The Who song quoted in the title was very apropos for our high school reunion weekend for two reasons. 1. The Who was the first concert that I ever went to, and 2. We had a high school graduating class of nearly 500 students and I thought that I knew and could put a name to a face for every one of them. Maybe I could back in the day, but…
Before we all got our name tags on, as I mingled and moved about the bar Friday night, occasionally popping into groups of former classmates, I’d hear the same question. People all over the room wanted to say “Who are you? to so many people. Is it because we are getting old? No, of course not. It’s because we were drinking! We’ll officially be old at our reunion in ten years. We’re not there yet.
“Count your age by friends, not years. Count life by smiles, not tears.” ~John Lennon
This was definitely a weekend of counting our age by friends. I’ve never been any where with so many smiles and hugs before. Even if we hadn’t seen each other in decades, everyone was greeted as if they were best friends just returning from vacation. And that is how I like to think of my high school graduating class. We’ve just taken vacations from the people who were like family during the five days a week that comprised every week of our 19 school years together.
“You don’t have to have anything in common with people you’ve known since you were five. With old friends, you’ve got your whole life in common.” ~Lyle Lovett
That Lyle Lovett quote hit me Saturday night at the formal reunion dinner when I was sitting at a table with some old friends and one of them said to me that in the weeks leading up to the reunion he found a class picture from kindergarten, when we were four or five years old, that included him, myself and a classmate of ours who had passed away. It had never occurred to me before that I had known this guy almost my entire life.
“Wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been” ~Jimmy Buffett
Yes, there were more wrinkles than the last time I saw all of you, but there were also more smiles too.
I have to give a big shout-out to the committee that organized our reunion. I’ve heard about other peoples reunions, and nothing compares with what these women did. Months of planning, effort and time turned into two nights that were enjoyed and memorable for so many people. Your efforts are appreciated by all. Because of our wonderful planning committee, we all know that we again beat our rival high school across town who chose to have their reunion the same night.
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I chose to be stupid with my old friends. As I said, it was a 1980’s themed reunion, so of course we had to have an air guitar contest, which I happened to win. Thank you to Kym who caught the shot of me jumping off the chair!
This person said that at their previous school, everyone was in cliques. Most people at this persons school only socialized with the people just like them. The jocks hung out with the jocks. The band people with other band people and so on and so on. This person felt like they weren’t allowed to fit in at their previous school. This person said that when they came to our school, it was like a whole other world. They described feeling welcomed and wanted by everyone regardless what their interests or groups were.
“They have accepted me as an individual, as a personality, as an entity. I belong! I am important! I am somebody!” ~author Beatrice Sparks, Go Ask Alice
We did that. That’s who we are. Even if we don’t know “Who are you? Who, who?” we’re going to welcome you into our world.
It was wonderful seeing all of you this weekend, and I’m proud to call you my friends forever. ~Phil