F O U R T I E T H
[Fourteen Thousand Six Hundred]
[Three Hundred Fifty Thousand, Four Hundred]
had passed since I graduated from High School
It's not true. You can go, of course you can. Only, when you go back, don't expect it to be how it was when you lived there. Especially if 40 years have elapsed since departure and return. Three months after I graduated I went off to college and shortly after that my dad got an assignment that sent him to Maryland. With no family in my high school town or few friends to visit because most had also left for college, I had no compelling reason to go back there.
Memory detour...... This reunion was only the second time I'd been back to a place I once lived. The first was to Aurora, Colorado. Fifteen years between leaving and returning and I thought I was in the wrong city. The airport had vanished. It had been three blocks away from where I'd lived and it wasn't there. Kind of hard to misplace an airport, right? Where there had once been miles of tarmac and hangars and parking lots now stood a zillion rows of apartments and townhouses and maybe even a mall somewhere in the middle. (Later I found out a new airport had been built far, far to the northeast, about 25 miles from downtown Denver which made me feel less of an idiot for not being able to locate one of the largest airports in the US.)
DIA - Denver International Airport. Looks like a carnival convention
~ the hundreds of acres of cotton fields that had been the school's back yard are gone
~ an interstate overpass and miles of suburbs and the
shopping options that come with them were now where
those fields had been
~ the town had "grown up"
Eventually I found the school. Exactly where it'd been 40 years ago but now it looked like the littlest child on the playground. A Big building constructed in the 1960s, like this school, is not a Big building now.
As for the reunion itself I'll say this: kudos to whoever suggested having name tags with photos of what we looked like as HS students on said name tags. I think it's safe to say that many of the alumni wouldn't have known who was who without them. (a lot of look-at-the-face then look-at-the-chest-and-name tag going on.)
Quite an experience, seeing people I hadn't seen in four decades. A lot of laughter and non-stop catching up with what we'd been doing all those years past. Learning what professions we chose(a lot of surprises there!), hearing about families, children, grandchildren. Yes, indeed, quite an experience. And if I go to another Reunion I'm going to suggest that we Rename it:
and celebrate getting this far in life!