Saturday night is my 30th high school reunion.
For no particular reason or maybe because I’m the tallest person on the reunion committee, I will be giving a few prepared remarks after the buffet and before we start dancing to all the songs we grew up with during the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s.
First, I’m going to thank the people who were on the committee. They did such a great job and they made everything so easy. I wasn’t close friends with any of them in high school, but as I look back over past reunions, their names were always on the list of committee members. I got to know each one of them a little bit better during this reunion; they all have great stories to tell.
The amazing part about the people on the committee was that they were still so “connected” with everyone in our class in a way that I was not. For instance, when there was a little misunderstanding about something, someone would say “oh, I’ll just call her up and find out what the heck is going on.” This was a good lesson to me about “living in community.”
The only way you can get to know people is to get to know people. I didn’t make that up, but it’s a lesson I have learned. Even when I sell The Coop and move back home, I won’t be a “townie” overnight again and even though I think of everyone at home as “family” it’s very possible they might be a little skeptical about me.
Uncle Bob might even have some suspicions.
After I thank everyone, I’m going to explain to my classmates why we did not put together an elaborate reunion program. We have done so in the past and it was lovely, but this year seemed different. Many people are on Facebook and keep enough virtual information out there to satisfy the average drive-by thrill-seeker.
We’re getting older; some classmates have had losses and significant life changes since 2007. Death, unemployment, disability, divorce, and upheaval have been common themes for many people. Sometimes, when we’re asked to provide a “life resume” there is a tendency to focus on only our accomplishments.
I don’t want to downplay all the amazing things my classmates do; I am proud of the fact that six of the sixteen sponsors of the 2012 Moxie Car Show were 1982 Lisbon Greyhounds. One ‘hound flies the friendly international skies, while another one is an air traffic controller. We have some nurses, accountants, bankers, teachers, and sales representatives; mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers are among us. Goat farmers, too.
Because all my classmates are more than just their “best days” or their “shining moments” we won’t be having an elaborate program this year.
I think everyone will understand.
We’re not sure when we’re going to do the raffle and the class picture, but those tasks are in good hands.
Then, I’m going to remember all the people who weren’t able to make it, either because they’re not in this world anymore or because we’ve lost touch with them through time and distance. We miss them all.
I think that’s all I’m going to say. I’m really lucky to be part of such a distinctive group of people.
Oh…and one more thing.
Even though we don’t have an elaborate program, I did have some simple 4 x 6 cards made up with a quote at the bottom which sums up my thoughts and feelings better than the 587 words of this blog post.
“It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.” –Wendell Berry