Sunday, October 3, 2010

memory lane





a trip down memory lane
high school revisited

sitting on the bleachers
listening to a live band

eating in the lunchroom
walking the hallways

embarrassing yearbook pictures
and remember when stories

old pictures and old people
clueless even with name tags

prom dress and cap and gown
hanging in effigy

teachers and students
who shaped our lives

those who didn't make it
listed in memory

promises to keep in touch
cell, email, Facebook

reconnecting
remembering
renewing
reunion


Well, I took a trip down memory lane last night at the mega class reunion for anyone who had ever attended West Fannin High School (1956-1976), the building is still there, now an elementary school. Melissa and Madison went along and Madison got to hear about the night I picked up I met Buddy, right here at this sign!

Some things were the same, sitting in the bleachers listening to a live band, eating in the lunchroom, some things were different, the halls seemed much smaller, the cafeteria seats and restroom had been converted for use by 6 year olds… and of course everyone looked a tad older than the last time I saw them.

I have seen old classmates in the past and after a couple of minutes of 'remember when' we had nothing in common to talk about. But this time was different, unlike earlier class reunions, this one was more relaxed, like after 38 years we could finally not worry about the superficial things (like how do I look) and actually talk about life and what we are doing and our families, the good and the bad. Maybe it is because we are older and wiser or maybe it is because we are more connected with facebook, etc., or maybe we are just plain old and realize time is short... but, nah, after last night and seeing all of those folks still kicking from much earlier classes, we were some of the youngest ones there!

The hallway was set up with tables of memorabilia, old yearbooks, pictures, etc. Melissa and Madison scoped out my old yearbook and promptly turned to the picture of me sitting in a guy's lap for senior favorites picture 'biggest flirts'. Madison came running back to get me, "Susan we found your picture for biggest flirt and the guy in the picture with you is standing right there," as she pulled me that way. I told them that I did that on a challenge from my brother who earned the title back in '67. "Why did they make you sit in his lap?" Well, actually that was the only picture that was not posed that day, we were just goofing off…

It was good to see so many folks from high school years - students and teachers. I enjoyed talking with one of my favorite teachers, Ms. Curtacci (now Thompson) who came to our high school in our senior year to teach art. Right out of college, she was a breath of fresh air after 4 years of stuffy classrooms and teachers. We had a lot of fun exploring paint and clay and carving and tie-dye.

A former classmate turned coach, principal, now retired, Doug Davenport, gave a fun speech about the changes in school between then and now. How in today's classroom the focus is on self esteem and setting goals and time out - which were true 'back in the day' but handled differently, all with the help of a paddle (at least in his case). The teachers in attendance were rewarded with a standing ovation for their dedication and influence in our lives.

Sharon, a fellow classmate/cheerleader reminded me of when we sang the Alma Mater to the tune of Three Dog Night's Joy to the World (Jeremiah was a bullfrog), she wanted to sing it last night but thought some of the elders might not think it was appropriate (of course, that didn't stop us way back then!)

A good time was had by all, and talk is already in the works for a 40th reunion of the class of '72 in a couple of years. Now we have some new memories to add to the old ones, all mixed together in our feeble minds.





~ photo albums here and here.



1 comment:

Kerri said...

Fun memories, great pics, excellent writing. Thanks for sharing.
Love those faces. So interesting!
Fun to share the memories with the kids too.
Isn't it great when you're lucky enough to be in the class of an exceptional teacher? They make such a huge impression.
I enjoyed reading about Ms. Curtacci on your "Memories in a Jar" blog :)