After arriving home late last night from our 12 day trip to California, I finally have the chance to give my assessment on the reunion events of the last weekend.
First, I have to thank my wife MaryEllen for being such a great support for me and being with me at the reunion. Being five months pregnant, she was not up to standing for long periods of time, so she mostly sat at a table in the back room with Randy Blair's wife, Patricia, and Bob Downs' wife, Jeanette. The spouses who accompany us to our reunions are real troopers. My wife is comfortable with new people and she knows so many of my classmates, so she enjoys the reunions. It's just that with her present physical circumstances, a stand-up type party didn't work well for her.
Here's the one big reality I've gleaned from this reunion -- We hit our peak reunion attendance in 1999 and we will never have as high a percentage of attendees again. Were the 2004 and 2009 reunions given the same degree of attention and advance publicity as the 1999 reunion? No, I don't think so. But, still, I don't think that our classmates did not know about the reunion. And the stark reality of it is that we will never see some of our classmates ever again. Maybe that's obvious to others. But, I had this sunny and optimistic attitude that nearly all 400+ of us would come together at our reunions. Obviously, that is not the case.
I was loaned a copy of the 1977 SR Yearbook and while browsing through the Sophomore section, I was saddened to see how many boys and girls from those photos had not been at the reunion last weekend. And I really would have enjoyed seeing them again! My plan is to scan and upload much of that yearbook to the website.
The realists among us will rightly say that you are able to choose your friends and if you don't have a relationship with long lost classmates then you all have made that choice. And that's certainly true. I stay in close touch with Bob, Rick, Rich, Will, another Rick, Brian, Bill, Scott, Chris as well as occasional contacts with another Scott, Mark, Britt, and Steve. But how great it was to talk with Matt Wold and Guy Houston, among others last weekend! Folks I usually wouldn't have a chance to see.