Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Several weeks ago, I attended my 36th class reunion. No, the odd number didn't mean anything. The class reunion was part of a multi-class event covering the years 1970 to 1979 of Granby ( MA) Junior Senior High School.

I've attended every reunion we've had and have helped organize several of them. Aside from the first one, I've always found them to be very interesting and even fun.

I've told members of the staff and students I've taught that a reporter has to be, at his or her core, a gossip – a damn good gossip. Reporters want to hear dirt before anyone else and then tell other folks. I don't think more pious members of my profession would approve of this characterization, but screw 'em.

Perhaps that's why I enjoy going to the class reunions. It gives me plenty of opportunity to satisfy that "whatever happened to..." vibe that all reporters and gossips have.

What I also like is that going to a class reunion is the closest one can come to see a rift in time and space. Everyone who attends a reunion has changed in some way – either physically or emotionally or both. We know we've changed, but we see each other at least initially as we were in school.

That assessment usually wears off pretty quickly – it's hard to ignore grey hair, 50 extras pounds and other ravages of time. But for a few moments you're seen as you once were.

The fact that it does wear off in a matter of seconds is essential as I doubt that many of us actually want to be the person we were in high school.

Of course, in my case I was a geek – I published my own fanzine on horror films and comics – then and a geek now. Only my geek tendencies has helped pay my bills!

I'm always wary of the person who talks about high school as if that was the best time of his life. I'm equally concerned about people who say that college was the best time of their lives. Four years long ago being the pinnacle of an existence is sad.

The best moment of this reunion – as it has been for me at other reunions – is seeing someone whom I really want to see. I prepared for the reunion by looking through the year book and wondered almost aloud to myself about one guy who was a hippie iconoclast whom I liked even though I was sure he thought I was some sort of square, which of course I was.

I wondered if he was still alive.

When I saw him, He said with a big smile, "I bet you thought I was dead!" I confirmed that and we had a fun conversation.

I'm happy to report the members of the Class of '72 seemed like well-adjusted adults heading toward their AARP membership. Hey, just four more years to our 40th!

Sorry about the ikky color, but the print I scanned was not very well balanced.

© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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