Thoughts on a Fiftieth High School Reunion.
As we met and greeted one another, we tried to connect our pasts with our presents. We had begun and ended careers. reared families, lived in other places, and made close friends with those who had little or no experience of our high school past. Of course, we were not the same people whose faces and names appeared on our name tags.
At the grand celebration at the farm of a classmate, the question preceding the blessing of the food, “If you die tonight, where will you spend eternity?” and an exhortation to turn to Jesus for salvation, reminded me that the religious landscape of the community, for some at least, had not changed. The catered feast, however, roasted pork and herbed chicken, mashed potatoes, and mixed grilled vegetables, showed how far we had come. This was no church picnic with casseroles and fried delights.
Two people shared remembrances centering around a popular toy, the Magic Eight Ball. A class member recited a monologue he first performed in kindergarten, “What It Was Was Football,” by Andy Griffith. All speakers, except for the one who did the invocation, were interrupted by the screams of peacocks, and I reflected that, yes, the peacocks and the world and spirit that they inhabit will have the last word. At least ten of us had died, four of whom were friends, with whom I would have liked to visit.
We sang the alma mater and fight song. I reflected that I know no public high schools now which have alma maters. No longer are public schools “nourishing mothers,” if they ever were. Fight songs remain; competition and victory are as important as ever.
Whether we had remained in touch with others or whether we had not seen them in fifty years, we smiled, greeted, shook hands, and hugged, the physical expressions of a parted community arriving, after decades, at home.