I recently helped plan our 40th high school reunion. The planning with old classmates was such fun, and the reunion itself was simply wonderful. I went to a high school in a small township in Ohio where 7th-12th grades were in the same school building. It was a very tight-knit community (and still is.) Going through school, you got to know everyone as well as their siblings, cousins, etc. The reunion was celebrating our 40th, but we also invited the class ahead of ours and two classes after ours to ensure we had enough attendees to make a nice party.
Our classes each graduated no more than 100 students, so when we had over 170 attendees from the four classes, we were very pleased. We even had several faculty members attend – that was a wonderful and surprising addition. The stories told that evening could fill a book (old people love to reminisce.)
The evening was one that everyone will remember. The very best aspect of the reunion was the chance to see many old friends and catch up with where their lives had taken them – I had not seen many of these classmates since 1969. It’s a goods thing our name tags held our graduation photos! Eliminated that awkward moment when you cannot for the life of you recognize who is standing in right in front of you! As the night was ending, we were asking folks if they would like us to plan another reunion in 10 years. The answer? “NO! Make it 5 years. ” I guess we did something right in getting everyone together in one place, but ultimately, it is the friendships that brought them together and created the desire to do it again soon. That and the fact that as we get older, our lives, our health, and our economic means are less secure — who knows if we will all be here in 10 years or be able to attend. Several classmates traveled from Texas, California, Georgia and Florida to join in the fun!
So, 5 years from now, I’ll let you know how the ‘older’ folks did it again! Keep your friends as close as you can as the years go by — there is nothing like dear, old friends to help keep you ‘young.’