Wednesday, March 07, 2018

1914 The Class of '59


GREAT NECK NY -- About a year from now, the high school class of 1959 is going to hold its 60th anniversary reunion.  The school was and is on New York’s Long Island.  But the shindig will be held in Miami.

Huh?  Well, it’s easier to reach Miami and the parking’s better. Plus half the old duffers live somewhere in Florida for at least part of the year.  They’re the ones driving 38 in a 65 mph zone in the far left lane of a 12 lane highway and then stopping traffic by worming their way into the far- right lane two minutes before getting to their exit.

Apparently, they held several previous reunions that escaped notice. But there are pictures.  It’s a good thing they have captions, because if you haven’t seen someone for 30 or 40 years, you’re unlikely to recognize them, even with your “good” glasses.

It was a big class. So big, they’d split the school into two locations.  The worm lived, as they do when they’re cut.  But since everyone knew everyone in both halves of the worm, we reune as one.

The population is shrinking.  Many of us have died. Too many.  And often, the wrong ones.

The class’ spiffy new website has the complete ‘59 yearbooks online. Nice.  Now we can look back and be reminded what dummies some of us were… who we liked.  Who we didn’t like. Who liked us. Who disliked us.

A high school class is really a bunch of strangers thrown together by accident of geography and probable socio-economic similarity.  Ours certainly was, though some were in higher tax brackets than others.
There’s just so much wondering you can do about what ever happened to your junior prom date or whether Coach Crank finally died of overweight.

Miami in March?  Not a bad change of weather for those who remain in the Northeast or who have moved to the upper midwest.  But the neo-southerners and the neo Californians don’t have that excuse.  Of course, we could all use the experience of driving on those wide Florida highways.  But you can’t get a decent bagel or a decent pastrami on rye in Miami any more.  And you can get a Dominican Cigar with leaf grown from Cuban seeds anywhere on the planet.

Receiving the reunion announcement strikes chords.  But at a certain age, the chords don’t sustain. They quickly decay.  Especially if you’re not wearing your “good” hearing aid.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
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© WJR 2018


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