Class reunions really make you aware of the years that have passed and make you wonder just where those days and years went. We went to my husband’s 50th class reunion last May; can it really be that long since he graduated?
(I have to be careful when I talk about his class being out of school 50 years because I have been out that long this May. I remember when we graduated from high school we thought anyone 50 years old was really old but now we have been out of school that long. YIKES! )
The reunion was held mostly at Wilson Lake. The get together was held near the lake at a couple of cabins that you can rent. The cabins were used by a couple of the classmates to stay at night. But the class used them for preparing the meals and a place to get in out of the wind when we wanted to.
The cabins were built at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility and are really nice. I think the bedrooms and the bathrooms were actually bigger than the ones at the hotel in town. The cabins are air conditioned which the hotel wasn’t or they didn’t have it turned on when we were there the end of May. And the big plus to the cabins…..there were no railroad tracks across the street with trains coming through all night blaring the horns.
Friday night when they all arrived at the lake the weather was perfect, there was only a little breeze and the temperature was perfect. It was a good evening for getting together around the picnic tables set up between the two cabins.
Some of the classmates had been to every reunion they’d had over the years. This class had done really well having reunions, better than most. They had one at 10, 20, 40, 45 years and the 50th. One of the women we had not seen since graduation. Everyone was thrilled that she was able to come to this one.
Even at the 20th reunion there were a couple that I didn’t recognize so you can imagine the one we had not seen since graduation was hard for me figure out. Especially since I was not in their class, it made it even harder for me.
I was the official photographer for the first evening and during the day on the second day. Some of the classmates just ignored me and some tried to run from me, but I was persistent and would still get their picture when they didn’t expect it.
During the first evening at the cookout the classmates seemed to separate; men at one table and women at the other. The spouses were left to figure out which group they wanted to sit with. I didn’t sit much that night and not sure what if anything I ate. I was busy taking pictures before the sun went down.
There were lots of “remember when stories” and ribbing amongst the guys about who got in trouble doing what. Then it would turn to the cars they had during high school and how fast they were. My husband didn’t play sports during high school; he worked and bought cars. I think during high school he had at least 8 cars.
Over at the women’s table I got bits and pieces of the conversations, some were about their kids and where they were and how many grand kids each of them had. Other times I heard about the occupations that each had been doing.
Some of the women talked about their marriage or the divorce and being single now or in their second marriage. But always the conversations turned back to school days and how much fun they had. The girls talked about cheerleaders and prom queens and junior/senior proms and banquets and boyfriends they had in school.
During the evening both groups talked about the senior trip they took. The class left at midnight after graduation and spent two weeks on the road going all the way to Florida and back up through Kentucky and then back home, seeing sights all along the way.
Of course during the evening the conversation turned sad when both the men and the women talked about the two classmates they had lost. One of the men died about a year before the 45th reunion and the other one about 6 months before the 45th.
But the men in the class also talked about how much fun the two that had passed away were. Both men evidently could get into trouble with out trying and enjoyed a good time with the other guys in the class.
Friday night was a short night when it came to sleep. The hotel sits half a block from the railroad tracks and since we had to have the windows open, with no air conditioning, we heard the first train come though just before midnight blowing the horn all the way through town.
Shortly after midnight there was a bunch of kids in the street outside the front of the hotel. They were running up and down the street yelling and screaming and having a good time. But thankfully they didn’t stay too long and it quieted back down.
Then at 2 in the morning the bar in the basement of the hotel threw a bunch of men that were having an argument out into the street. Our room was right above the main entrance into the hotel so they were right below our open window.
The fight continued out into the street and it was hard to tell but there must have been at least 4 guys, all of them drunk from the sound of their speech. They were yelling and pushing and shoving and arguing for a good 15 minutes.
One of them must have gone to his car a little ways down the block and got his a pistol. All of a sudden there were three quick gun shots. The hotel clerk finally called the cops because it wasn’t long before it was quiet again. That is until about 4 when the last train of the night came through blowing the horn all the way.
The second day of the reunion was back out at the lake for lunch and more visiting and pictures. After lunch some of the group went sight seeing around Wilson but my husband and I chose to go to the old fashioned soda fountain in Wilson. We met an old friend, our doctor when he was in Hutchinson, for a coke and catching up with each other. It was great to see him again.
Then the class got together again and had the banquet and an evening of remembering. They watched a CD put together by one of the women, my shopping buddy, and her husband. It had pictures of the senior trip and pictures of the proms and other pictures that the classmates sent to her from their school days. The CD had the music from the 60’s and brought back a lot of memories and I think a few tears for the class.
The next morning the class had breakfast at a local restaurant and said their final goodbyes. How could it have been fifty years!? Everyone asked that question sometime during the reunion and wondered where the 50 years had gone. To contact Sandy: [email protected]