This, That and Other Stuff – January 2015

Hail, hail, the gang is almost here

Bob Neuman

The subsequent paragraphs may not apply to those blessed with firm bodies, narrow waists, 20/20 vision, your own teeth and hair, unfogged minds and a functioning memory.

You either love them or hate them. High school reunions held only a few years after graduation may not be well attended; too soon probably. Every five years seems to be the average. In later years with offspring grown and on their own, we may roll back the years and head to see the old gang again. Have you noticed more attend from out of state than do from the reunion town?

Those who were obscure in school but since have achieved success may attend to show it. Those with worse luck may not want to be among those who fared better.

We tell lies to each other with, “You haven’t changed a bit,” and in some rare instances, that is pretty much true. Most, however, have lost hair and teeth. Others have added considerable bulk. Is there a correlation between looks or success and attendance?

With each reunion, our eyesight and hearing diminish. To pin a name tag on a person accomplishes nothing unless it is a large 12” by 12” with six inch black letters.

To add a graduation picture to the tag helps a senior citizen not at all. We can only stare at it. We are too embarrassed to confess we cannot read the writing, determine the picture or shout “Who the devil are you anyway?” I once chatted with a lady hoping for a clue and went home with no idea who she was. Have you ever played that game?

It seems that even though many years have passed, in a short time the celebrants tend to revert to the persona they had in high school. The class joker plays his part. The athletic hero may subconsciously flex his missing muscles. A cheerleader becomes her animated self of old. The school flirt springs into action, but the timid people seem to remain timid. We somehow retreat to our comfort zones of simpler days.

In the proverbial meeting, the departed ones are remembered. They are frozen in our memories as being 18 and vibrant. To assume we’ll be here for the next reunion may be a bit optimistic.

Nevertheless, bring on the tough steak, the “Do you remember whens,” and the good old times when we were fit and carefree.

Show me that cute, young miss who stole my heart over 60 years ago.

Let me hear tales of how the football game was won on the last play. Let’s talk about how we ditched school and swam in Blue River.

We’ll speak of Doc Barnett, Louie Kuhn, Mud Clay, J.O. Tribble and the rest of the great faculty we harassed without mercy. Let’s croak out the school fight song one more time, wipe our eyes and tell each person we’ll stay in touch even when we know we won’t.

Count me as one who intends to be carried in, if need be, when my 85th rolls around.