Tuesday, July 19, 2016

50th Class Reunion

“Remember the time on the band trip to Oklahoma and we girls ended up hiding some of the freshmen boys in our room so the band director didn’t catch them wandering on the girls’ side of the hotel?”

“I recall one of the times I got in trouble was a summer night when a couple of us were walking the streets of Petersburg and lost track of time; our parents were on the verge of calling the sheriff when we finally arrived home.”

“Can you remember how silly we were, buying a pack of Winstons  ‘for my uncle’ and driving out to a country road where we could smoke and not be found out?”

“Remember the time I took the car without asking while my parents were out of town for the day ~ I took a corner too fast and slid into a muddy ditch at the edge of town. Had to walk to somebody’s house and call my dad—things were kinda frosty at home that night!”

“There was that time we all drove up and down Main Street the last day of school, having water balloon fights to celebrate the beginning of summer.”

Anecdotes like these will abound when we have our 50th Class Reunion one month from now. While we were a small class from a small high school in a small town (small wonder we have managed to stay in touch with each other!), we made up for our smallness with a lot of heart. Many of us grew up together and sat through twelve years of public education side by side. We went to Sunday school together, suited up to play high school sports in the same locker room, marched in band together through snow and West Texas sandstorms, and dragged Main in our second-hand cars throughout high school, racking up countless miles but going nowhere. We joined forces through 4-H projects, FFA livestock judging competitions, FHA meetings, three act plays, band practice, and countless athletic events.
Go, Buffs!

Most of our parents were able to spare the time to be room mothers, PTA volunteers, and band boosters. They supported us with hours of their time, waiting in the car for us to finish band practice or following the football bus to yet another out-of-town game. They bought Girl Scout cookies, FHA bake sale items, and Christmas trees to fund our Senior Trip.

Our teachers were a hardy lot, working long hours for low pay to put up with our cocky attitudes and rebellious streaks as we made our way through adolescence. By and large, they were willing to see past the childish pranks and hormone-driven drama to the potential buried in each of us. Determined to save us from ourselves, they persevered until we had safely walked across that stage and grasped the diploma that certified we were ready for adulthood (whether we really were or not).

Few of our parents are still around to see us pass this milestone, but a handful of our teachers are, and some of them will be at the reunion to reminisce with us. We have all gone our separate ways these last fifty years. Marriages, divorces, children, grandchildren, careers, successes, failures, joys and grief have all been parts of our collective journey. We may be very amazed to reconnect next month and hear what diverse paths we have traveled after having had such a commonality in our childhood.

As teenagers, we judged our value by the following:

·      we were popular in high school (whatever that meant)
·      we made the honor roll
·      we got more detentions than anyone in the class
·      we put the most points on the scoreboard, or warmed the benches instead
·      we made a career as an attorney standing in the courtroom or we spent our years working for the Sanitation department . . .

None of those benchmarks define who we are today. They may indicate how we responded to the pressures we faced, or what decisions we made based on what was expected of us. We may have made life decisions because of our own faulty view of our capabilities or who we thought we were. Who we are where it counts ~ the way we treat others, how much kindness and generosity we extend to our family and friends, and whether we are fulfilling what God created us to do ~ that is what defines us.

Put aside any uncertainty, timidity, or insecurity to which you might cling, and make your plans to attend the PHS Class of ’66 Reunion.  Come remember the youngsters we were fifty years ago. Plan to laugh a lot. Celebrate the remarkable upbringing and education that our families, our school, and our community provided for us to make our start in life.

We want to see your face on the weekend of August 19-20! 

This replica of the little car I drove in high school sure brings back memories!


Nonnie said...

I think a 50 year reunion in a small town would be a blast! Mine is next y are working on it now. I know you will have a ball and probably be one of the most fun people there!

Anonymous said...

Remember when we were at marching practice and Mr. Trayler admonished us to "Stand up straight so I can tell if you're a boy or a girl?" It shocked me then, but I haven't forgotten it.

Judy Martin Bowyer said...

Connie, I may not be the most fun person there, but I'll bet I have as much fun as anyone else! Hope your reunion next year goes well.

And yes to Anonymous, I do actually remember Mr. Trayler's comment. It got our attention, didn't it?

Sharon Kurklin said...

Ya'll have fun--I know you will.

Judy Martin Bowyer said...

By the way, Xene says the Anonymous post above, regarding marching band practice, is from her!