The phone call was a surprise. Ben, a high school classmate, said it had been five years since he last talked to me. Our 55th high school reunion is coming up, and I have to say, it was tantalizing to know how much I will miss by not being there. I might feel my life was complete if I reminisced with every attendee the same length of time. Ben recalled that our mothers had a long history, having grown up across the street from each other. They continued their association in a book club that lasted for decades. Years after our graduation, Ben had business deals going through the lawyer’s office where my mother worked. He saw my mom more than I did in those years!
We were in the same classroom for first grade, not that we remembered each other. He spoke of Mrs. Richardson, and she was my teacher, too. We remembered the rhythm band, so that must have made a big impression. Ben wondered if we were together in kindergarten. Back then it was not part of the public school system. He knew the class was held in a home down the street from mine. I said, “We were definitely not together then. I was a kindergarten dropout. I refused to stay and ran home.”
I had lost contact with all but a handful of classmates. Using their names from 55 years ago, Benjie mentioned Don, Bobby, Rita, Billy, Raynor, Bob, Joe, and others. From other classes, we talked of Bob, Tom, Bill, Diane, Dunaway, and Wesley.
I think one the stories I enjoyed the most was his talk of walking after school. He was using the same basic route that Raynor took, and he loved to pull her beautiful, long blond braids. I had no idea Raynor lived near my home back then. I had her pegged to a house where she lived later. What was most amazing was that there were actually people who walked home from school. I was aware of students outside the town limits who rode a school bus and those from town who were picked up by car. I could not have named even one who walked. How I’d love to know the distance from school to my home! I think nothing of walking two miles a day now, six times a week. Back then? I would never have imagined it.
Ben will be playing the piano for the class worship service this weekend, along with harpist Bill. We were both in awe of Bill’s God-given talent to play many musical instruments. He also spoke of Rita, who usually attends the reunions and plays the piano but will not be there this time. No one knows how long any of us will last, but I do hope there will be more reunions and that I will get to see all these wonderful people from my past.