fell into a kind of pattern that those dynamics had developed, saw why
I am the way I am in a group of people.
I loved going back and seeing that.
I loved realizing, all over again, how my experience of growing up in
Glenville directly and indirectly has helped me deal with the world.
I know why I go to reunions. It's to remind
myself exactly who I am, who my cronies were, where I came from, and how all of
that has shaped me and continues to shape me.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at this year’s GHS 2005 "Reunion in the Country!"