Monday, May 20, 2013
Yes, Dear - The Reunion
Been 3-years since wife saved my life.
Some days she has regrets; others like last night, she prepares that wonderful “chicken thing.” It’s a superb casserole dish and a house specialty for at least 30-years.
"Why didn’t you go to your reunion,” she asks.
“We had that thing, you know,” I reply.
“Oh yes, that thing.”
“Besides, those folks never elected me to a blessed thing….not even a Red Cross rep. And then there was that girl, she was there….you remember...that one I told you about.”
“Who cares, that was a long time ago,” she replies.
“Exactly, and only a couple of those folks have contacted me since.”
“Oh, nothing… about what I expected.”
But I know all these folks, or rather I knew most of these folks just as all of us were approaching adulthood. Seems that we shot out of that school like bulbs supercharged on Miracle-Gro and took off for a lot of other places. We had another few years to mature after EH, and except for a few of these kids, I didn’t see any of them after 1963.
Looks like about 80 attended our 50th. That’s about 25% of our class of 315, or thereabouts. About 63% of the class were no shows, but about 12% of our 1963 CLAN could be excused on account of they’re….well, dead.
The photographer took a picture of our Meadowbrook and Handley attendees grouped separately. That’s an interesting study, since our years at EH were substantially influenced by our differing backgrounds as we combined with one another into an early CLAN. About 2/3 of the attendees were from Meadowbrook which was about the same percentage distribution when we attended EHHS.
I would estimate that all but perhaps 4 or 5 attendees lived in the DFW area or within a day’s drive from within Texas or nearby states. From all reports, this was a grand reunion enjoyed by all.
Elsewhere in the blog, I’ve mentioned that in going through my 1963 CLAN, I recognized about 100 of my 1963 classmates; recognized either the names or faces (but not both) of about 100 more; and of the remaining 115 or so, I have no recollection of them whatsoever. This 50th reunion group is mostly from that first 100 that I recognized.
So, who are these ~80 people? Well, I see about 20 of our 38 NHS members; 1 of our 4 Summas, in fact he was our top ranking EH scholar in 1963; 18 of our 40 Magnas are there; and 14 of our 36 Cum Laude grads…so, all things considered, this has been a smart group for a long time now. But, even if they weren’t all top scholars, everyone in the picture represents a success story…they’re 68 now and they look great.
Mr. and Miss EHHS are there; so are about 7 of our 12 favorites as well as 7 of 9 class officers over the years. Why on earth did we keep electing this repetitive dozen—were they really that good? Yes, I suppose they were…I don’t recall fleas on any of them.
Miss Big E is here, also 6 of our sports queens, and 3 of our 4 cheerleaders. Four of these folks had figured Gus out by the night of the party and one has figured it out since. Each of them pledged to keep the secret and each of them has.
Gus dated 3 of the ladies in the picture and clearly recalls each of them as being beautiful, intelligent, and fun—from the pictures, it looks like they still are...good eye, Gus...way to go, ladies! Should have married one of them but, had to buy a car first. And figure out how to support it and her, next. Aw hell, I had “Animal House” to do first !
There’s a Navy Captain in the picture and a couple of doctors. Uh, Joe, what happened to the crew cut? I see a couple of engineers, an author, an artist, 4 or 5 professors…it was a long war, wasn’t it? I see teachers, contractors, and real estate folks, too. I think we may thankfully have not contributed another lawyer to the world…except for Leo, of course and I've been told he was a kind one.
So, what did these folks do for Gus? Well, quite a bit, actually. In academics, they taught me that there are a lot of smart folks around and there were a ton more after this crew. In athletics, they taught me that if I let up just a half-step, there would be someone else standing by to take my spot. That was a good metaphor for the life that came later. I discovered that people from Texas tend to do well anywhere in the country. I think it's a competitive thing along with a can-do attitude that's absent in a lot of other places.
And in romance, they taught me the normal stuff but, in addition, that it would be a good idea to get to the point quickly, or move on. Something ol’ Gus took time enough to hone into a polished performance after he left these 3 perfect lady Highlanders behind and interacted with a bunch more. I’m thankful that I didn’t do damage to any of them and not until having my own daughter, did I fully appreciate just how vulnerable young girls are.
So just who are these 80 folks? They were my friends, whether close or nodding; my teammates, and my competitors. These are the people with whom I shared about half my childhood. They provided a foundation on which to build a life. And for that, I’m grateful. Thank you my friends...good to see you again !