That Old Gang of Mine

Last year, I wrote about the Pali Picnic in the Park. Today was the 2nd Annual Picnic, and like last year, I had a wonderful time. First and foremost, thanks to  Greg Elowe and  Nancy Roof Hale for organizing the event.

As I noted last year, by the time you’re past your 30th reunion, the class and clique lines go away, and you’re unified by the bonds of survival. Much of this group were folks that hung around off-campus (whereas I hung in the math lab programming in FORTRAN and BASIC)—but this many years removed, that doesn’t make a whit of a difference. I had a delightful time reminiscing about how things have changed since our simple world of the 1970s. I think the difference is best summed up by a line I overheard: “What we did back then today would be felonies.”

This is, in many ways, quite true. The youthful pranks we did in high school, be it plastering the school with “Soylent Green Day” signs to other pranks, would now be considered vandalism by the hair-trigger administrations in place in our schools today. Is this a good thing? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

We also noted how we had it much easier back then. Many fewer APs, and universities were much easier to get into (for example, anything above a 3.5 GPA got you into UCLA. Try that today). Today? My daughter is working her tush off with 4 APs and play production in 11th grade, and she’s far from alone. Again: we’re not providing time for kids to be kids. They rarely have time to make those formative mistakes. Is this a good thing? Again, I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Again, thanks to the organizers for this event. To my Pali Hi alum friends reading this: I hope to see you at next year’s picnic, if not before. We need to celebrate the fact we have survived! Please coordinate with  Greg Elowe to ensure you get the announcements.