This past weekend was my 50th high school reunion. Jesus!
We're so old the band didn't have a clue what music to play. They finally stumbled onto the Beatles and Stones and at least that got some people to their feet. It wasn't until I got the internet-connected DJ to play Sweet Etta James and James Brown that things got rocking. I wound up dancing with two old heart throbs, at the same time! That was a hoot.
The room quickly divided between the drinkers and teetotalers. A few of us, a lot of them. Ran into an old friend who said he quit once and it was the worst day of his life. Cautioned against trying it.
I think it comes from my days of make believe cowboys and western movies but I always choose a seat in the corner with my back to the wall so that I can survey the room. Black Bart ain't gonna sneak up on me, no-sirree. I'm sure I wasn't the only one, but it was somewhat sobering to look across that room at people I haven't seen in fifty years. Pretty much ran the gamut of on-the-cusp old folks, from wheelchair to marathoner. Several lost in Viet Nam, several lost to time, many couldn't be found.
It became clear to me that sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, was the better path traveled as I was easily one of the most healthy and fit of the bunch and I'm not exactly a fitness nut. The meal chosen by the organizers pretty well sums it up; steak with chicken and potatoes. I suppose years of pasta, fresh vegetables and seafood has its rewards.
I did get to reconnect with a few old friends, some of whom I went all through school with, from first through twelfth grade. Though we have hardly seen or heard of each other over the years, it was as if we had never been apart. Childhood friends know each other on a root level. I read somewhere that you should choose your life mate from the same area you grew up in because you share the same values. I think there's a lot of truth to that.
And then there's the friend who was only an acquaintance in high school but who fate has thrown into me over the years. Stationed at the same air base in Germany where we worked together on several projects. Ran into each other on campus at college. One other meeting the circumstances I can't recall, and who now lives in the same small North Carolina community as my daughter. The next meeting will be deliberate as I promised to call him the next time I visit so we can lift a beer.
All in all, a pretty good weekend. But boy, how time flies. Carpe Diem.