Wednesday, November 1, 2017


In the last six weeks I have attended three reunions.

The first in mid September was a gathering of people with whom I'd gone to summer camp.  I had last attended the Camp in 1967. There had been other reunions of this group so I had seen several of these former campers in the past.  Still, what surfaced as we shmoozed were recollections from at least 50 years ago.

On October 20th, about three dozen fraternity and related folks gathered in a restaurant outside Albany.  Six of us had started college together a half century before.  The others were either older or younger by a year or two, but for the six of us we had met in the freshman dormitories before the end of the Johnson administration.  The next day was homecoming and I saw maybe another dozen or so senior citizens whom I'd first met as we began our post high school history.

Then last weekend on the 28th over 120 congregated in my home town to shake hands, hug, and marvel at the fact that we had all graduated high school five decades ago.

Of the three reunions, the high school one was the most intense.  There was an open bar on one side of the room, but I could not get there as every step I took I bumped into someone I had not seen in forever.  The exchanges were just as intoxicating as the booze would have been.  We paid a bunch for the event and it included a dj, appetizers, a full buffet, and dessert.  I barely ate a thing.  Too much shmoozing to do.  I saw the woman who drove me to the motor vehicle bureau to get my driver's license, the guy who taught me a trick regarding how to comb my hair,  at least three kids who were in my sixth grade class, and one who was in my 5th.  I talked with a guy who taught our class how to speed read, a woman who once invited me to a barbecue where the poor shnook who was cooking the burgers nearly burned his eyeballs from the smoke.  The captain of the football team was there and he still looked like he could play.  My date from the senior prom was there, as was my backcourt mate on the JV basketball team.  I spent some sweet time talking to a guy who I of course knew from high school, but who also worked with me in the borscht belt in 1968.

The formal part of the event ended at 11, but a bunch of us stayed in the hotel bar until 1, and were still shmoozing at 2 well after last call.  I got to hear about peoples' post work careers, their children and grandchildren, some tales of duress, and of course high school reminiscences.

Fifty years just evaporated at all three of these reunions.  For the high school one, there was some sadness as it's likely this will be the last shindig for that group. If there is another one it is unlikely as many people will show. So, I said goodbye to some people at 2 am and then realized that it is quite likely that I will never see them again.  That all week has been a sobering potion.

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