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Column: The Reunion

by Ron Holdraker
July 27, 2019

So I went to my 50th High School reunion a couple of weeks ago.

To be honest, I really did not want to go, but Wife Patti kept pushing me as soon as the invites came over last year in preparation for the EVENT.

I was only at Eastridge (in East Irondequoit) for two years, having finally broken the Catholic education trudge at Bishop Kearney. I knew some of the kids, but with a class of 300++, I was still a bit of an outsider.

Luckily, I fell in with the right group and the two years passed quickly, especially since I really, really hated school. I liked algebra and chemistry so much I took them twice. I was the kind of student who knew summer school was in my future. How I ever made it through college amazes me even today.

Anyway, back to the reunion thing. Of course, one must evaluate any and all progress made over the past 50 years. Hmm, still have my own teeth, most of my hair, did manage to find a life-mate that tolerated my few many quirks and, I have managed to stay out of prison.

Of course, if you look at the face and body, it has somewhat changed. Time has taken a toll.

I know, to prepare for the EVENT, I will take better care of myself, lose weight, shop for new clothes. After all, I have months and months to turn over a new leaf and lease on life. Yup, I’ll start tomorrow, but no need to rush this thing. I can wait until...at least two months before the EVENT is the dropdead start to losing weight.

Funny how time passes so quickly as you edge nearer and nearer age 70. Before I knew it the

reunion was in two weeks! Naw, I still have time to lose 15-20 pounds. Ahh, hell, I don’t care, maybe I’ll get sick, or have another one of those medical operations I have become so well known for.

Excuses aside I was surprised when Wife Patti informed me the EVENT was in two days. I dreaded going to see so many (about 70) fellow classmates from a half century passed.

Hmm, don’t wear tight clothes, it is a dead giveaway and make sure you take your glasses in case they write names on those really small name badges.

Somewhat luckily, the group had a small get-together the night before the big night, at a local bar we were all familiar with back in the day. There, I did manage several old connections, making the next night easier to handle.

When we (Yes, Wife Patti insisted on going) entered the room, there were a few familiar outlines, ones I could possibly identify. You approach someone, try not to be obvious as your eyes peruse their name tag and greet them with a “Hi, Boy I could identify you a mile away. You haven’t changed much in 50 years.” Still, eyes were strained reading those damn name badges.

Was everybody in the room lying just a bit? Of course, but luckily, just about everybody gained weight, lost hair and dressed like, like, people in their late 60s.

Yes, conversations lead to people in their 60s topics: Married? Kids? Grandkids? Really, you have been married how many times? How many operations have you had?

Then, there were the ones who did not make it to the reunion, either due to dying, prison, whatever.

I am not a party type of guy, something Wife Patti is well aware of. I can make polite conversation for only so long, before I find a more quiet place and park my butt.

Wife Patti knows the time clock. I can endure anything for two hours before it begins to show. Actually, I was rather proud of my bride, as she struck up more conversations and greetings that I did, canvassing the room without a hesitation.

Finally, the two hour bell in my head rang. As Wife Patti approached, she smiled and said, “Is it time?

It started at 6, I was out by eight. “Aren’t you going to stay for the band and dancing?, came one inquiry.

We were probably the first to exit the night, and pictures over the internet showed the group had a somewhat ruckus time on the dance floor.

My spouse and I knew our bodies were well beyond the dance phase and were glad to be on our way home. We stopped for a dinner, got home. I hugged the three dogs, sat in my recliner and turned on TV.

Whew, I thought, don’t have to do another reunion till what...75 years.? Wife Patti reminded me her high school reunion coming up in August.

I cannot think of another place on earth I would not rather be than a 50 year reunion of people I have absolutely no connection with. Stay tuned to see if Wife Patti really insists...

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