Reunion in the Park

Today, I went to my high school reunion. I know, I know. I graduated in 1977, and what class holds a /42nd/ *32nd* reunion? So perhaps I should explain.

A bunch of Pali High folks have been reconnecting via Facebook, and some of them had the wonderful idea to coordinate an impromptu reunion at Palisades Park. As I’m active on the net and connected to a number of these folks, I was invited… and you know me, I jump at the chance to go to things like this.

When I got there, I only knew a few folks. It seemed that most of the folks were from a different circle than I was in. This was the group, based on the pictures I was seeing, that was a bit more into the partying and accompanying side activities than me. I was in the Math Lab; they were on the quad. But as I walked around and listened to the conversation, I came to an interesting realization: these distinctions and cliques that separated us in high school made no difference these days. We had survived to (almost) our 50s. That was remarkable in itself (especially given our class :-)), and I think it is part of the wisdom that comes with age. Divisions and shyness and things that separate us when we are young become meaningless as we age. We become people. As a result of these distinctions melting away, I had a wonderful time talking to people about what they did, what I did, and their journies through life. As such, I made some new friends, folks I may see again, and folks that I probably wouldn’t have talked to in high school. We grow, we learn. Isn’t life wonderful?

I also found the conversations quite interesting, especially the most common question asked of people: “Are you on Facebook?”. Yup. Facebook isn’t just for the kids anymore. It is for the parents and the grandparents. It is not where we play scrabble and answer quizzes, but where we reconnect with our generation outside the context of the formal reunion. In doing so, we have finally found the way to cross those year lines: the artificial lines that separated the class of 1977 from the classes of 1978 and 1976, even though in reality we had friends in all the grades. This was the great thing about the event that was coordinated: seeing people from other years that you didn’t see at the reunions themselves.

The reunion also provided the potential of a special reconnection to me: there were a group of people who hung around the Math Lab that I’ve been wanting to reconnect with for years. Some I have, or will soon (Rick (through Susan), Cliff). Some I lost touch with, and thought I might never contact again (in particular, Jeff and Ted G.) Today at the reunion I was talking to someone (Cory I-Don’t-Know-Her-Last-Name), and mentioned that I hung around the Math Lab. She said, “Oh, you must know my brother, Jeff”. She brought me up to speed, and will pass on my contact info to Jeff and Ted. This made coming to this event worth it!

I should note that I also had a fair number of people asking if I had a brother, Alan. I had to tell them Alan was my cousin. Funny how I never got that question in high school :-).

So I thank the organizers of this event: Greg, Nancy, Steve, and all the other folks I’m forgetting to mention. It was delightful, and we’ll have to do it again. Do remind me to bring my notes from the various past reunions (for I still have the 1977 reunion books from the 10th, 20th, and 30th).