I have just returned from a high school reunion and birthday party; held in Myrtle Beach, although our school was in Charleston, WV. This was a reunion of the classes of 1957, 1958 and 1959, and we had over 100 people attending. It is the 75th birthday of the school, too, which opened in 1940.
Many of my friends and family cannot understand why I love my high school reunions so much. I don't even go to my college reunions - which they call "Homecoming." I went once, and there were only two people from my class and I didn't like them when I was there. Our high school class had 447 people in it. I surely didn't know all of them, and some I didn't ever get to know well - but now - it doesn't seem to matter, as we are all joined by our memories and experiences.
Our class was and still is, led by David Hart. His brother Dick was also in our class, and many of us thought they were twins until recently, when we discovered that Dick was double-promoted and ended up in the same class as David. He's still smart, too; they both are. I once asked David if he realized when he ran for Class President that he would still be doing it 50+ years later. He didn't, but he still leads us with as much passion as he did in 1958.
This reunion was planned by Dick, who found out recently, as he was being tested for eventual back surgery, that he needed heart surgery before he could have his back done. All this happened while the reunion was in the planning stages. It didn't seem to matter, since the reunion went off without a hitch. Boys brothers are to be commended, as are their wives - who surely get tired of all the time they spend on high school stuff.
"A good time was had by all" is a tired, trite phrase - but true in our case. A hospitality room was open all day and evening for a gathering of classmates. It was loud at times, but we did enjoy renewing old acquaintances and getting to know others a bit better. There is never enough time to talk with everyone, though. On Tuesday, we had birthday cake and on Wednesday, a buffet dinner, speeches and a giveaway kept us busy for four hours. The other meals were "on your own" but the hotel provided a lavish breakfast buffet at no charge, and a few of us took full advantage of it. That breakfast kept me full through lunchtime, so we didn't leave the hospitality room until it was time for dinner.
It is hard to explain why we are all so close after almost 60 years, and why we're all so loyal to our school. We were taught well, by teachers who knew what they were doing and did it well. Our principal, deans and coaches were the best, too, and the lessons they all taught us remain in our hearts and minds to this day. It doesn't seem to matter who you were in high school; a football star, a majorette, a brain or a nobody.....you are welcomed at the reunions.
I am flummoxed by the numbers of people who choose not to come; even when we have the reunions in our town - and a lot of them still live in the vicinity. I will never understand it.
My roommate was a good friend in school and we enjoyed catching up on family and personal news. My "chauffeur" was another classmate, who lives here in Raleigh now and we enjoyed the trip down and back. I am really hoping that this isn't the last reunion our class will have. In 2018 we will have our 60th reunion; that is, if the committee decides to plan it. We are all hoping that will happen!!