Getting Together

A Fool In NH Column Heading

I was recently made aware that the 49th year reunion of my grammar school class will be happening next year.
Yes, grammar school.
I never even realized there were such things as grammar school reunions.
I do believe that this might be a new cultural phenomenon brought on by the advent of social media sites such as Facebook.
There are about twenty-five of us, out of what I would estimate at about a hundred and fifty in the class, who have been found out by the organizer of this event and then innocently invited to be a part of this Facebook group dedicated to our class.

I went to a Catholic School on Long Island, New York called St. Thomas The Apostle. I attended from kindergarten through eighth grade, so I spent a fair portion of the early formative years of my life with these people. One of the women in the group was actually the first girl I slow danced with at an eighth-grade soiree (of course, as was required by the nuns, keeping room between us for the Holy Spirit).
These were serious days in a young kid’s life. These were the days years before hair would start to sprout on my face and decades before it appeared in my ears and nose. So much of what happens in these years is imbedded in my psyche.
As is with Facebook, now that some of these old classmates have joined the group, it gives us license to go spying on each other’s profiles. Though we are living in different parts of the country now and pursuing different directions in life, as I gaze through the profiles there is still one constant that runs through all of them – We are all getting old(er).
Some of my old classmates have been posting some posed class photos from those days gone by that they have managed to hold onto all of these years. Someone even had a copy of our yearbook, a typewritten and photocopied first and only edition with no photos. I was reminded by one who had held on to this relic that I was voted Most Generous. Not really in the higher echelon of Best Looking or Best Athlete, but at least in the minor leagues of acclamations.
I had forgotten about that. It made me feel good. A slight sense of immortality. And an award that can stand the test of time.
Being a Catholic School, we are all decked out in what was our usual attire through those eight years. The boys with their woven, monogrammed ties and white dress shirts and the girls with their plaid monogrammed jumpers with white short-sleeved shirts.
None of us really cared for the outfits, but looking back now compared to some of the class pictures I see nowadays with dirty jeans and T-shirts, we left a nice image for posterity.
It has been fun to be communicating with all these old classmates again. Not all of them were my “friends” and some old stories I hear recounted aren’t exactly as I remember them, but I guess we all shape our memories to fit our perceptions of the times.
Not all of us made it this far. There is a list on the site of some classmates who died way too young and that gives me pause. Some have only passed recently. Waking up to a new day, every morning, is pretty cool. Need to be more grateful for that.
The plan for the reunion is to have it in April of 2018, which would be the 49th year since we graduated. At first it seemed odd to me not to wait until 2019, but then, as I read the above paragraph, it makes perfect sense.
The hall has been rented at a hotel and the reunion itself is scheduled to go from 3pm until 9pm as required by Federal law for all parties for those who are sixty years old and older. (I hear that someone is planning an after party in their room which might, if there is interest, go all the way to 11pm.)
In all honesty, I still haven’t decided if I am going to attend the reunion or not. Maybe I am hesitant to have old memories that have lived inside me for so long to be shattered by the reality of living, breathing, older faces. Or maybe it’s just that I’m not in the mood to deal with traffic in and out of Long Island for a couple of days.
I’ll have to wait and see.