There are 200+ folks I’ve known for 50 years for whom I do not hold a single negative thought or one iota of animosity – my high school senior class. We held our 45th last weekend. I had a dee-lightful time. I bet you will understand why. PLUS World Cup …. Algore …. College FB ….. The Newest Bond Villain.
I only attend my own class reunions. 6 or 7 of’em so far. I make no comparisons to any others. I always have a terrific time and drinking nothing harder than a Coke Zero.
Y’all know the BobLee Growing Up Saga – “Happy Days” with a Southern accent. Richie, Potzie, The Fonz, Eddie Haskell, Frankie & Annette, Friday Night Lights. Everything deliciously corny about the 60s we had it twice over. It’s relevant that we were a half step ahead of the social upheaval of the late 60s. This was the small town (20,000) South. I didn’t make the rules. I just grew up under’em.
Within the collective 200+ classmates, I had my set of buddies and she-buddies that hung out, had the same classes, and basically we all grew up together and have kept up sporadically over the years.
We had all the stereotypes – jocks, cheerleaders, eggheads, hoods, easy girls, class officers, shop class guys, and the asocial fringers who lurked in the shadows doing who knows what. There was an A-V club. Doug was its Prez. I was not an A-V guy but I knew Doug.
A Doug story – Asked by legendary Physics teacher Estelle McClees to explain static electricity; Doug thought for a moment, broke into a wide grin and declared – It’s Magic ! Stunned silence was broken by the suppressed giggles from Ms McClees herownself. Doug had captured the flag and won the moment. I miss those high school moments. Don’t you too, kinda?
High school with its adolescent insecurities and faux crises was not “THE best days of my life” but they were very good days. NOW may be my best. Whatever that says about my life adventures. The Statler Bros nailed it –“…. things get complicated when you get past 18.”
The reunion hand grenade is – You don’t remember me do you? It’s a standard reunion line and a killer to juggle. I go with I’m afraid you’re right, bust a big grin and shoot out a hearty hand of friendship. That worked fine this year but it didn’t some years back.
“She” was a VaVaVoom girl. Not just pretty or cute but her own category of oozy pulchritude. It wasn’t affected. She couldn’t control it. She had It. The car every dog dreamed of chasing but few did because none knew what to do if they somehow caught it. Every school had THAT GIRL. Let’s call her Desiree.
Desiree never came to the early reunions. We hoped she would, but she didn’t. It mighta been 25th or 30th. Working the room as one does, I came upon my pal Pete talking to someone I didn’t recognize. A spouse of a classmate…..? She was not grossly disproportionate but she was unattractive. I know that sounds tacky. The woman was very scary-looking.
I walk up and Pete says BobLee, you remember Desiree? Thinking it was some kind of trivia quiz I say Sure, who could ever forget Desiree. This is Desiree.
In retrospect what was the correct response? Was there one? Blinking really hard and shaking my head to clear the brain fog – You’re kidding, right? was NOT it.
Little Bo-Peep lost her sheep and Desiree had lost “her It”. Where did it go?
Desiree had lost her IT. Where did IT go?
Who knows? There was no forwarding address. Desiree nor It has ever come back. Reunions can be hazardous. REALLY BIG name tags help.
Another fellow who never comes back is a celebrated author and Rodeo Drive bon vivant. He’s written acclaimed biographies of Marilyn Monroe, George Hamilton and a few others and is an international restaurant critic. He is our very own Truman Capote. A diminutive fellow with refined ways.
First semester senior year, I, and a coupla buddies, stuffed Little Truman in a trash can in the student lounge. My answer to the obvious question – Why did you do it? – is the same one today that I gave Principal Mock 45 years ago. – I honestly don’t know. It just seemed the thing to do at the time. Was it out of character or the real me bubblin’ up? The jury is still out on that.
Harboring absolutely no negative thoughts is a qualified statement. 80% of the relationships are superficial. The other 20% are to deeper degrees and I like’em all a lot. They say Familiarity breeds contempt. I never tried breeding with any of them so there’s no contempt.
Every class ends up with a crazy guy. Not the class clown or the scary guy or the booger-eater or the guy who memorized the entire Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner. The crazy guy. Our crazy guy showed up this year. Not everyone knew he was the crazy guy. They do now. He was off his meds so all his “he’s” showed up. Look whose talkin’, right.
Lovely as ever Jerri comes up to me whispering ….. BobLee, is that Norris? …. Yeah …. What’s wrong with him? Is he crazy? …. Yeah ….. Really? …. Yep, going on 20 years now. I handled that one better than I did Desiree.
When you’re walking down Life’s 15th Fairway with a few bogeys on your scorecard and you can’t blame loving parents ….. or the cool place you grew up ….. or a wonderful bunch of growin’ up friends. That only leaves Personal Accountability ….. what a bummer..
My passion for World Cup Soccer is building in intensity. It may reach Winter Olympics level. Are the Winter Olympics over yet? It IS better than the WNBA.
Texas is staying put in the Big 12 ergo College football will not do a Humpty Dumpty this year. Texas is a bully. Yeah, OK, so what. They are very big and very successful and that brings with it privilege. Hook’em Horns.
Did you see Carl-Henric Svanberg – The BP Mogul ? This dude is one cat in his lap and an eye patch from being a Bond Villain. He has a snarky Euro-aristocrat accent. His upper lip curled when he said … the small people. Are there a lot of midgets in Mississippi? I betcha BP’s world HQ is in a hollowed-out volcano in the remote Welsh countryside. I’m calling Cubby Broccoli and Ian Fleming.
The English language was never intended to form this sentence: “Al Gore and Laurie David went from friends to lovers. It couldn’t be avoided.”
Whats next? A YouTube of Helen Thomas and Henry Waxman frolicing in a hot tub at The Palms Casino. …… my eyes aaaarrgghhhh my eyes