Alternate Universe:1987

I had a great weekend. And by “great,” I mean “Why do I get to know such groovetastic people, and then have so many of them in one place at one time?”

There are a few times in a person’s life when she gets to do the thing called “High School Class Reunion.” And I’m one of those sentimental, heart-on-her-sleeve kind of folk who starts looking forward to the next reunion before the last one is over, so I had been anticipating this 20-year reunion for 10 years (and now I have 10 more years to grin goofily to myself every time I think of seeing my classmates again). I’m sure therapists have a name for the affection (or, alternatively, the distain) one feels for the non-family people with whom one spends 6 hours a day, 180 days a year, for nearly all of one’s formative years. These are people who, through accident of being born within the same calendar year and residing within a particular geographical area, raise and shape each other by performing the range of human social interaction models in all their bewildering varieties, including kindness, cattiness, generosity, grudges, friendship, forgiveness, romance, rivalry, peacemaking, penitence, exclusion, exhibition, stalking, selfishness, caretaking, cowardace, and blowups and breakups.  We watched each other be nerdy, talented, irreverant, mean, courageous, awkward, brilliant, profound, and profane.   We supported each other through various performances, heartbreak, bad hair days (which were many with mullets, crispy perms and Big Hair), losing sports seasons, delinquency, teacher vendettas, the infinite varieties of teenage humiliations, and bomb threats.  And, sadly, we failed each other, too–besides outright malevalence and cruelty, we were guilty of countless missed opportunities to ease loneliness, soothe heartaches, seek forgiveness, and make friends.

I suppose the collective consciousness of all those moments, rising to the surface of my memories at the prospect of seeing my classmates again, accounts for the fragility and transparency of my emotions upon cresting the hilly boundaries of my hometown.  Moscow itself is a character from my past, a breathing, tangible, cocooning space that soothes me the moment I glimpse the outline of the mountains that form the city’s backdrop–these same mountains were the refuge and sentinels of my childhood.  Like my classmates, Moscow has changed:  grown beyond its earlier borders, it plays with the bigger kids in sports and state politics, but at its core it remains the quirky, somewhat bohemian personality I remember.

Because of time conflicts, I was able to attend only the Saturday evening function–a dinner-with-DJ affair that included spouses.  Long-time pal Wendy and I arrived together, and we melded into the medley of outstretched arms, happy exclamations, and laughter that characterized the evening.  The highlight was the graduation party video, juxtaposed with a slideshow of classmates today, put together by our own Photographer Extraordinare (and AP photographer) Ted.  Overall, however, my favorite aspect of the evening was seeing and talking with this outstanding group of people who have become parents, business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, scientists, professors, teachers, musicians, farmers, doctors, military standouts, performers, EMTs, firefighters, and a host of other excellent titles.

The title I am honored to call each of them is Friend.

Bill, Nikki

Dan and Debbie

Todd, Monica

Julia

Dana, Andy, Kelly

Heidi, Chris

Laurie, Greg, Kevin

 

Brance, Chris, Mitch, Tom

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6 Comments

  1. Mark IV said,

    July 25, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Looks like a blast, Idahospud. I don’t know if you like C&W, but I’ve always liked the song called The Class of ’57, by the Statler Brothers.

    Tommy’s selling used cars, Nancy’s fixing hair,
    Harvey runs a grocery store and Margaret doesn’t care.
    Jerry drives a truck for Sears and Charlotte’s on the make,
    And Paul sells life insurance and part time real estate.

    Helen is a hostess, Frank works at the mill,
    Janet teaches grade school and prob’ly always will.
    Bob works for the city and Jack’s in lab research,
    And Peggy plays the organ at the Presbyterian Church.

    And the class of ’57 had its dreams,
    Oh, we all thought we’d change the world with our great works and deeds.
    Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs,
    The class of ’57 had its dreams.

    Betty runs a trailer park, Jan sells Tupperware,
    Randy’s on an insane ward, Mary’s on welfare.
    Charlie took a job with Ford, Joe took Freddie’s wife,
    Charlotte took a millionaire, and Freddie took his life.

    John is big in cattle, Ray is deep in debt,
    Where Mavis finally wound up is anybody’s bet.
    Linda married Sonny, Brenda married me,
    And the class of all of us is just a part of history.

    And the class of ’57 had its dreams,
    But living life day to day is never like it seems.
    Things get complicated when you get past eighteen,
    But the class of ’57 had its dreams.
    Oh, the class of ’57 had its dreams.

  2. Lisa Rebagliati said,

    July 26, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Nikki,
    Great pictures! I am so glad to hear you had as good of time as I did. The weekend totally exceeded my expectations. It is amazing that we had so many wonderful, smart, and ambitious people in our class from a little corner of Idaho. Maybe we should do a 5 year? Not the whole deal but maybe just a dinner with spouses?
    Take care,
    Lisa

  3. Julie M. Smith said,

    July 26, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Did I know that you know Ted?

    Sheesh. Small world.

  4. idahospud said,

    July 26, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Mark: I’ve never heard that song–great lyrics, tho’–CW has the most hilarious lyrics. I had a foray into CW music after I had kids, thinking it might be better to have on the radio than rock for their little ears. I lasted a couple of years, listening to what seemed to be the same 8 songs over and over, before I headed back to rock.

    Lisa: I love the 5-year idea. Right now, ten years seems far to far away. I would love it if someone smart would create a class website for us, funded with ads and/or donations thru Paypal or something easy. Thank you for all you did to make this last one happen!

    Julie: Yep, you did. I got to have a nice long chat with Kirsten, as well!

  5. Trish Henley (Mayburry) said,

    July 27, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Man! I spent the whole weekend depressed that I couldn’t be there for the reunion. I, for one, am all for another in five years as I had to miss this one (and though I was at the last one, I had a four-week old infant, so I don’t really remember much). Thanks for posting the pics! Julia sent the url to me, and it made me feel a little less sad about having to miss out.

    Best wishes to all!

  6. Becky (McMillan) Pickard said,

    July 30, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I had a great time as well, loved seeing anyone and everyone and hope that even more come back next time. 5 years would be great, but maybe just a dinner and more time for family??


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