Tuesday, August 28, 2012

High school years live on

An imminent high school reunion prompted me to call a high school classmate last night and tell him the good news. We had talked perhaps a half dozen or so times in the past 45 years, since we marched out of the school gymnasium and on to different lives. He had called me a week or so ago to ask if I had something he had been searching for.

The good news: My wife found the Class Prophecy in a storage bin in the attic. She brought it down, all yellow with age and growing brittle, its typewriter font looking odd in this word-processing age. But it was intact, a five-page, single-spaced document stapled into a graduation edition of the school newspaper, along with a class history, a class Last Will and Testament and a few other (shall we admit it?) sophomoric writings.

It speaks to the limited foresight of an 18-year-old that the class prophecy is set 20 years after graduation — now 25 years before this year. In it, I imagined a world so far removed from today's reality that I might as well have set it upon some extra-terrestrial colony in some other galaxy. It conjured the popular trends of that long-ago day, of James Bond, fancy cars, and quickly vanished fascinations of 1967. It pains me to read it now.

Next month, I will spend an evening mingling with people whose names I barely remember, and we will speak of old times, nearly forgotten, and try to wedge our present lives into the stiffened molds of our teenage years. Twenty-two of our class of 125 are already gone. Of the remainder, fewer than half will show up for this event. A handful of us have attended each of the five reunions we've held. We gather, renew acquaintances, talk about our current lives and depart. Until the next time.

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