Today I bounded out of bed at 5:30 A.M., got dressed, and hit the highway for the old hometown. It was homecoming weekend at the high school, and the Class of '57 was having a 50th anniversary get-together. I'm not quite as aged as the members of that class, but I knew most if not all of them back in the Olden Days, and I hadn't seen most of them since they graduated. I figured it would be fun to get a look at them.
When I arrived, I was met by Fred Williams. He was one of my best friends during high school, college, and a couple of years of grad school. We've kept in touch (we e-mail just about every day) and visited over the years, so I knew what he looked like, not that he's changed much. We chatted for a while, looked over the old building (which now houses the school museum), and then went down to where the Class of '57 was gathered.
I have to say, it was great to see them again. Sure, it was hard to recognize some of them, though some of them looked so much the same, I could name them easily. What always strikes me about things like this is that it's as if no time has passed. We all share so many of the same memories of a crucial time in our lives that we can pick up as if we'd just seen each other yesterday.
Faye Lynn Eubanks was there. She's the sister of the late Ray Eubanks, without whom I'd never have gone to school. Faye Lynn and Ray walked by my house every day, and my mother dragged me out and gave me over to them. Ray's the one who forced me to go with him and his sister to the school. He did it every day for probably the entire first grade. He's been dead for a long time (massive heart attack), but Faye Lynn remembered all about those days. In fact, she'd been telling people about them before I ever showed up.
Suzanne Hayter was there. Suzanne was the band drum major, and a lovely girl back in 1956. She's a lovely woman now, and she looks about 15 years younger than I do, even though she's older. I'd love to know her secret.
Robert Isham. Quickest wit around fifty years ago. Now a wealthy man, or so rumor has it. I hope it's true.
Warner Dean Hancock, who claims to have introduced me to Judy. I owe him big if that's the case.
And a lot of others. I stayed for about three hours and had a wonderful time. I wish I could have spent more time with them, hearing about their lives. Everything about them is interesting to me. That probably makes me pretty weird. But I don't care.