The Wife and I travelled this weekend. We packed up and drove clean across the state of Georgia (or nearly so) and went to my 30th high school reunion.
Now, I went to the only high school in a small town in southeast Georgia. So, everybody that went to high school, went to the same high school. Except for the handful that went to the private school run by a Baptist (or nearly so) church. There might have been some home-schooling, but I think most of those were actually drop-outs.
Anyway, it's been 30 years since we gathered in the football stadium waiting to find out if it was going to rain and force us inside. It didn't. And 323 of us walked across the stage ... mostly sober and mostly well-behaved ... and received our diplomas. Most got ours because we did what we had to do to graduate high school. I'm still thinking some got one just so they wouldn't come back the next year.
That was 30 years ago. And 20 years ago, our class had its first reunion. I didn't go. Couldn't get my schedule worked out until the last minute, then showed up with the money for a meal. They wouldn't let me in. Probably because I was an ass.
10 years ago, I went to our 20th reunion. That's when a couple of the girls did the very same thing they did back in high school. They went out ... got drunk ... got into fights ... got locked up (or told to leave before they got locked up) ... and everyone talked about it the next day. Typical for our class.
I went to that reunion, as I said. But the Wife didn't go. She wasn't actually my wife at the time. And the previous wife was just that: a previous wife. Anyway, the Wife didn't go to that one.
But she went to this one.
Now, let me tell you a couple of things about our high school class. They raised hell. Some of the folks in my high school class are only alive because Hell ain't been able to get the temperature high enough. Some should, by all rights, be dead from natural causes, knife fights, shootings, or state-administered electrocutions.
Still, with all the trouble our class caused, some of the kids today make us seem more like a Sunday School class.
The reunion was a two-night affair (if I might use that word without anybody jumping to any conclusions ... justified or not). Friday night, we had a great spread of food. And it was delicious.
And some of the people looked exactly the same. No, really. For a couple of them, it was like, "Whoa! She hasn't changed one little bit." Of course, they had. After a couple of seconds, the eyes cleared and the wrinkles here and there showed, the grey hairs (or the unnatural hair coloring) began to be seen, and it was obvious that they had aged. But some hadn't aged 30 years.
On the other hand, some folks looked like they had decided to skip the reunion altogether and send their parents in their place. One in particular came up and shook my hand and told me who he was. I knew him, of course. Only he looked, walked, and talked just like his daddy.
Some didn't wear too well. Some showed little wear at all.
Some of the people I saw were people I hadn't seen since June 1976. Some, I hadn't seen since before then.
Some of the classmates passed on. The list of those that had died that was read at this reunion was larger than the list at the last reunion.
I didn't go back the second night. Not because I didn't care to. But because of a family event that conflicted (more about that tomorrow). But I suspect one or two went out drinking and fighting and were thrown in (or told to leave before they were thrown in) jail.
Just like in 1976.
I can hardly wait until the 40th reunion. I suspect more and more will come dressed like their parents.