My high school reunion, 30th high school reunion, was last Saturday. I didn’t go. For a few minutes or so I toyed with the idea of going, and then thought better of it. Why put myself through a 2000 mile drive to get to the Stockton. I could fly, but that’s become such a pain in the butt that I’m not inclined to fly anywhere anymore, unless it’s impossible to get there by car or train. See Europe and Hawai’i.
I did enjoy looking at some of the pictures from the event, thank you Facebook. Facebook is a Godsend to those of us who aren’t so good in crowds and get a little uptight about attending events and meeting folks. We can engage on our own terms and from the comfort of our offices and kitchen tables. It’s how I would prefer to engage with many of my family members, less drama on Facebook.
For the most part the Class of 81, at least the subset of a subset that showed up at the reunion looked pretty good. Not many were as fat as I am now, clean living I guess. Most were a little greyer than I, I eat lots and lots of preservatives in my food, keeps my hair dark. I didn’t get a chance to compare and contrast careers and kids, to measurements that are difficult to fake. I suppose you could lie about them, but I would hope we’re all just a bit past that now, as we’re are approaching our 50’s.
I was even to motivated to do the unthinkable, I headed down to the basement, tore apart old boxes and dusty piles of shit, long discarded sporting goods, spare fish tank, some collectable GI Joes that I bought 15 years ago thinking that they’d be valuable one day.. BTW, they are mostly in the Longaberger baskets that Mrs S purchased back in the day, same idea. $3,000 for a picnic basket that one day will be an heirloom keepsake our family will cherish. I have a better shot with GI Joe, I got me one in every WWII uniform in the original packaging. Call them dolls if you wish, but for a crusty old collector they’re going to be wanted items. As opposed to the yuppie houseparty baskets, I’m pretty sure the only person who will appreciate them who ever gets the clean out my basement after I cack. He or She.. probably she because no son would care enough to clean up a house after a parent dies, she will be looking for something to carry all the little shit out of the basement and that basket will come in handy. I sure hope she realizes what she has before she sells it at the estate sale for $1.00.
Of course by then she’ll probably have a levitating basket that you pile stuff into, only to it carry it’s own self up the stairs. Remember the promises they made when I was young , I think by now I was supposed to be getting around in a flying assed car, just where the f”K is that thing?
I digress. There, deep in the basement I found what I was looking for, the 1981 edition of the Lincoln Log, my high school year book. I dragged the thing upstairs, I haven’t really taken a look at it in 20 years probably, but I did need it to help me place some of the names and current faces, as I couldn’t quite remember who they were back when I was in school.
Funny how my perceptions have been frozen for 30 years, as I was looking at the book I found myself muttering “douche”and “good guy” and “he was a dick”and “oh yeah..” “Man what ever happened to her” and then there’s those folks who I only remember because back when I bought the thing.. I remember looking at the pictures and thinking that I had no idea who they folks were even then, and I was supposed have been in school with them the last four years. 30 years later, I remembered that I didn’t remember who they were then, or now. Odd how my mind works eh?
I especially enjoyed some of the girls who I thought were the bomb back in the day. Look at them now, feathered hair, GunneSax dresses all lacy and filly. Lots of powder blue tuxs.. fond memories of time better left behind.
I got lost for a bit in some of the many signatures on the book. The common theme, “Sank, you’re a funny guy”. Glad to know others thought so, even back then. Maybe things don’t change so much.
Sunday I was sitting with a few friends and kids at Apple Valley High School Dance Team Spaghetti Feed talking a bit about school. I had mentioned something or other about the school nurse. My daughter gets holiday cards from her school nurse, they’re that close. I think she’s in there once a week or so. I don’t remember a school nurse when I was a kid. If there was one I certainly never visited her. Or him. I remember a certain middle school coach who used to make sure he was in attendance at all the school physicals and used to have the boys down to their skivvies when they rolled an ankle or needed a knee wrapped. He sort of went away one day and we never saw him again. Hmm, weird.
Anyway, the kids said they visit the nurse when they need an ibuprofen or more contact solution. Damn things have changed, I don’t know anyone who wore contacts in high school. We all had glasses, typically the kind that were as effective for focusing on text as they were at keeping us from getting dates. I don’t think ibuprofen was invented in 1979. Tylenol was but there were risks…
“You never went to the nurse?” the kids were surprised. “No”, “Not once?”
“Not only that kids, I never went to the bathroom when I was in school”.
They all fell over in disbelief. Well, when walking into one of our smoke filled bathrooms, you know the kind that doubled as clubhouses for some of the kids that would one day start street gangs, believe me you could endure a few cramps at the expense of your life. My son called me on it. “You didn’t go pee in school for 4 years?” Pee yes.. we had a decent can in the choir room we could use and the one the library, oh and the one in the huddle, which was our cafeteria. But, never #2.” “ For four years?” “more like 6 years if you include middle school.” If my bride has been there she might have relayed that to this day I’ve been known to leave the mall, get in the car and go home when nature calls ‘cause “yeah he never ‘duces’ in public.” I was scarred, what can I say.
“BTW Kids” my turn to ask, “Where is the smoking section at Valley High?” All blank stares.. “the what?” “You know the place where kids go to smoke?” We had a sanctioned bench and ashtray out on the end of the parking lot where kids were allowed to go smoke during lunch and before and after school. That was a shock to the kids.
Now, campuses are completely tobacco free. That, is a significant change given the two times in 4 years I had to go through the teachers lounge for something. Talk about a view to the inner sanctum! Visibility in my high schools teachers lounge was about 18 inches, the smoked glass window that said Break Room on it really wasn’t smoked glass. Just say’n.
Well apparently things have changed now, kids have medical staff on premises, clean well patrolled restrooms, healthy food, tobacco free, drug gree. No wonder they can’t cope in the real world anymore.