“I’ve never been to a class reunion or anything because I’m always afraid of that one – there’s going to be some ‘Carrie’-like incident.”

The morning was cloudy and cold when I woke up around eight. I decided the day was uninviting so I stayed in bed another hour. Since then the sun has appeared and warmed the day. Gracie and I have a dump run later. I haven’t told her. It’s a surprise.

This weekend is my fiftieth high school reunion. Tonight is a cocktail party, tomorrow morning coffee and pastries then a tour of the school and finally dinner tomorrow night. I don’t know quite what to think. Fifty years since high school, a whole half-century ago, seems like such a long time if you think of it by itself, in years, but I never gave thought to the year by year passing of time. My life has been measured by events.

There was the fall when I started college. I remember wearing the ugly blue beanie and being asked questions by the upper classmen. That was a breakout year. I was on my own. I don’t remember much, but I do remember the first college dance and the first party, but that last one is a bit hazy. I remember the junior prom at Wentworth by the Sea. We all had imbibed as the class advisor told the management we were of age. The funniest incident was when my friend Andy, as in Andrea, who had imbibed a bit too much, missed the choosing of the prom queen. She was so mad she wanted it declared invalid as she believed she would have been chosen, and we had to restrain her for a bit. My senior year brought the most memories. We had student teaching, and that’s when I knew I was destined to teach high school. We had our Friday get-togethers at the bar every week, a prom at the Marblehead yacht club where I remember toasting, drinking then throwing my glass overboard and then there was graduation. I remember standing in line in the hall. I remember getting my diploma. That was four years gone.

I remember flying to Philadelphia for staging then flying to Ghana, training there and living in Bolga for two years. I can describe everything. My time there lives in vibrant colors in my memory banks. I remember leaving and silently crying the whole flight from Tamale to Accra.

I remember getting my teaching job and teaching English and loving it. I remember the interview for administrator, and I remember when they chose me. I remember the first kid I had to suspend. He had a cast on his arm, and I hated calling his mother. I remember realizing I could retire in three years when I turned 57. That was like a jolt to my psyche. All I’d done for what would be 35 years would end.

I have been retired for 11 years and have alternated between being busy and being totally idle, sloth-like. I have spent entire summers on my deck. I finally made it back to Ghana, not once but twice. I remember walking out of the plane and smiling. Ghana had changed but it still felt like home to me.

In four paragraphs I have just described the last fifty years. Tonight I’ll celebrate those years.

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16 Comments on ““I’ve never been to a class reunion or anything because I’m always afraid of that one – there’s going to be some ‘Carrie’-like incident.””

  1. sprite Says:


  2. Hedley Says:

    Have a blast !

    We never had any type of reunion, we completed our examinations (A Levels), the door of Dorking County Grammar School blew open and we scattered. Done

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, My Dear Hedley

      We had several reunions, the 40th being the last one before tonight. I’m hoping we all look far better than the people in today’s picture at their 50th.

  3. Birgit Says:

    That’s worth a celebration. Have fun!

  4. olof1 Says:

    Like You I remember things I’ve done, not the years. Like when I decided to become a conscientious objector instead of becoming a military as the entire family had expected 🙂 I think that was the first really important decision I dared to take.

    I also remember when I refused to be Santa for my cousin, he was after all and didn’t want a Santa but his mother wanted one and blamed it on him. She didn’t speak to me for almost a year 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Or when I decided to move to the countryside, no one believed I would stay for more than a year and here I am almost 19 years later 🙂 and 15 years ago I bought this cottage, that wa something not even I myself would have tought I ever would do 🙂

    have fun tonight!

    • katry Says:

      I think that was a huge step you dared to take. Good for you for holding onto your convictions.

      Some relatives are a joy only when you’re not talking to each other.

      I think you have done wonderfully including teaching yourself to cook, something not common when you were growing up.

      You have been your own person, and that sometimes takes courage!!

  5. flyboybob Says:

    My 50th class reunion was this year and I had absolutely no interest in attending. I have one friend from high school out of the 1137 graduates in the class. The couple of other friends are lost and I can’t find them through Google, Facebook or anywhere else in cyber space. I assume they have died or don’t want to be found. I don’t really care what happened to the other 1133 graduates who ignored me for three years in the halls, lunchroom and classes. High school was just a place to go everyday to enable me to move on to the next thing. We didn’t have a football team, but we had a basketball team, swimming team and a track team. I never attended any of the games. I didn’t care about student government and basically I just got my diploma and left school without ever looking back. The school was closed by the NYC board of eduction this year because of dwindling attendance but the building can’t be torn down because it’s a historic landmark.


    • katry Says:

      I’m sorry you had such a horrible time in high school. I have no idea why but it happens to some people, friends of mine too. I have good memories of high school. I guess I was pushy enough to get to know so many people though I was there only one year. I played sports and joined clubs. Before I did that, I was miserable: a new school senior year sucked big time for a couple of months. I then realized I had to do something, and I did.

      You graduated with Bob Beamon.

      That was quite a school!!

  6. Spaceman Says:

    Hey, I understand about Carrie. A seriously disturbing movie. Still gives me the creeps.

    • katry Says:

      It still gives me the creeps. When the blood poured down, I knew her classmates had made an awful mistake and would pay.

  7. Jay Bird Says:

    Oh, go to your college 50th!! You will have a wonderful time! I “bloomed” in college, and still have many great friends from those amazing days in the late-60’s.

    • katry Says:

      I’ve got 4 more years until the college 50th, and I imagine I’ll go. It is a monumental reunion.

      When I was in Ghana, my friends and I wrote for a while then the letters just petered away, and we lost track of each other. I have no idea where my college friends are now so it would be nice to catch up with them..

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