This is the time of year for class reunions. And because I went to four different (very different) high schools, and this is a year that ends with a number divisible by five, I get to choose which set of early classmates I would like to reunite with for our 55th class reunion.
I started my high school freshman year in Hardwick. There were 25 in the class and this year it will be down to 17.
The next school I attended was Mount St. Josephs Academy for Girls in West Hartford, Conn. I was there less than a year and have lost track of all classmates except a cousin. Likewise, William Hall High School in West Hartford. All I remember about that very large and overcrowded school was that we did really well in academics and poorly in sports. It was a high powered community; parents paid big taxes and expected the best in public education.
I actually graduated from Milford High School in Milford, Conn. One classmate there went on to be a U.S. Congressman, Bill Zeliff. In my husband’s class, the year before mine, was a member who was the father of an astronaut, Daniel Burbank. Two other members of my class remain my best friends to this day.
The early reunions all had an underlying theme: the 25th gathering centered on how good we looked. Months before the party there was a marked increase in gym workouts and crash diets. Around the 35th we were discussing our accomplishments as well as those of our offspring. By the 50th, everyone was carrying pictures of grandchildren accompanied by tales of their triumphs. A few had done time in jail. The class dork was a bank president. The class dreamboat was stocking shelves in a grocery store. Most everyone had put on a little poundage and taken off a little hair.
A good friend said recently that he goes to his class reunion and finds no one seems to have aged as well as he has.
I will go to Hardwick this June. Before the alumni banquet we will gather at the home of our class president and see who’s who and who was. We’ll talk about our great basketball players. Maybe we’ll remember our first dance and how we had practiced jitterbugging it for in the basement of the gym. I was heartbroken when my parents moved away before I ever got to try out for the cheerleading squad.
My brother in Alaska keeps in close contact with his Hardwick buddies and still comes back for reunions. He also links up with his Hardwick pals in Florida during February.
One year my husband and I sent in our money for his class reunion, covered a little gray, slimmed down a bit and showed up for the big event at a restaurant we were not familiar with. As we walked toward the entrance, he exclained, “I think we’ve got the wrong place: there’s a bunch of old people in there.” And indeed there were, and we were at the right place.