Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reunion Reflections

Last week, I mentioned here that I was planning to attend the Lexington High School Class of 1972 Reunion, marking 35 years since graduation.

Well, last weekend, I DID attend that Class Reunion.

You could tell we were in the heart of the Palmetto State, the center of the Sandhills, and slap-dab in the middle of Lexington County from the vintage LexCo surnames represented -- Kyzer, Keisler, Taylor, Shull, Sharpe, Dooley, Drafts, Fulmer, Harmon, Mathias, Roland, and Wessinger – as well as the names of classmates who were missing, and thus became the topic of conversations for night -- Caughman, Corley, Amick, Addy, Wingard, Koon, Rawl, Hendrix, Price, Jeffcoat, Cromer, and Steele, to name a few.

For the record, there were three Shealys in attendance: Yours Truly; The Wife; and The BBQ Sauce.

That’s right… we had BBQ at our class reunion. What else would you expect from the LHS Class of ’72? And if we could have arranged it, we would’ve had sawdust on the floor. Frankly, we weren’t trying to impress anybody… we were just catching up with our old friends. It was wonderful.

Here are a few random observations I thought I would share from my five hour journey back to another time and place:

1. Who-ever dreamed up the name Baby Boomers should dream up a new name. The LHS Class of ’72 was born in the early to mid-1950’s – right in the middle of the baby boom – but there’s nothing “baby” about us anymore. We’re old. All of us.
Time for a new nickname.

2. Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader. It’s in their blood… probably their DNA. They entertained us then, and they entertain us now. I wonder if anyone ever did a study to find out how cheerleaders fare in their adult life.

3. I have no idea who the next president will be. I’m now sure I have no idea, because approximately 25 of my classmates in a row chose this as a topic of conversation with me at the reunion. They seem to have some vague knowledge that I am involved in politics, so it seemed natural for them to bring it up. I mostly just said, “Who knows? Maybe a Democrat – Hillary, Obama, Edwards or Richardson – or maybe a Republican – Rudy, Thompson, Romney, or McCain,” and then let them talk while I listened. I learned a lot…. although, frankly, I would rather have been talking about our grandkids.

4. I have begun to forget a lot about high school. I can no longer remember exactly which teachers taught me which subjects, or whether I was even in their classes! None of us could remember exactly. But, ironically, when a few members of the 1971 Fighting Wildcat football team were talking, we were able to remember every play of every game…even the names of the players from opposing schools – just like it was yesterday.

5. The 35th year reunion is apparently not really a biggie. A lot of classmates skipped it. No matter. I’m pretty sure the rest of us are going to keep having them every five years regardless. The Class of ’72 always did enjoy a party.

6. I probably should start planning for my retirement. I know this, because a good many of my high school classmates have already retired. Yikes!

7. We had at least three career military guys in our class, who now appear on average to be ten years younger than the rest of us.

8. The music was better back then. We listened to the sounds of the late 60’s and early 70’s all night long, and it was better than the stuff they make now… even when you count KC and Sunshine Band in with the oldies.

9. One of our classmates, Eric Parris, traveled the farthest to attend the reunion -- from Maryland, where he is now a very successful businessman. He probably also had the greatest impact on our collective memories of our high school years, because he was the photographer for our high school year book.

10. It’s really all about the kids and grandkids now.

11. I guess it’s time for me to lose weight again: time for me to organize another weight-loss contest. I know, because I danced a few times during the reunion, and several of my classmates asked me how I did “the jiggle move”.

So, the sum total of my class reunion, when you boil it all down, is this:

It’s time to lose weight again.

If you want to join me in the next weight loss contest, starting in a couple of weeks, email me at: RodShealy@aol.com.


fife said...

awesome reflections, wish I could of been there but missed that class by 2 years

Anonymous said...

thanx rod for a touch of nostalgia, all boomers can identify with the post regardless of school or town

Boomer Belly said...

Yea, and many of us can identify with the need to lose weight. Great contest, Rod.

Anonymous said...

hey do these columns appear in your newspapers or are they just on the blog

straight_shooter said...

This is one of the best blogs in the sphere! It's nice to have something to read that is not just political bickering.

sc sailor said...

Good blog....always interesting to read and remember what its like back home.

barn said...

agree with sailor

drewT said...

wow. was their any raely fast cars at you're gig? i don't let my wife drive my P car. she has her own beemer to cruise around in. but i'll make her eat my dust any day of the weak. i like what i can get done in my P car.

keep up you're poasting. i'm over 800 poasts and everyone raely diggs my stuf. btw, any insurance salesmens at you're gig? this town can be such a big armpit sometimes.

Anonymous said...

dude this beats my space...this blog ROCKS!!!