Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reunion envy, NaBloPoMo A#5


I found a blog post today, talking about attending a high school reunion. The author talked about how people had changed, or hadn’t changed. Some people had stayed in touch, others had drifted away. But they all came together at their reunion
I graduated from high school in 1970. I had been in a different school every year. Now, don’t get the idea that I was a bad kid and got kicked out of all those schools. It all came down to my parents trying to do the right thing for my younger brothers.
My freshman year was actually in a 7-9 intermediate school, so I was “on top”, not the dreaded freshman. La Palma school was a good experience. I loved my Spanish teacher, worked in the library, and lived close enough to walk both ways with my friends every morning. I was involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. We had moved to Buena Park from Whittier for my 8th grade year, and I loved the area. I especially liked having a pool in the backyard! My sophomore year, I went to Western HS in Anaheim, with those same classmates. I bought my class ring here, learned to drive, made some friends.
The next year got a little crazy. My father’s business partner died, and he couldn’t continue to run his bakery alone. As well, they’d decided that Southern California wasn’t a safe place to raise young men anymore. This was around the time of the Watts riots, and it kind of scared my folks. So, they sold the business, sold the house, and rented a house back in Whittier while they tried to decide where to move permanently.
My junior year, I was back with the same students I’d spent elementary school with. Old friends, old frictions, but familiar. I continued my Spanish, joined the chorus, went to lots of Friday afternoon dances. Typical late 60’s southern Cali. I expected to return and graduate the next year. But my parents finally decided to move all the way to my mom’s home state…Pennsylvania. So, my senior year was spent in a new city, new state, new school.
The school was huge. Nine hundred and fifty graduating seniors walked the stage. And although in California, I’d been really conservative and studious; the kids in Altoona just knew that I must be a wild-eyed hippie druggie. I met a few folks in chorus, and in the library. They didn’t have advanced Spanish, so I discovered Russian. I truly never quite fit in. So, how do you go to a reunion? Which do you pick? So, in 44 years, I’ve never been to any. I get a little envious, seeing people with lifelong friendships.