I am taking a time out from my regular postings about beating depression, and share with you my experiences of going to my 50th high school class reunion last night.
It is always great to get back with the friends that you made in high school. It brings back good, and bad memories. I saw some classmates I hadn’t seen in 50 years! I guess you know they looked a little different. It was a good thing we all wore name tags!
There were a few that you recognized right away, because they stayed trim, and didn’t change their features very much.
From my old neighborhood, were several classmates that I was in school with from the first grade on. Can you imagine that? It was over sixty years since we all started grade school together.
(No the schools were not a one room schools for all the grades. We had nice schools with wonderful teachers.)
I remember Miss Ames, my fourth grade teacher. I had a huge crush on her. Of course so did all the other boys in class. She was so caring, and was very patient. And she taught us a lot too. That was 58 years ago. There is a chance that Miss Ames is still with us, and if she somehow reads this. I would love to hear from her.
As my wife and I sat at our table last night, different people came up to me and said, “Do you remember me?” I, of course, said “sure I do”, and then look at their name tag. If it hadn’t been for that name tag I would have been in deep trouble.
Some of the “jocks,” didn’t look like jocks anymore, but they still were popular at the reunion. They brought back the memories of the pride we had in our sports programs.
They were playing 50’s music like: the Everly Brothers, and Fat’s Domino. They played songs like, Earth Angel, Peggy Sue, Bye-Bye- Love, and Cathy’s Clown.
That brought the most memories!! I remembered how shy I was in high school! I didn’t have one date the whole time I was there. (I know I really changed haven’t I)?
I came very close to asking one girl out for the senior prom, but I withered quickly when I saw her coming down the hall. She was at the reunion last night and I spoke to her several times, but never mentioned my cowardness in high school.
I took time to go and look at the display board we had over in the corner. It was a sad board. It had pictures of those that passed away since we last met. I as looked at the names, tears flowed, because some of them were very close friends. Friends that I never had a chance to say good-bye to. Many were very young when they did pass. Some were in car accidents; some had cancer or heart attacks.
I especially remember two of the guys.
Bob Hawk, and Ray Oliver. Bob was a fellow Christian that went to church with me. He would give you the shirt right off of his back. God took him early. Someone told me last night that he thought he died on graduation night.
Ray Oliver and I were in choir together. We were even in a talent show together. We sang “Hey there, you with the stars in your eyes….” We sang to a “girl,” up on a ladder except it wasn’t a girl. It was one of our buddies dressed like a girl. That might not go over very well these days, but the students loved it back then.
As I looked at all of the friends that have gone, I thanked God right on the spot for sparing me this long, and I made a vow to enjoy life even more after I left.
Memories, are one of the things that can help you through depression. Dwell on the good things from your past. Remember the wonderful friends you had when you went through the grades. See if you can find them again. Go to the reunions and bring back your youth for one night.
It worked for me. I sat with a couple guys from my old neighborhood, and I said, “Do you remember when we tried to crawl all the way around our grade school at the second floor window level”? We only had the little cracks in the bricks to cling to. We were playing, “I dare you!” We braved the crawl around the second floor because we said, “Double dare ya!” We couldn’t back down then. We made it, and even today, I wonder how did we came out of that alive? We must have thought that death was for someone else. We were fearless.
I am so glad I went to the reunion. I found that the friends I had back then were still my friends today. I found out that many of them lived right in my home town. We made promises to meet more often, and plan a reunion every year from now on. Our time on this earth is getting shorter. To have some close friends to share that time with is priceless.