Preparing for My 50 Year High School Reunion

This summer will be my 50-year high school reunion. Like all reunions, it snuck up and surprised me. But it didn’t surprise me as much as the phone call I got, later.  

Filling Big Shoes

Our class president and my friend, John Watson, recently passed. Rest In Peace, John. This left a gap in our reunion weekend. So, when the Reunion Committee called and asked me to fill in, my first thought was filling John’s shoes was impossible. John was athletic. He was a Charger, an early high school football star with a great golf game. He could wow you by doing a running back flip off a wall, he was a lover of hallucinogens, an accomplished photographer, and had an artist’s sensibility.

I, on the other hand, could have been voted the least likely to succeed or most likely to end up in jail. A poor substitute for John. But, as always, I said, “Yes.”

The Last 50 Years

This promise got me thinking about the past 50 years:

50 years ago, there were smoking holes, today there are coke machines (not sure which is worse).

50 years ago, there were fist fights by the flagpole, today there are metal detectors.

50 years ago, we skipped school, smoked pot (or at least I did), and listened to Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin. Today, my 90-year-old father-in-law’s eating gummies as part of his wellness program.

50 years ago, The Pill was new, so was free love, and “burn the bra” was our motto. Today, conservativism is on the rise.

50 years ago, we recycled coke bottles to save money. Today we do it to save the planet.

Those times were memorable. So much so that I can still remember the phone numbers of all my old friends.

John, I know I am not a substitute for you. But I still have time to expand on my “50 years ago” list in a way that I hope will make you proud.

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