It was bound to happen. I knew the day was near. It has been a few years since the last one, albeit at a bar with a small group. I figured the time was close but not as close as it actually is. How did this happen?
Last month, it arrived, plain as day, along with dozens of other e-mail announcements, meeting events, information seeking notes, queries and advertising.
The e-mail announcement for “our” 25th high school reunion. It read “Come join us as we celebrate our 25th high school reunion!”
I still have to file the pictures from the 10– and 20-year reunions. Hundreds from cameras, phones, Facebook and photo sharing sites, downloaded, saved, given some rudimentary names and put in various “To File” folders on several desktops.
Some of you reading this may be closer to your 40th reunion than your 25th, or perhaps your 50th reunion. Still, more so than the 10th or 20th ones, this one comes as a bit of a shock, a reminder that more than 25 years of life will have passed since that cloudless June evening when we were collectively told “Thank heavens many of you are no longer this school’s responsibility. We wish you the best.”
The class numbered 250. About 125 are on the “Find List” or do not want to be found. Three are gone that the organizers who have been tracking the class know of. Two to cancer and one to a motor vehicle accident. The remainders are largely connected by an active class site and through social media. Family pictures and some from the good old days taking our father’s cars out without licenses still surface online from time to time.
Camping and fishing trips, snow pictures and sporting events are highlighted when people are “doing some cleaning” and come across decades old images, slightly faded but not destroyed. Apparently I only owned hockey sweaters and Walter Payton jerseys.
Everyone knew all the verses to The Superbowl Shuffle. The Refrigerator wasn’t just a household appliance, Old Style and Pabst Blue Ribbon were preferred beverage of choice and the Chicago Blackhawks were one of the most exciting teams in professional hockey. Rafter “seats” at the old Chicago Stadium were affordable at 7 bucks a game. #23 belonged to a guy from the University of North Carolina, we didn’t know Bo and everyone wanted to be like Mike. Our fathers, uncles and grandfathers called the school to tell them we were “sick” on the same day as Opening Day at Wrigley.
Empire Carpet will forever have the phone number 588-2300 with a familiar quartet providing the numbers. Willis Tower was Sears Tower and none of the “L” lines had pink for a map color. We were taught that “Da” was a proper definite article. We knew the difference between Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley and knew dead people who voted for both.
Here’s to 25 more years!