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Mary E Lacey, Desertrat

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The Reunion
By Mary E Lacey, Desertrat
Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This is about a high school reunion, and how people become opposites of what they were. I wrote a poem about an upcoming reunion and said (to be continued) The bizarre things that happened would be too hard to get into a poem. I couldn't decide the category to put this, perhaps it should have come under fantasy, or science fiction.

 

 

I walked into the large auditorium not knowing what to expect.  A huge banner on the wall in colorful letters said “Welcome back, class of 1974”  There was a small crowd of people talking, laughing, drinking, and some were alone staring blankly at the walls. Our class was over 200 people, why was this group so small? A girl was sitting at a table welcoming all the new people coming in.  She asked my name and looked down a roster, and said, “Ah, there you are”.  She handed me a pin containing my old senior picture from high school.  Before I put it on, I looked at it and laughed.  I was a long haired, skinny kid with coke bottle glasses.  After 35 years, I was now a slightly overweight woman, with short brown hair, and shocks of gray in between.  I had my eyes fixed, so the glasses were gone.  I looked around the auditorium and recognized no one.  What did I expect after 35 years?  I hadn’t gone to these things before, just for this reason.  But this time, it was out of sheer curiosity.  And wow, was this menagerie curious!

Though I recognized no one, I went to some people taking a quick glace at their badges to see who they were.   I know time changes people, but what happened next was unreal.  The class nerd had turned into an aging hippy, his long gray hair was streaming down his back, the pocket protector and black rimmed glasses were gone.  I kidded him, and asked him what his real name was, and why was he wearing James’ picture.  He put his hand over it, and said rather angrily, that sure as hell isn’t me lady, and walked away.   That didn’t surprise me a lot, James was never known for his charming personality.  I came across a rather elderly lady that looked like she belonged in a nursing home, rather than a high school reunion.  And when I saw the badge, I clamped my hand over my mouth.  The woman had been our head cheerleader.   I started to talk to her, but she was drunk out of her mind.  She had led a life of drugs, alcohol, and many failed marriages.  Life had taken its toll.  Was this the once beautiful young girl cheering our team with pom poms in her hands? 

My next surprise must have been the biggest one of all.  For this was the person we use to refer to as the class freak.  And he was proud of that title.  He rebelled against everything, and was always getting high.   I gazed at him for some time and stared at the collar of a priest,   He looked at me and my badge, and said, “Mary, how good to see you, my child”   We used to call him Bilco in school; I couldn’t remember his real name.  When I said, “Bilco, how are you doing, he looked a little disgusted, and said, “that person is dead, call me Father Stephen.”  At least I now remembered his first name.

I went over to a wall with a list of names, I recognized some of the names as good friends I had in high school.  Than I looked at the top of the roster and realized it said, “In Memory of”   The friends I thought perhaps I would see had all died.   It finally hit me why the reunion was so small.

That was it.  My curiousity was too satisfied.  The late Rick Nelson said in a song of his, "if memories were all I sang, I'd rather drive a truck".  I didn't sing nor drive a truck, but I had to agree, but the sentiment was the same, occasionally, it's nice to reminesce, but than again, sometimes the past just needs to stay there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Reviewed by Tom Hyland 10/15/2010
MARY - WELL DONE!

I received the AD notice of posting - 'The Class Reunion' (revised) - but when clicked, took me to your home page, had to open list of all Stories, and found this.

My story is a tad different - Turned 70 on 8/25/10 - Class of 1958 - 52 years ago! Ex-wife and I attended 25 year re-union in 1983 - Was astonished at how many had aged so poorly - I was one of the FEW who looked pretty good still. I had won, but turned down the Maryland State Teachers Association Full Scholarship! DUMMY! But, at age 17, who wanted to be a Teacher? - and have an obligation to Teach in this State for 2 years after graduation? DUH!

Anyway, the fellow who was Second in line, and took it - Jimmy Lamar - was then the Current Principal of Sear Old Southern High! He still looked great! I wound up being the substitute MC all night, and HAD A BALL - ham that I am!

When I attended the 50 Year Re-union alone (Divorced after 34 years!) - was more Astonished - other than a 'Pot-Belly' I was in Great Shape! Some of those poor ole Codgers were using Walkers, in Wheel-chairs, carrying Oxygen, had had: various serious maladies - Open-Heart Surgery, Diabetes, cancer - you name it!

I could still Dance! Still had Hair! Had finished College - was NOT Rich in Assets, but realized I was Rich - IN BLESSINGS!

As you stated, the Memorial Roster was quite lengthy now - and I thanked GOD for my Health! I had Fun - Met some New people, gabbed with old friends, and was GLAD I WENT!

Each day now, when my eyes open in the morning, I gratefully say: "Thank You God, for another Wonderful, Beautiful DAY! Rain, Hail, Sleet, or Snow - do Not Matter! Yet another chance to experience LIFE! As the old Toyota commercial used to say:

" WOW! What a Feeling!"

Mary, thanks for Reminding me! Ole TomKat - from Bawlmer, Merlyn!



Reviewed by Debbie Walker 10/30/2009
I've purposely never attended a class reunion. However I have experienced traveling back to Maine each year and sometimes it gets scary, you wonder who won't be here next year. It's happened too many times. I have an idea of the feeling, I think.
Reviewed by David Pennebaker 10/19/2009
Classic thoughts from a personal perspective. I can see Stephen King now writing his next book about his reunion.
I've never been to one, yet I wish I had. I graduated high school in 1973, a year before you, and was senior class president. Funny how times have changed us all.
I wonder if we will be around to see our 40th, or even our 50th reunion.
It will be something we should write about if we are.
Reviewed by Debra Conklin 10/9/2009
I only went to one class reunion, our fifth and never went to another. I had changed into a person who cared too much about what other people thought of me, to one who couldn't care less. The people I had been fortunate enough to call friends were still my friends and I had kept in occasional touch with, the others who had treated me horribly, were no longer a part of my life. I've come to believe that some things are best left in the past.
Reviewed by Terry Robertson 10/5/2009
Mary, this is excellent, as usual. Now I understand why I never attended my high school reunion. Nostalgia remains a sweet memory of better times in our mind. Then when we do visit, the sweetness has turned to harsh reality. We live in a different age and there is no going back. Life constantly changes, which is so well exemplified in your work.
Reviewed by Swan Son 3/28/2009
Class reunions certainly are strange occurrences -- they never are what you expect them to be. Is this one true? I went to my 25th grammar school reunion back in the 1980's. What a hoot that was! I walked in expecting to recognize everyone -- of course, there were quite a few who I knew right offhand. Most of the girls were easy to recognize -- somehow they had morphed into their mothers - and maybe I did the same. The boys were the question marks - after all by the ripe old age of 12 and 13, girls are the height, etc they would be as adults -- well most, anyway. But the boys were different. They had inches to grow, beards to grow and hair to lose!
There was one who absolutely refused to tell me his name -- we didn't have introduction buttons -- but I had him narrowed to Vincent or Francis (Frank). I'll probably never know. Now in 2009 I have heard of the deaths of at least four from my class -- and that is always a shock to know that someone your age could be gone forever ... but will always live in your memory -- maybe as that grammar school kid you either loved or hated. Thanks for the walk down memory lane ... as you say, some things are better to remain in your memory. Susan
Reviewed by Mildred Kisor 8/18/2008
Mary, The Reunion expresses my sentiments exactly. I just don't go to reunions for those same reasons but surely enjoyed your story. Mildred
Reviewed by Jill curry 8/14/2008
being brit-it wasnt until i moved to usa that i knew school reunions were held...i enjoyed the tale
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 8/11/2008
I've never attended any of my high school reunions. You have brought some feelings to the surface for me with your story, Mary. Thank you. Love and best wishes,

Regis
Reviewed by Debby Rosenberg 8/8/2008
i am the class of '75...i only attended the 10 yr and that was wierd enough! I smiled at this because it reminded me of our immortatilty and the constant change in who we might pretend to be




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