High School Reunion

Paul Morrone |

I recently experienced a way within a five hour span to feel younger than I actually am and feel older than I am at the same time…by attending my high school reunion. I did not just attend but was part of a group from my class that helped organize the event. I had a small role in the planning but did my part to help make the event be successful. As with any project there are certain people that take the lead and this case was no different. There were a handful of people that the event never could have occurred without their dedication, organizational and communication skills and most importantly their persistence. To my classmates that stepped up in this year's long process, thank you for your efforts.

The venue was on the water in Westbrook, under a tent, so weather could have been a factor. When the night finally arrived, the weather was beautiful and made the evening that much more enjoyable and memorable. It was not just my class that participated in the reunion but it was a class for three years and well over 200 people attended. It was similar to attending a large wedding. Thankfully upon checking in you were given a name tag to reduce the “who are you?” comments that night. Sometimes, even with the name tags you had to really use your imagination to visualize the face of someone not seen in 40 years to the face in front of you that night. So many times there were the extremes. What I mean is I would say to myself “he/she looks like crap and they put on so much weight” or “he/she looks great”. Of course I was wondering what category I fell into because certainly others were thinking similar thoughts.

The “remember when” conversations were flying around that night. Bursts of laughter could be heard all night long and there was kissing, hugging and high-fiving happening everywhere. There was plenty of food, music and the dance floor was always packed. It was so much fun and I am so glad I went to see so many people that were all such a big part of my younger years. People came from all over the country to attend and hearing about their journeys in life over the last 4 decades was so interesting. It was also sad to see the memorial tree that listed the names of our classmates that had passed on. There were tears also when reading some of the names and then some laughter erupt when someone would tell a funny story from high school about a person on the memorial tree. It brought us all closer together and made us think about our own mortality and how fortunate we all were to be at the reunion that night. Life is good…life is really good.

Now with Facebook, I have been reconnecting with high school friends not seen in so many years and they are back in my life again. It is interesting to see these names and faces on a regular basis even though it may only be on my phone or IPad. Certainly there may be an ad-hoc happy hour in my future with a blast from the past. Hopefully my health stays positive and our 50th reunion will be just as much as this past one. More names will be on the memorial tree, there will be more tears but there will be more laughter as well. I am looking forward to it already.

Until the next Tom’s take…