It seems like forever ago that I was planning my 30th high school reunion. It was a special time, “YAY” this and “YAY” that and “let’s all meet at the homecoming field hockey game” and “I’m so excited I can hardly stand myself.”
I knew everyone on the planning committee pretty well except one man; we’ll call him Henry although his name is actually Herman. Since my father’s name is also Herman and I write about him a lot, Herman Hughes will be “Henry” to avoid any confusion. Other people might call him other things, but only in jest and only after a few beers.
Henry was at every committee meeting and I grew to enjoy his quiet presence and his ability to find the missing members of our class. The night of the reunion, he presented each of the women on the planning committee with a rose.
After the reunion, I’d see Henry once in a while at a mutual friend’s. We’re a close-knit class and we get together when we can. I saw him just a few weeks ago.
Last night, I found out Henry is moving to Arizona–he’s tired of New England winters. I was shocked and a little bit numb. Are we old enough to be “snow birds” yet? I know he’ll visit and he’ll update us on Facebook, but it won’t be the same as knowing he’s only a few towns over or just up the road on Sunday afternoons, watching football with our mutual friends. At least we got to say good-bye, with hugs and all that.
Happy Trails, Henry…hurry back to see us soon.
On a cheerier note, I think they’ve installed new washers and dryers at the Main Street Laundry. There is some good news here and there.