Class reunions. They are synonymous with hopeful memories and awful nightmares.
I’m heading ‘back home’ in a few days to meet those kids with whom I experienced puberty, Algebra I, yearbook signings, and endless miles of dragging Main.
In ‘my day’, the street wasn’t named Main St., but that’s what we called it.
‘Where are you going?’
‘To drag Main.’
For hours we made the loop down Main to the Dairy Frezee and back up Main, eyeing the other teenagers doing the same thing, hoping some good looking guys would encourage us to ride with them. Actually we really didn’t care if they were good looking…any offer would have done! All the time playing Buddy Holly, The Platters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Mathis, etc.
This may be our class ‘dragging Main’ at this year’s reunion!
This doesn’t sound at all familiar to many readers. You younger ones were tuned into the Beatles, and bellbottoms, and waterbeds. Or even younger: Michael Jackson, ripped jeans, and personal computers.
But no matter what age, class reunions are a challenge. My hope is that at our age, all of us look like we are over 70, we all have varicose veins and age spots, we all have suffered equally, and we all have had our share of great joys. At 17 and 18, the playing field of life didn’t look too even. Some kids were popular, some smart, some dressed better than others…it was all a comparison game. And most of us compared poorly, at least in our own minds.
The truth is we were all equally ignorant, smart, strange, funny, hesitant, boastful, pretty, shy, clumsy, adventurous, handsome, lucky, and downright perfect. We just didn’t know it. We were too busy thinking everyone else was ahead of us and we were racing to keep up with the pack, failing to notice that we were the pack.
What fun we generated. What days of excitement we enjoyed. What special secrets we shared. What raging hormones we produced. It was quite a trip, those teenage years!
So with trepidation and hope, I strike out to renew friendships and catch up on events that have shaped our lives. I probably won’t remember half the folks there nor recognize my high school best friend, unless she still wears her hair in a pageboy and has those pointy glasses that were the rage 50 years ago.
But with any luck we will have outgrown our need to one-up each other, and can just regale in the recalling of our youth…without pimples.