Saturday, August 30, 2014

A 30-year reunion only one year late

My 30-year high school class reunion is Saturday night, yet I'm not among the people eager to see how my one-time colleagues (many of whom I haven't seen since I walked across the stage and accepted my high school diploma) turned out in life.

Did they go bald? Wind up rather unsuccessful in life? Perhaps turn out to have larger pot bellies than the one I have managed to develop during the past three decades?

SOMEHOW, I THINK the results would be more depressing than anything else. Particularly because they'd relate to a stage of my life that hasn't been particularly relevant to me since the days that I moved on from Thornwood High School in suburban South Holland.

Our reunion is tonight at a restaurant/bar right on the Chicago River. Which has potential for an urban scenic view of some spectacular-ness, I suppose.

Then again, I can go to downtown Chicago anytime I want. The idea of seeing many masses of long-forgotten individuals just isn't strong enough to make me want to do it this particular Saturday night.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who detested my high school years. I have enough pleasant memories that on the occasions I think about that era (1979-83), I don't shudder in disgust.

EXCEPT FOR THE times I have to recall the horrid pop music and pseudo-fashions of that era. How could we have ever have listened to that dreck. Aerosmith is a lingering memory, along with forgotten bands such as REO Speedwagon, Journey and the Go-Gos.


My recollection of high school was that it was an experience that I had to go through before I could consider college -- which is where life truly became interesting.

I do have regrets over past college Homecomings I have missed. Not so for Saturday night with the high school crowd.

AND FOR ANYBODY who's going to reminisce about some long-ago high school Homecoming event, I'll have to say it was all rather pointless compared to what happens at a university setting when decades of alumni return to reminisce about their glory days at ol' State U. (or wherever they went).

Part of the reason, however, that I don't think I'm missing much is that I noticed the class reunion event has become a group affair.

It is being billed as a 30-year reunion for the classes of 1981 through 1985. Is that the only way they could get enough people to show up to make an event worth while?

That, in fact, is why the Class of '83 is having its big event 31 years after we graduated. Although I suppose that is better than the 20-year reunion that was held in 1984 at a rather tiny restaurant banquet facility that actually was about three blocks from where I happened to live at the time.

ONLY I NEVER got the invitation, and didn't find out about it until the day AFTER the event was held.

This time, I got notice in advance (they found me through Facebook). So I'm not snubbed (although I didn't feel snubbed 10 years ago).

There's also the fact that my life has sort of turned out into something I wanted. I'm writing for a living (albeit, not being as well-compensated financially as I would have hoped some 16 years ago).

Unlike a couple of our bigger-name classmates -- our star athlete died in an auto accident many years ago, and the girl whose ambition in life would have envisioned great things for her became a little too aggressive, and is now serving a prison stint.

I'M NOT GOING to be the intriguing story of the Class of '83 by any means. For all I know, my absence may not even be noted.

But I will go so far as to wish those of my former classmates who do show up at the reunion, I hope they have a wonderful time and find the experience redeeming.

And if anybody is curious, I'm the classmate who now has a head of hair gone almost fully grey (that image of me to the right is a 22-year-old press card image). So you baldies can feel a little bit better about yourselves while we all move a year closer to a half-century of existence on this planet.


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