Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Reunion Fist Pump

Saturday night, I attended my 30th year high school reunion.  That line in itself seems almost an impossibility.  It can not have been 30 years since I walked across the stage of the old Charlotte Coliseum to accept the results of 12 years’ work.  We were the 13th class from Independence to graduate. The date was June 13.  And I was the 12th person to get their diploma.  Tim Blume was the 13th that day.  I had known Tim since at least the 2nd grade.  Tim died about 5 years later.

Wow.  You get the idea now that this is going to be a serious post – a real rocky ride.  You’re right.  The last 30 years have seen a lot of ups and downs, so this post will have the same.

I don’t think Tim was the first classmate to pass and I don’t remember the order, but I remember Tim, Linda, David, Gary, Rusty, Bobby, Susan and others when I remember my class.  I also remember Taylor, Frank, John, Ansle, Patty, Andy, Jody and scores of others from my class who are still around.  All of these people shared one of the best times of my life with me.  When I’m old and my mind is gone and I can’t remember where I am, I’ll still remember many of these folks and the times we had.   Those were good time.  I knew it then and I enjoy remembering them now.  So I took it on myself to see that we had a 30th reunion. 

I got the ball rolling by calling and sending some emails to those classmates I could locate.  We formed a committee, turned the majority of the work over to a company that specialized in reunions and waited.  I had the pleasure of hearing from many with clues to the whereabouts of others or questions or friend requests on Facebook.  I enjoyed each one.

So along comes the night of the party.  We had about 80 of us show up.  To say I had a great time is an understatement.  Many of the folks that I wanted to see couldn’t be there, but so many others did.  I tried to chat with as many folks as I could.  I really enjoyed showing off Dr. K to prove once and for all how luck I am.

  I had a terrific conversation with a couple that, to be diplomatic, I parted ways with well before graduation.  Another buddy who I’ve known since I was 5 who couldn’t make the party, changed his mind and showed up anyway.  After about two minutes, we all got past how our looks have changed and it seemed like we were back together after summer break.

There were so many grand moments, but there is one that I shared with no one that will be with me forever.  I was standing to the side of the room with my back against the wall (my normal position for school dances).  In my field of view, the friend who is suffering with cancer is dancing with her childhood friend, the lady who recently lost her hysband is chatting with the lady who’s put her life back together since a plane crash took her husband and son.  Three girls who were inseparable in school are inseparable once again.  Everyone I see is smiling or laughing or dancing.  It all came together in that moment.  If I had done anything, I wanted it to be creating that moment.  I couldn’t help but give a little fist pump and a muffled “Yes!”.   That was what it was all about.  it’s about right now.

I really didn’t know why I took it on myself to start the reunion planning, but I left knowing that it was the right thing to do.  I think Tim smiled, too.

To all of you who have sent your thanks for the evening, you are very welcome.  I think I should be thanking you.  I got way more out of it than I put in.  It will take a while for the smile to wear off.

1 comment:

Lori said...


I read and enjoyed your post regarding the big "I" reunion for the class of 1979. Not all of the names you mentioned are ones I recall, as I graduated two years later with your brother. However, I do remember one of those that passed on, Gary. We dated for 3 years when I was in high school and college.

I did marry someone from the graduating class of 1979. We have been married for 23 wonderful years and are parents to two boys that delight us everyday.

This morning I was sadden to hear that your classmate, Mary Beth, had experienced another loss -- her mother. Speaking of mothers, you owe your fabulous mother a birthday dinner.

Thanks for taking on the task of staying in touch with former classmates.

Lori Calhoun