Vian High School’s Class of ’83 hadn’t gathered for a reunion in two decades. I brought cameras, but quickly realized that the point and purpose of the weekend was to spend the time chatting, hugging, laughing and catching up with my old classmates, rather than obsessing with a camera as I too-often do. So forgive the modest set of pictures.
There’s a famous biblical quote that ends, “Time and chance happen to them all.” The Vian High School Class of ’83 is no exception to that principle. We had our 30-year reunion last weekend. Those years had surely aged us, and sent us all down some very-different paths. But to a surprising degree, most of us were pretty much the same people we were when we graduated. In many ways, it seemed like nothing had changed, even though pretty much everything obviously had.
If you believe the conventional wisdom about high school reunions, they’re infamous as angst-ridden affairs where grown men and women return to their hometowns to revive all their adolescent insecurities and pettiness. And it seems way too many people dread or avoid them for exactly that reason.
But ours wasn’t like that at all. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. There was a lot of hugging and sincere handshaking. It was an opportunity to travel back in time and laugh like a teenager. A time to remember our friendships, our teenage antics, and our common past, and to forget most everything else. An opportunity for each of us to experience a couple of days of what high school might have been like if you could extract the awkward immaturities and replace it with the perspective that apparently requires another 30 years to develop. A comfortable mixture of things that had changed completely and things that hadn’t really changed at all.
The only disappointment of the whole process was for (and about) those who weren’t there. I know several just couldn’t make it, but several surely just chose not to come. It’s a shame – for them and for the rest of us – that they weren’t there to be part of it.
Everybody looked pretty good, so I’m sure some folks had probably lost some weight or bought new clothes or got their hair done just right before showing up in front of their classmates. But once we were all gathered up, no one much cared about your waistline or your hairline, or what you were wearing, or what jobs you’d had. Nobody cared much even about how many kids or grandkids you had (or didn’t have). They were just happy to see you. Which is how a reunion should be.
Oh! That’s me in some of the group shots. In the light bluish shirt (kneeling) in the indoor group shot above, for example. So obviously I didn’t take all the pictures. Thanks to Dan Murdoch and whoever else it was that helped me out and pushed the button for the pics that included yours truly.