So sometime in May I will drive up to Kansas City and spend some time with the Center High School 50 year reunion committee. I am not an official “member”, but I am and interested observer and part time participant. So I barged in a few months ago… and I am thankful I did, and grateful to be welcomed aboard the Good Ship Yellowjacket 69.
Obviously it is filled with my CHS classmates. people that I have known since I moved to the Boone School district in 5th grade, and some of these folks are nearly friends with each other from the womb. For me it is a round table of folks I have been far more absent from than present. I have moved so many times in my life. I have kept in touch with a handful of my old cohorts, but for the most part, I spend very little social time with anyone from CHS.
That being said, It is a special time to share a table, talk briefly about the past and ponder the schedule for the upcoming event. It is NEVER a time to talk religion or politics, though it is filled with people who would happily discuss, argue and question both. It is just a time to celebrate. Mostly, as I have observed, it is just a group of people who want to celebrate life. And the celebrants have more in common with each other than can be found with almost any other folks that I might encounter in any random gathering at any time in any place, from now until the moment of my last breath. Or so I would guess.
The purpose of the committee is really singular. What can be done to celebrate life, provide venues for smiles and good times. What will attract the most folks to a couple of events so that both the seeker and those being sought can have a really good time with a not some random group of devotees gathering to rejoice as a result of a common experience.
So here is my experience regarding reunions… I have been to a few… Some I really enjoyed… from start to finish…. some I enjoyed for only moments. I am glad I went to all of them… However, rarely did I come away with any meaningful moments. In my earlier days I got to be reunited with Paula, and would visit her when I visited my Mother in Austin. Paula passed several years ago of Cancer. For the most part, I would just spend time with the guys I spent time with decades ago. A poker game at Cal’s house, with Bob, Ric, Curtis, Marco, Don, Joe, a few others… So reunions were just moments in time. Happy moments, but brief and then over.
That was true until the last reunion. My life changed. Two people who were merely moments in my CHS life became two of my besties… It is not easy to make new friends at my age. At OUR age. People from Center have their own lives. I am thankful they do. I am more thankful that Ann and Lynn let me into theirs.
I knew Ann Asel and I knew Lynn Joseph whey I went to Center. I probably spoke to them for nearly and hour. I mean an hour total during our entire 3 years during our shared high school experience. We did not date, we did not have the same circle of friends, Ann and I had Journalism class together I think.
Because of the Last Center Reunion… my life has changed. I have stories to tell, but the relationship started because I had been selling stuff on Ebay for nearly 20 years. I sold some stuff for both of them.. I don’t list anything for them on Ebay any longer, but I drive to Kansas City from Tulsa with some regularity to see these two friends. I love Annie and Lynn. I am shocked.
Maybe you should come to the reunion and get shocked.
By the way, 98.6 degrees, as you know is our average body temperature, while alive. In 1951 the projected life span for men was 65.8 years, for women 71.6 years.
I will be 68.3 at the next reunion. I hope to laugh with you there.