By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 6/27/17 (Tue)
Last weekend my high school class celebrated our 40-year reunion during the hometown Community Day celebration.
Without even going into detail, I can tell you that it’s a weekend we’re all going to remember for a long time. It was the most fun I’ve had in many years.
First there is the reunion of classmates. The anticipation of it all is quite a sensation in and of itself.
There’s everyone else in town teasing us because it’s been so long it’s amazing we can remember what school we attended.
We all talked about where we’ve been and what we’ve done all these years. There was a lot of catching up to do, a lot, and it gobbled up the better part of two days that we all wish wouldn’t have ended.
Several of us showed up Saturday morning for the parade, hopped on a float that the girls in the class so carefully decorated and we felt like rock stars as people on the streets were waving at us and cheering as the emcee read all our names and pronounced them right.
As you might imagine, all kinds of scenarios were discussed on that two-mile parade route, but we ended up going to the home of one our classmates who still lives there. We pretty much stayed there because we were all having so much fun I seriously doubt anyone there wanted to break the bond that we reformed after all these years.
We toured our old school that became an apiary after the new school opened in 1999. And despite a good portion of that building being in shambles, it was probably the second-most important thing we did together as a group.
We talked about all the things we did in high school, how we liked or disliked our teachers, who had a crush on who, which class we liked the best, traveling with sports teams and of course, the biology lab.
Most likely every class during every reunion in every community will experience something similar, but something that’s probably never been said or written, is the strong bond that a class has within itself.
It’s stronger now than when we graduated and that’s a testament to our commitment to each other and how important we see each other even to this day.
That description probably doesn’t do it justice because we are unique. Nobody else on the face of the earth has specifically what we have and we’re going to hold on to it and promote it as long as we live.
We’ve all succeeded in some form or another and yes, we talked about the separate lives we’ve led since disco was king. Some of us have gained some weight, some of us have lost some hair, I don’t think any of us has the eye sight we did in 1977, but for those two days, we were all 18 years old again and that’s got to be the best feeling I’ve had since my wedding day.
Some of us remarked first of all, how did we ever get through high school since we were just a bunch of clowns. And when we did, how did we find our paths because we didn’t learn anything in high school.
Finally, it didn’t really matter because here we were, finding our path back to each other and being together once again.
We also remembered the one classmate we lost and talked about how he fit into the group as long as he was with us.
There were 24 of us in the Hazelton High School Class of 1977. Ten of us were there, but in reality, 23 of us should have been there.
Those who weren’t there, missed out on a wonderful weekend and catching up with old friends. You can’t replace that or substitute it and those of us who went are fully aware of how important that is to each and every one of us.
“Let’s scold them, let’s lay a guilt trip on them, let’s tell them what they missed,” were some of the comments.
Work, having to take a trip, visiting other people are, unfortunately, weak excuses for not being with the people you can probably trust the most in this world.
They missed out plain and simple and I would strongly recommend those who weren’t there, begin making plans for the next reunion because it will be as much fun as this one just past.
Paul Anka wrote a song in 1972 called “Jubilation,” and that’s exactly what our entire weekend was, jubilation.
We all congratulated each other, we all shook hands, we all hugged each other, we shared meals and drinks together and we laughed, oh did we laugh!
There’s nothing else like it, no matter what. It’s that bond of love and trust that is so incredibly powerful, motivating and intriguing. It can’t, nor will it be broken.