Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Nostalgia

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.


Anonymous said...

Maybe we can say Ray Eubanks play am important role in your life. I have the same occasion. It's Joson I met him at that brought me to the school and most of my tuitions are paid by him. I'll say it again loudly, thanks for your help--Joson.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Shades of Vic Holyfield and the Class of 1957!

Did you ask your rich friend to buy the school?

Bill Crider said...

I don't think he's that rich. Good idea, though.

Todd Mason said...

I think that makes you a writer, or a least a fiction writer, Bill.

I had a pretty uninspiring time in my two high schools, but I'm still at least mildly interested in what happened to my classmates (and other-class schoolmates), and whenever I come across it I tend to re-read at least a little of my copy of WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE CLASS OF '65, something less likely with any other Wallechinsky or Medved book I might own (well, the GOLDEN TURKEY volume is the only other Medved). Missed my Hawaii 25th (photos online suggest that at least one classmate, one of the few I recognize, is even prettier now than at graduation [I suspect I'm no uglier]), dunno if my New Hampshire 25th has even happened in the face of the presidential primary crush.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

So you had to be dragged TO school in the first grade. You must have grown to like it since, as I understand it, you had to be dragged OUT of graduate school so you could finally start your career.

Bill Crider said...

I have that Class of '65 book as well as the Golden Turkey one. Like them both.

Cap'n Bob, you're right. I did come to like school a lot. In fact, I enjoyed high school for the most part. Yes, even SILAS MARNER.

Gerard said...

I sent The Old Man a link to this post since his 50th class anniversary from Irving H.S. is coming up in a few days.

The Old Man enjoyed your post. Which is good since he is unlikely to get to his own anniversary.

Bill Crider said...

Glad he liked the post. It was fun to see those people, and I know he'd enjoy seeing his classmates if he could make the trip.