Monday, August 20, 2012


On the morning after the reunion last Saturday night, a number of us gathered in the hotel restaurant for breakfast. It is a testament to the success of the previous night's shindig, that many more people came to the breakfast than had been anticipated.  We essentially commandeered the entire restaurant moving tables around so that it was almost impossible for the good hearted waitress to navigate the rest of the place.

The breakfast was as much fun as the party.  Lots of pictures, stories, and laughter.  One fellow leans over to me and asks me who such and such was. When I tell him, he says to the woman, I know I know you and we must have had a class together but I can't quite place it.  In a graduating class of 700 plus, it would not be uncommon to be fuzzy about who is who, even for those who have good long term memory.  The woman's response brought on some laughter.  "Uh, Paul", she said, "you lived around the corner from me and we rode the bus to school together for years."

After we emptied the breakfast buffet and all coffee in the hotel, we went out to a gazebo by the pool, where the breakfasters took some more photos. Then we were off.  A group suggested we go and take a walk by the old Plainview town park.  By the time my buddy Kenny and I got there, the group had dispersed, but the two of us enjoyed watching some basketball games on a court where we both had played often, and hearing what seemed like the same guys curse profusely as they played handball nearby.

We got in the car to return, I depressed the clutch, put the standard in reverse and backed up from my spot in the mostly empty parking lot.  Then, for an instant, I could not get the car out of reverse.  I stopped the car, shut down the engine, and started again,--still stuck in reverse.  Eventually Kenny suggested that I go in reverse for a few yards to see if it would unlock. And it did.  Easily I was able to shift, to first, and then through all the gears and we headed back.

Sometime at four this morning when recollections of the weekend were cascading through my head, I thought about that moment and the notion that there was a metaphor in there somewhere.  If you were inclined, or allowed yourself to, one could get stuck after such a weekend in reverse.  It was nourishing and joyous to be there for the weekend and when we do this again in five years, I will be there again.  But I think it is important to make sure you move forward again, once the weekend is over.  For nearly everyone or everyone who was there this weekend such forward motion will not be a problem. The partiers were for the most part very happy and successful, revelling in the past, but able to realize that it is our backdrop not the present.  Yet still, I think the moment in the parking lot was a good metaphor, for us all. Have to be careful not to be stuck in reverse.

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