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Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?

Rick Fielding 16 May 00 - 12:33 PM
Wesley S 16 May 00 - 12:42 PM
catspaw49 16 May 00 - 12:48 PM
Peter T. 16 May 00 - 01:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 May 00 - 01:11 PM
Allan C. 16 May 00 - 01:27 PM
catspaw49 16 May 00 - 01:43 PM
DougR 16 May 00 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Mrr 16 May 00 - 01:57 PM
Rick Fielding 16 May 00 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 May 00 - 02:25 PM
Mike Regenstreif 16 May 00 - 02:26 PM
Allan C. 16 May 00 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 May 00 - 02:44 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 May 00 - 03:38 PM
Mbo 16 May 00 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,emily b 16 May 00 - 05:15 PM
bbelle 16 May 00 - 05:41 PM
Jeri 16 May 00 - 06:32 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 16 May 00 - 06:36 PM
Helen 16 May 00 - 07:06 PM
Banjer 16 May 00 - 07:19 PM
Irish sergeant 16 May 00 - 08:48 PM
Rick Fielding 16 May 00 - 09:21 PM
TheMuse 16 May 00 - 10:19 PM
Rick Fielding 16 May 00 - 10:28 PM
Mark Roffe 16 May 00 - 11:45 PM
ddw 17 May 00 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,rhj 17 May 00 - 09:21 AM
Mooh 17 May 00 - 09:37 AM
catspaw49 17 May 00 - 11:46 AM
Art Thieme 17 May 00 - 02:03 PM
Peter T. 17 May 00 - 03:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 May 00 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Bill H 17 May 00 - 06:58 PM
Ebbie 17 May 00 - 08:16 PM
MarkS 17 May 00 - 11:30 PM
Rick Fielding 18 May 00 - 12:52 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 18 May 00 - 01:04 AM
Racer 18 May 00 - 01:19 AM
Homeless 18 May 00 - 07:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 May 00 - 08:04 PM
Charlie Baum 18 May 00 - 11:29 PM
TheMuse 20 May 00 - 06:36 PM
Alice 20 May 00 - 07:02 PM
wysiwyg 20 May 00 - 08:30 PM
Rick Fielding 20 May 00 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Larry B. 21 May 00 - 01:44 AM
Mooh 21 May 00 - 09:17 AM
Kelida 21 May 00 - 09:53 AM
Mooh 21 May 00 - 10:06 AM
late 'n short 01 Jun 00 - 02:57 PM
Kim C 01 Jun 00 - 05:56 PM
DougR 01 Jun 00 - 06:14 PM
Mbo 01 Jun 00 - 06:22 PM
Helen 01 Jun 00 - 08:50 PM
Mbo 01 Jun 00 - 08:59 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Jun 00 - 12:43 AM
Easy Rider 02 Jun 00 - 04:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jun 00 - 05:05 PM
Helen 02 Jun 00 - 10:45 PM
Sooz 18 May 03 - 11:09 AM
Rick Fielding 18 May 03 - 01:58 PM
Liz the Squeak 18 May 03 - 06:50 PM
JohnInKansas 18 May 03 - 09:14 PM
Cluin 18 May 03 - 09:29 PM
Walking Eagle 19 May 03 - 10:56 AM
Peg 19 May 03 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,amergin 20 May 03 - 04:53 AM
Billy Suggers 20 May 03 - 05:10 AM
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Subject: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 May 00 - 12:33 PM

A few months ago, one of my old teachers got in touch with me, and we've been coresponding since then. He put me in touch with a website of one of my schools, MacDonald High in Montreal. They've got a big reunion coming up, and I must admit my curiosity has been piqued. I'd love to know what the other 51-53 year olds have done with their lives...I think my terminal curiosity about folks and life in general is no secret here. Now the other thing that's no secret is my disastrous schooling in general. Today it's fodder for a lot of my humour, but at the time it was pretty unpleasant and downright scary at times. I've gotten a lot of "one liner" mileage out of forging sick-notes, hookey 101, and leading the league in detentions....and granted, now I wouldn't change a thing in the directions I took...but at the time, I really WANTED to fit in.

So the dillema seems to be; do I REALLY want to get together with all those folks who graduated, for legitimate reasons....or as I suspect, might there be a bit of a hidden agenda going on here that I haven't quite figured out. When I was sumarily thrown out I was a folksinger who wanted to see the world. 35 years later, I've seen a lot of it...and I'm still a folksinger...with no changes on the horizon.

I'd love to know what other Cats' experiences with reunions have been.

Thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Wesley S
Date: 16 May 00 - 12:42 PM

I've enjoyed mine. The main thing is that you will regret not going if you stay home. Never miss an opportunity. It won't come again. Even if it's a disaster think of all the one liners you'll get out of it.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 May 00 - 12:48 PM

Go....You'll love it. A lot of the crap has been "forgotten" because we are all so much older and have seen a lot more than we did then.

I ahd never gone to a reunion until the 30 year thing came up. I duuno' why.....I decided to go. Almost all of the people there I had not seen in 30 years. It was amazing to see where lives had gone and the changes in some of them. Not to mention the looks. I spent a lot of time looking at this group and asking myself, "Who the hell are these people?" I remembered the athletic, handsome, young jock....not the bald, fat guy. Or the little, plain, mousie girl....not the great looking 50 year old woman I was sitting next to (I KNOW my grandmother didn't look like THAT!)

Ain't no describing it......but I'll go back again. A few of them I've stayed in touch with since and its been kinda' nice.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:01 PM

I've been to one and it was a seriously mixed blessing (as I think all of these are). One bad part is that everyone is secretly judging you and hoping that you are worse off than they are (and you find yourself doing the same, though you have sworn you wouldn't); another is that one definitely has to fall back on one's personality unless you have aged real well -- so you better have a charming personality to start with. Another bad part is that everyone on the surface hasn't changed that much -- the things you first recognize about them are the same things you recognized before, so that you automatically get depressed about human karma. Of course some of them have changed a lot: it is just that it is deeper and a softening of what they were like before -- but it takes a while to find that out. Meanwhile, you start drinking.

The good part is that if you are a millionare or famous, you can impress all these jerks who never went anywhere (joke, joke). A seriously good part is that just at the bad part moment when you are checking out whether people have succeeded or not, you give it up because they all seem reasonably happy (the ones who showed up!), with children and problems and jobs and whatever, and you remember that all this success crap is crap. Who cares: they are people leading their lives like you, and it has its ups and downs. Another true good part is that you connect with some people again that you should never have unconnected with. I finally found out what had happened to a couple of nice people, and have kept up with them again.

But I would personally never go near one again. I hated it all too much the first time around, and (oh yes, another bad part), the people who tend to come to reunions are the people who loved high school the first time around: the keeners and the joiners and the Nazis. The people I hated the first time around.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:11 PM

Sir Thomas Beecham said you should try everything once in this life, except Morris Dancing and incest. I'm not with him on the Morris Dancing. But I think I'd be tempted to add school reunions.

But that's probably because I'm a coward. I just don't think I'd have anything in common with the people I was at school with. I can imagine all these aging strangers trying to put a positive spin on lives that never turned out the way they thought they would. "Successes" and "failures" moving cautiously round each other like feral dogs.

But spaw's probably right. What's to lose? A few embarrassing encounters, which could be the raw material of good stories anyway. Set against that tere is the chance you might meet some people again you will really be glad to meet again. Like a good funeral, if you are lucky.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Allan C.
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:27 PM

I have been to all of my highschool reunions. The ten-year was a bit like an extension of the Senior Prom. Most of the same people sat or stood in the very same groups they always used to clique with long before.

But the twenty-year reunion was quite different. I think that nearly everyone felt differently about it. We had all been out in the world and had fought (and perhaps even lost) a few battles. It seemed as if most of us were working on our second marriages. We were now of the same world. (Of course, we always had been of the same world before but didn't recognize it then.) We could look at one another and see ourselves as just people; people who had shared a common experience long ago.

At my thirtieth reunion it was a even more relaxed. I think we were each grateful to get a glimpse of our old classmates again. I had long conversations with classmates with whom I doubt I had ever spoken at length before. I even took the opportunity to confess a crush I had once had for one of them. After all those years I finally got to dance with her! It was great.

It was while I was contemplating going to the thirtieth that I wrote this song which I had the opportunity to sing for my classmates that night:


Do You Remember Me?

Do you remember me?
How long has it been?
What a very nice surprise
To see your face again!

Do you remember me?
Do you recognize my face
Though so many years have passed
And we're in a different place?
v

--Funny how the times we had
--Now seem so far away
--Like something that we dreamed last night
--But can't recall today.

Do you remember me?
Have the years been so unkind
That the one who you once knew
Has been left so far behind?

Do you remember me?
Though we haven't been in touch
Can't you see me here inside?
Have I really changed that much?

--Funny how the times we had
--Now seem so far away
--Like something that we dreamed last night
--But can't recall today.

Oh, take another look at me!
I hope that if you do
Then somehow you'll remember me
And I'll remember you.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:43 PM

Neat song Allan!!!

Yeah, there are lots of minuses like Peter said, but somehow the age thing made a big difference. Additionally, I was pretty happy with my life and most of the others were too. Thirty years made a difference. and I was impressed that a lot of the people who did come were not the ones I expected at all. sure, some of the "in-crowd" was there, but the majority were just kids now grown older.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: DougR
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:51 PM

Rick, I went to my 50th class reunion in 1997, and had a great time. Our school classes were very small (35-40 students) so everyone knew everbody else. Next week I'm going back to another reunion. The High School graduating class of 1945 has invited the classes of '43, '44, '46 and '47 to a reunion and my brother, who was in the class of '43, and I are going together. I didn't feel that the folks were being judgemental, or anything like that at all. In most cases we just rekindled old friendships and in some instances, I have corresponed either by snailmail or email for the past three years with friends I had completely lost touch with.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:57 PM

I went to a French Lycée, not an American high school, and I wish I wish I wish the French did the reunion thing, I'd love to find out what's been up with my old friends... and Allan C, definitely a great song!


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:11 PM

McGrath..DANCE? DANCE! Oh shit! Now I remember WHY I didn't fit in at the beginning!

Rick (weighing these quite seriously)

P.S. still can't (and won't) dance


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:25 PM

Somehow I can't see Morris Dancing coming up at a school reunion in Canada. (And the rule is only try everything once. I tried Morris Dancing once - no, twice. That's enough for me, as a participant.)


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:26 PM

Rick,

If for nothing else, its an excuse to get together for dinner while you're in town.

Of course, if you're here on a Thursday morning, you're more than welcome on the radio.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Allan C.
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:33 PM

I feel nearly the same way, Rick. But I used to need an excuse to hold a woman close.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:44 PM

I've never been back to my old school and lost touch with all my old classmates. We did have a couple of college reunions after 20 years and it made me realise why I'd kept in touch with some people and not with others. There were not many I missed not keeping up with! Watching people arrive I kept thinking "who's that fat balding geezer" (and that was only the women!) and realised they were probably looking at me and thinking the same!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 May 00 - 03:38 PM

My high school tried to have a 25th reunion for those students that left in 1969. Unfortunately they could'nt get enough out on parole to attend... Yours,(did'nt like it anyway whats the point?) Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mbo
Date: 16 May 00 - 03:54 PM

Only three people in my high school--myself and my two sisters! We have a reunion every Friday when we come home from school!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,emily b
Date: 16 May 00 - 05:15 PM

I loved going to my 20th high school reunion. I moved far away from my hometown and rarely saw anyone from there after I went to college. I would have enjoyed seeing anyone after 20 years. Just to bring me a little closer to home again, if nothing else. But I had a great time. Not many of my close friends from school were there but that actually left me free (forced) me to talk with those whom I might never have otherwise. The thing that struck me was how great all the high school nerds looked and how old the jocks looked.

I agree with Wesley S. Never miss an opportunity. But then again, I never miss a chance to Morris dance either.

Go and enjoy and don't stress out about where you've been or who you are or where you are going. Most people will be glad to see a familiar face, hear a familiar name or meet you again.

Emily

PS - I've never understood you musicians that don't/won't dance. You just don't know what you are missing. Dancing for me might even be more fun than singing.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: bbelle
Date: 16 May 00 - 05:41 PM

Rick ... I've been to my 10, 20, and 30 year class reunions and had a truly wonderful time at each event. At the 10 year reunion, the men looked the best; at the 20 year reunion, the women looked the best; at the 30 year reunion, we all looked great. At the 35 year reunion, we've decided to dispense with all the hoopdidoo and cocktail dressings and just have a big beach party and a grand time. It's work it, my friend ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Jeri
Date: 16 May 00 - 06:32 PM

Rick, you have to go because otherwise, you'll be wondering what the hell you missed. Bring your guitar.

I've only been to a 10th year reunion - if they had others, I never heard. Secretly checking out others? SECRETLY?!?! I went hoping that all the pretty girls had gone downhill since then, and was disappointed. Funny though, I had very nice conversations with people I thought were stuck up all through high school. Maybe they changed, or maybe they never were that way to begin with. I remembered a conversation I'd had during a class project with a girl who was a cheerleader. She said people thought if she was a cheerleader, she must be a snob, and ignored her. Until then, I'd never seen that the people I thought were snooty were snubbed by people (like me) who thought we were so down to earth. The reunion was a learning experience like that - you can get to know people when the hormones and insecurities aren't in control.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 16 May 00 - 06:36 PM

Rick. I'd say, go! It was great. Of course it was my high school's 150th, so this was a special all years event. I've not been contacted since then about other reunions, but! I'd probably go.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Helen
Date: 16 May 00 - 07:06 PM

Hi all

I've been to high school reunions (Girls' High, so an all women reunion, left in 1972) and the picnic for families as well, and then last year we had the primary school reunion - boys and girls.

The first (10 year) High school one I was ambivalent about beforehand but enjoyed it, but I spent most of the time at the picnic talking to my sister - strange but she was the one I enjoyed talking to most, even though we live 20 miles apart we don't really see each other very often. What I did notice most was the increase in confidence - what Jeri said, "when the hormones and insecurities aren't in control". I was also amazed that there were people there with kids almost 10 years old - hell, they didn't waste any time!

The second High School one was a few years later. It was upstairs in a restaurant. I was getting jumpier by the minute the closer it came to going there and when I heard this huge roar of talking coming from up the stairs I nearly backed out and snuck home. I forced myself to go up the stairs and it was just like a family reunion. We all *knew* each other, didn't have to make small talk, we picked up on conversations from a few years ago, caught up on what had happened in the meantime. I wasn't the only one who nearly backed out, and everyone had a really great time. I enjoyed talking to the people I had liked at school but also talking to people I had not really spent much time with.

The primary school reunion was the best, though. We were younger when we got to know each other, a little less of the hormones - although they were kicking in with some of us - and even though my sister & I (in the same class) had always been painfully shy at school we made some good friends there. I particularly liked meeting up again with the guy who never talked to any of us, didn't seem to be doing well in class, was taller than the rest of us, overweight. He is a great looking guy with a beautiful wife, both lovely people, gentle, sincere, interesting, clever.

Try it, you'll probably like it. It's hard to describe the feeling. Sure there will be some people trying to play one-up-person-ship, but the majority have more similarities than differences, I found. Life experiences - value the similarities, value the differences. Life paths meeting and diverging, choices/decisions in life, parallel universes. Choose your own adventure.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Banjer
Date: 16 May 00 - 07:19 PM

I've never been to any of my High School reunions. I never made that many friends in high school since I attended a school out of my own district and just as soon as that last bell died down I was already in my car heading for the gate...And besides that, why would I want to go sit around with a bunch of old people...ever notice how all but yourself has really aged?


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 16 May 00 - 08:48 PM

Go. To be honest I went to my 20th and my 25th high school reunions. AFter the 20th I swore I wouldn't do that gig again. Too many bad memeories and who wanted to play keep up with the Jones' anyway/ My best friend talked me into going to my 25th reunion last year and I'm glad I did! I had a great time and as Spaw so eloquently states, even if it sucks there'll be plenty of ammo for the one-liners! It has garnered a couple of historical lecture gigs for the Boy scouts and I'm not p.o.'d about those years anymore. Go, Have a great time and if they all turn out to be orifices more suited for supposotories that candy canes, you can always write rude songs about them, Reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 May 00 - 09:21 PM

A friend of mine who has the same kind of sense of humour as me (but far more guts) went to his renunion at Don Mills High (15th I think) and told everyone he was a famous athlete (Mike Palmateer actually....who's only famous if you followed Maple Leaf hockey a few years ago)

They (almost) all bought it. It sounded to me like he had some issues other than a joke going on there.

I guess in some ways so do I. One of the people who will be at the Mac High reunion is a guy who made life difficult for me, and I'm not sure what I'd want to say to him. On the other hand, if I'd had the nerve to drop the shyness and punch his lights out when I was 14, I absolutely KNOW my life would have gone a whole different direction. With more confidence, I would have been part of the rock'n roll culture, learned to dance, ask girls out, get better marks, go to college and probably not discover the "world" of folk music that I love so much.

Oh, from a somewhat humorous "Net" take on High School reunions: If you see the odd 50 year old guy NOT driving a Mercedes with a beautiful 25 year old on his arm...she ain't the "little woman", she's a hooker!

Rick (still thinking)


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: TheMuse
Date: 16 May 00 - 10:19 PM

Rick, I've been to two class reunions. My 20th which was very unmemorable, simply because since I can't remember much about it, it must have been. (Or that could be CRS.) And my 30th, which was last summer. It was a much smaller gathering but proved to be much better. Not sure why, but may have something to do with the age factor like Allan C. and Spaw mentioned. Everyone more mellow. But I have to say a line from Peter T's post sums it up exactly for me: "Another true good part is that you connect with some people again that you should never have unconnected with." That sentiment is exactly why you should make the effort to go, you never know what might happen and you don't want to miss it.

TheMuse


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 May 00 - 10:28 PM

Oh oh, Muse. It just occurred to me that a few of us guys will be DEAD! Maybe I'd better do it rather than wait for the 40th!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 16 May 00 - 11:45 PM

I skipped 'em all until the 30th. Had the time of my life. Loved all those people like brothers and sisters. Billy Crystal attended and we all treated him like the normal kid he'd always been. 'Though I hadn't seen these folks for thirty years, it was like we'd never left, except that we were suddenly closer than ever. I attended school with most of the same people from kindergarden through high school graduation, so I probably spent more time with them over the years than I did with my own family. Anyway, I was hoping we'd have another this year (it would be the 35th), but it turns out we're waiting for the 40th. I won't miss it. I will never miss another one, as long as I have the strength to make it to Long Beach NY from California. My advice is to GO!!!

Mark Roffe


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: ddw
Date: 17 May 00 - 01:13 AM

Rick,

Like you, I was an outsider thru most of high school. I had a few guys I spent some time with, but for the most part I was doing other things. Went to a reunion — 30th or 35th, I can't remember — a few years ago with some trepidation. I didn't have much to say to those people back then and was afraid I still wouldn't. That part proved true, but it WAS interesting to see what people looked like and find out a little about who had done what in the intervening years.

That said, I'll just add that I've watched you watch people and seen how much of a kick you get out of it. Go! By all means! You'll surely be able to find one or two people who — even if they weren't then — are interesting to talk to now and at least as many who seemed to have horseshoes up their asses then but are now just burned-out wrecks you'll be glad you're not.

Besides, just a trip to check out Montreal's music scene couldn't be all bad....

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,rhj
Date: 17 May 00 - 09:21 AM

Go Rick, then we can share our expeiences. I'm going to an apprentices reunion in June. The flights are booked, I'm taking the plunge. I havn't seen most of these guys for 34 years. From what I can gather there are only two of us that have died. We were a good looking bunch in '66, but if they all have changed as much as I have, it won't be true now.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mooh
Date: 17 May 00 - 09:37 AM

I was driven, not very willingly, to work at the school from which I graduated, four or five years after I'd left. There was little or no sign of my former school chums in that community, everyone (like me) couldn't wait to leave, and few have returned, even now. I didn't stay long, having found other employment, and I've heard nary a word about reunions, and I don't think I'd be hard to find. That said, I've never really thought about the idea until this thread and since my life is so much in the here and now I'm not sure I'd be interested in a reunion...unless it was a paying gig of course. Just kidding.

I bumped into an old school friend once, at a folk festival, who told me he hadn't seen or heard from anyone from his school years. He too moved away for good, became an artist, married and became a native of some other place.

My feelings, though not fully evolved on this topic, are that since that school held little interest for me at the time, it has also not maintained a place in my heart. It had NO arts program, no music, art, theatre, only one English etc. I got my diploma and left with less loyalty than I have for the McDonalds drive-through. I regularly thank God for the good fortune of a musical family.

As for the people, maybe they don't care unless they identified more with the football crowd, but I wouldn't really know about that. I would like to see alot of those classmates again and I wonder how some have made out in life, in spite of weak school programs. I hope it only made them stronger.

Rick, make up your own mind, my experience might only screw you up. But go if there's good song material to be had.

Ambivalently, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 May 00 - 11:46 AM

Just go.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 May 00 - 02:03 PM

I really did (for some reason) want to get to the last one that was held. It was the 40th reunion. My excuse was that neither I nor Carol can drive now. Except for one of the past reunions, I was always booked at one gig or another---except for one. I got there for a portion of it and had to split early to get to a late gig. That one was fun---I think---I really don't remember anything specific about it...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 May 00 - 03:21 PM

It occurs to me that you are well insulated, Rick -- whatever they have done, whatever blondes they have on their arm, and Mercedes in the driveway, you can say you have spent 30 years playing folk music for a living. No one can top that! There will be deep envy all round. And you can sell bunches of CDs.

so, as CP says, go.

You can always lie about your major league baseball career. No one in Montreal knows anything about baseball (which is why the team is in big trouble).



yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 May 00 - 03:37 PM

"It just occurred to me that a few of us guys will be DEAD!"

Sounds like a great party - you can't miss it. The Ricky Horror Show!


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,Bill H
Date: 17 May 00 - 06:58 PM

I gave up after attending a college re-union some 15 years ago. ALso 1 H.S. one 2 years ago.

The reasons, briefly: 1) You cannot go home again (I stole that quote) 2) Everybody seems to just be scorekeeping. I lost track of the score years ago---and who cared about it anyway.

3) And, should anyone happen to be a celeb. forget any other interest for that evening. So much for nostalgia.

Let us now sing our alma mater

Bill H


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 May 00 - 08:16 PM

Like the man said, I went to a reunion and they all had changed so much no one knew me. :)


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: MarkS
Date: 17 May 00 - 11:30 PM

Rick
You should do it. After all these years of folksinging, you will probably be judged the most interesting person at the reunion. The thing I remember most from my last HS reunion (30) was just how "establishment" everybody seemed to become. You will likely bring a measure of independence to the group, and do not be surprised if others are envious of you.
MarkS


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 May 00 - 12:52 AM

Thanks Mark. One of the things I discovered during my teens was that "interesting" didn't translate into dates.

I'm coming to the conclusion that I look forward to Mudcat reunions more than this High school thing. At least there, we can pick a few tunes if the conversation lags.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 May 00 - 01:04 AM

Rick, I would enjoy meeting you if i were your old school pal.. but then if you were my friend I would have kept in touch with you... If they havent bothered keeping in touch, what would you miss by not going? Same as me mate, Nothing! I would love to meet some Catters, rich or poor, young or old. My old school mates are just memories, and not all pleasant ones either.. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Racer
Date: 18 May 00 - 01:19 AM

Hell, if anything, they'll admire your resolve. I've never met anyone who has been able to make a career out of folk music. Considering all of the gigs that you've done, you'll probably be the best talker there.

I was unpopular during school, and haven't done a thing with my life. I'm still looking forward to my ten year reunion (which is in about a year). I just want to see what's happened to everyone.

-Racer


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Homeless
Date: 18 May 00 - 07:37 PM

Rick - I can agree strongly with just about everything that everyone has said so far - even the mutually exclusive things.
I went to a big school, 660 in our graduating class, but I could count my friends on one hand.
I've been to one reunion, and missed one. I'm glad I went, don't care if I never get to another one. Wasn't surprised by the people who were exactly the same. For the most part, wasn't surprised by the poeple who had changed (there were a couple shockers - people who's personalities had radically shifted). A few people keeping score, many more just renewing and making friendships. Every aged to some degree.

But the biggest thing for me was how enlightened I was about myself. NOBODY recognized me. Not one person. And my looks haven't changed that much (honest, people there told me so). Not the people I shared classes with for 10 years, not the girl who cheated off my Spanish papers for 3 years. Until they heard my name. Then the synapses would fire and they'd recall "the kid who turned his eyelids inside out" or "the quiet kid who played bass in the back of the room." Some of what I was remembered for and told gave me a lot of food for thought. And I believe that a person should pull out his soul every few years and look it over to see if he likes what he finds.

BTW - for the scorekeepers, you said "...I was a folksinger who wanted to see the world. 35 years later, I've seen a lot of it...and I'm still a folksinger..." it sounds like you had a dream, and lived it. That puts you one up on a LOT of people in the world.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 May 00 - 08:04 PM

I just had another read through the thread, and this leapt out from Rick: "If I'd had the nerve to drop the shyness and punch his lights out when I was 14, I absolutely KNOW my life would have gone a whole different direction."

Altogether it's a Back to the future scenario, isn't it? That's what makes that kind of thing scary, I suppose. Reminds you how chancy life is. And what you want is to find yourself saying "How close I came to blowing it all..." rather than "If only I had..."

And here is a relevant song about that!


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 18 May 00 - 11:29 PM

Go. Bring your guitar. Encourage other old classmates who perform to also do so, and set up a talent show in the evening. That way, you'll all be working together to do something in the present, with an eye toward future possibilities, rather than merely getting stuck in past reminiscences. If you can get beyond the past, these people with whom you once shared your life could become a part of your future, if you'll let them.

I used to go to my high school reunions yearly (it was a small school), and struck up ongoing friendships and relationships with schoolmates, some of whom were a generation apart from me. But beyond sharing a past in the school, we shared our opinions and experiences with choruses, politics, religious observances, how the school ought to be run, hiking in the woods. And then we acted on them: we met at other times in the year to go to a concert together, or to hike in the woods, or to constructively criticize the school administration.

Turn your reunion into a building-block for ongoing relationships. But if you're just going to sit around and get drunk and wallow in the past, you might find it gets old fast.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: TheMuse
Date: 20 May 00 - 06:36 PM

What a coincidence! I'm reading a magazine and there's an article about high school reunions. Here is the way the author summed up at the end. She said that the 30 year reunion is probably the best one. After 10 years, memories are still too raw. After 20, you're coming up on midlife and feel competitive. But after 30 years, you can finally enjoy both the look back and the one ahead.

I thought that was just right so wanted to post it here.

TheMuse


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Alice
Date: 20 May 00 - 07:02 PM

I've never gone to mine and I don't regret staying home. My reunions are planned by the same group that was the drinking and partying crowd in high school. Each of the mailings I've received refer to the drinking, so I don't expect to fit in there now any more than I fit in the first time around when we were teenagers. Take your guitar, Rick. The people will probably enjoy getting to know you and your music this time around if they didn't get to know you when you were younger.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 May 00 - 08:30 PM

RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?

Depends.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 May 00 - 11:20 PM

Wow. So much good information. Thanks all. If you're interested in my conclusions, here they are.

I think Alice hit the nail on the head for me. The folks who are planning this are the same ones who planned everything when we were 16. I didn't understand them then, and I doubt they'd understand me now. No reason they should, 'cause goodness knows I've rejected so many things that are essential in their lives. I get the feeling that curiosity (and probably the morbid kind) would be my only motivation in going, and that's just too negative and too pointless. From their website I gather that even Gordon C who turned me on to Pete Seeger, "outgrew" his banjo and folky ways by the time he became an "adult". The only thing I outgrew was the desire to "fit in". Think I'll give it a miss.

Thanks again

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,Larry B.
Date: 21 May 00 - 01:44 AM

I went to my 20th, but only because it was convenient to be in town at the time. My graduating class was nearly a thousand, I wasn't a very social type in high school, left town (and the state, and for the most part, the country) a couple of years after graduating, and most of my friends in H.S. were a year or two ahead of or behind me, anyway. The few I actually wanted to see again didn't show up. Then again, a chance meeting that could not have happened anywhere else could have made it all worthwhile...

Go with your gut.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 May 00 - 09:17 AM

Right on Rick! My own reunion is timed to conflict with the first decent bass fishing I'll get this season, and I dream of fishing all the time, never dreaming about reunions. Easy decision. Why don't you treat yourself to something to correspond with the reunion? Like a trip to a luthier...Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Kelida
Date: 21 May 00 - 09:53 AM

Wow. I'm still in high school, but I always wonder where everyone's going to be 10 or 20 or 30 years from now. I'm in the class of 2001, and I'm scared to death of graduation. (yes, I know this is thread creep, but I swear I have a point) I worry about my generation all the time. I know a lot of smart kids and a few brilliant people, but I know a lot more people who are lazy, or neglected, or so fried that they are just about incompetent. I wonder, what will the future bring? I know there are a lot of people who are very down on my generation as a whole, and I wonder sometimes if they aren't right. If my generation isn't throwing it all away.

I don't have a lot of real friends from school. Not a lot of people that I want to see again, but I wonder if I'll feel the same in 11 years when my 10-year reunion comes up. I noticed that many of you didn't go to your reunions for one reason or another, and I saw that a lot of you had not-so-great high school experiences (which I can definitely relate to).

Honestly, though, I think that I will go to my reunions. I want to know things like "whatever happened to that guy who ditched me for a cheerleader?" or "where is that computer nerd now?" It's probably just a competitive vengeance thing, but I hope that 10 or 20 years from now I can look at the people who try to make my life miserable and say "I'm happy. I'm living my dream. What are you doing, now?"

My advice? Go. You never know. Maybe people do change, and if not, then I'm sure you're better off than they are. I mean, hey--You're happy. You're living your dream. What are they doing now?

Peace--Keli


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 May 00 - 10:06 AM

Keli,

Once again, thanks for a view from the other side! I think I would have loved you in high school, but alas, one of us was born at the wrong time for that.

I don't remember feeling as you do when I was in high school, but sober second thought this morning does make me wonder if the foxy chicks are still, well, foxy. However, I'm still going bass fishing.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: late 'n short
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 02:57 PM

Went to one recently and I'm glad I did. Somebody has taken the time to set one up every year for all grads since the school was torn down about 15 years ago. This one however focused on something that had particular meaning for my class so there was a specific reason for this group of 53-55 year olds to show up. It gave us a chance to reminisce a bit and we spent very little time on what we've done in the interim or are doing now. It was kind of like being back in the cafeteria! I'm sure that will change if we do it again but it made for a very enjoyable few hours.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Kim C
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 05:56 PM

Ooooh. Went to my 10th in 1995. (Okay, I'm a baby.) Had a blast. Wasn't sure I would and like many of you, was very iffy about going because I had been a Nerd (like a lot of musicians, huh?). But it was just great and I can hardly wait for the 20th.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: DougR
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 06:14 PM

I just returned from the reunion I wrote about in this Thread on May 16. It was a blast! Thank God somebody, and I have no idea who, invented name tags.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mbo
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 06:22 PM

The olny thing I can look forward to is my first grade reunion, which is the last year I was in before I dropped out. That was 14 years ago now...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 08:50 PM

Mbo,

My partner's nephew is doing home schooling, right from the start. He is in his second year of schooling (approx 7 years old) and he is very reserved and - to my mind - overly sensitive to what people say. He has an older sister who is in 8th grade HS so there is a reasonable gap in their ages. He has no friends his own age.

Even though there are a lot of possibilities for bullying at school (as we discussed on a couple of threads before re: my own recent experiences of workplace bullying) I still worry that this little guy is missing out on a few really important life lessons in socialisation and relating to other people, as well as the emotional highs and lows of friendships. If he doesn't make friends and learn how to fit into groups outside of his immediate family circle, where will he be in a few years, ten years, etc socially. I hope your family encouraged you to mix with other people, especially of your own age.

Rick,

I'm sad that you decided not to go to your reunion. It was talking to the people I hadn't known well at school which made me feel that the reunion was worthwhile -the quiet ones, the different ones, the clever ones, and even some, but not all, of the pain-in-the-butt ones who turned out to have changed for the better - mellowed out, broadened their horizons.

Maybe you could just tap into the reunion organisers' database and find out the contact details of the people you *do* want to catch up with and just e-mail them or write or phone. The whole HS experience can't have been an absolutely total waste of time, could it??

Helen


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Mbo
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 08:59 PM

Actually, it's kinda funny. When I was younger, my sisters and I used to babysit for the neighbors' kids when their mom came over to our house. Then, when I got into college, well...3 years ago now, I hung around with mostly older people. yea verily, my much beloved and revered "Music Gang" was all made up of folks older than me (the youngest being 1 year older), but I loved them dearly. They were the best pals I ever had at that time, and deservedly to, we hung around 6 days of the week together. I still don't have any friends, really. I tend to be rather quiet, so I don't attract that much attention. But my ceramics class this semester is coming together like no class has since the Music gang days. Shame the semester ends in 2 1/2 weeks. But I've made lots of friends here on Mudcat, and you can bet yer sweet bippie that once I get outta school I'm gonna go see 'em!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 12:43 AM

Helen, thanks for your interest (and the way you express yourself). Actually if I'd discovered the MacDonald High School website a little earlier, I might have felt more positive about going. Truth to tell, a lot of the feelings that made high school a very scary scene for me came back while I was reading it. When you "don't fit in" and you are young it can be very unpleasant. As I got older I realised that I could "create my own environment" filled with folks that shared many of my interests, passions and styles of communication and humour. It's unrealistic to think that you can avoid spending time in the mainstream world....but whenever I need to I can quickly return to that "alternative world" that I love so much.

I plan on getting in touch with a couple of the folks from high school to see what they've been doing for the last thirty years...and who knows, maybe I WILL hit the next reunion.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Easy Rider
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 04:30 PM

Rick:

You should go to the reunion. If you don't, you will always wonder what you missed. If you go and don't like it, well, at least you'll know for sure.

Remember the famous saying, "The follies a man regrets most, in his life, are those not taken, when he had the opportunity"

I just attended my high school class' 35th anniversary reunion, on May 20. In fact I was the Organizer! It was great! About a hundred people came, and we were all really happy to see each other again after all those years. Some people, who didn't know each other 35 years ago, became friends at the reunion. Many of us will continue the reconnections we made that night. Everybody was very friendly and enthusiastic, and everybody had a great time and a great story to tell. Careers ranged from US Congressman (Jerry Nadler) to sheep shearer!

I billed the reunion as a fundraiser, and we raised nearly $10,000, for a welfare fund, to help needy students in the school. We also set up an email list, of about two hundred of the total four hundred people I have on our mailing list, (it was a class of 746), and people have been sending me their autobiographies, to be printed, bound into a book and sold to our classmates, to raise more money for the Fund.

Stuyvesant High School, in NYC, was a special place, and many of our (all boys back then) classmates have stronger bonds with StuyHigh than with their colleges. I'll brag a little. StuyHigh is a special, entrance exam high school, in the NYC public school system, that specializes in science and math. It has the highest academic standards and levels of achievement of any high school in North America. I'm very proud to have gone there. I was Vice President of our Alumni Association, from 1985 to 1998.

Most everybody matures a little in 35 years, and old gripes are long forgotten by now.

Enjoy!

EZR


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 05:05 PM

Thread drift maybe, but I wanted to respond to something Helen said about Home schooling - we thought about it for our son, and in the end decided against it for the same reasons Helen gives. No way of knowing whether that was the right choice or not, but you have to jump one way or another.

But I'm not at all sure if the argument about socializing and that really holds up. What schools tend to do, among other things, is to instill into people the idea that the people you relate to are almost exclusively the same age as you, and so forth. That feeds into assumptions about music and reading and all kinds of things.

And I'm inclined to think that is not a particularly good thing. It's not how human society has been structured for most of the time our ancestors have been on this planet - people of different generations are programmed to work and learn together.

One of the best things about the folk music scene has been, and continues to be, the extent to which it is not geared to any particular generation. I've been in singing circles where an eight year old girl and an 80 year old man followed each other, and received the same non-patronising respect.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Helen
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:45 PM

Mbo, you put that bippie-bet on a winning horse and get yourself down here to Oz, ASAP. Don't want to get left out of your list of must-meet-Mudcat-mates!!! Gotta have that Rosbif-trio, quartet, whatever with Alison, Spider Tom, and the rest of the gang.

McGrath, I see your point - I wasn't really saying that kids have to only make friends with people their own age - this kid isn't making *any* friends right now, of any age, and that's really sad, and a little scary to me.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Sooz
Date: 18 May 03 - 11:09 AM

I was in two minds whether to go to my Primary School reunion last night, but I took the plunge and was so glad that I did. All those people I hadn't seen for 40 years. We still recogised each other!


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 May 03 - 01:58 PM

WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I STARTED THIS THREAD??!!

Eegads, I'm glad I didn't go to that reunion. Other than chuckling at all the hair-loss and weight-gain, I'd have felt like just as big a loser as I did when I was 17!

Why? Because how do "adults" express themselves? By dancing and making small talk. I couldn't do either then, and I can't now.

Oh Lordy, would I have had a rotten time. It's not like I could take out my guitar and play something 'hot". THAT didn't work when I was IN grade 11.

Whew, narrow escape.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 May 03 - 06:50 PM

Well the state that Manitas came home in, last week, they're a very BAD idea.....

I found him on the sofa at 2.30am, all the lights on, legs and arms akimbo, holding on to a plate that had once contained chicken pieces. Said pieces were now scattered to the four winds where he'd fallen asleep in mid bite, and the cats had decided he'd finished. He was still too drunk to drive the next morning.

And he left the fridge open.....

AGAIN!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 May 03 - 09:14 PM

If you live long enough, your class will probably quit having them.

Seriously, I've gone to a couple, and had a good time at the ones I've attended. With an original class of 350, there were lots of people I never did know, lots and lots of people who've turned into their parents (or grandparents) and were barely recognizable, and a few that you know instantly. I got better acquainted with a couple at my 30th(?) than I had ever been when at school.

On the other hand, I wouldn't feel bad if something "more important" prevents being there, even for one of the "decade" (or centenial? fairly soon) reunions.

My other half, however, is related to at least half her graduating class, so she sees them all at least occasionally. And she can call the other 4 or 5 anytime - if they don't show up at "Gene's" (see recent Texas thread).

Her school was/is so small that they don't have individual class reunions - just one big everybody come thing. Sort of like a community picnic, usually. Not a big deal.

John


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Cluin
Date: 18 May 03 - 09:29 PM

Hell, I hated high school when I was THERE. Beef hooked if I'd go to a reunion now.

But a University Residence reunion now, well....


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 19 May 03 - 10:56 AM

Yeah, go. Bring your instruments and be prepared to branch off and have your own reunion with like minded folks if things go flat.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Peg
Date: 19 May 03 - 11:56 PM

I went to my twenty year reunion. Had an absolutely fantastic time....


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 20 May 03 - 04:53 AM

my ten year is this august apparently....i doubt i will go.


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Subject: RE: Advice: High School Reunions. Worth it?
From: Billy Suggers
Date: 20 May 03 - 05:10 AM

The only interesting thing about them is that nobody changes much. The nerdy kid with the glasses is now a nerdy auditor with a bald head & glasses. The cocky bully is site foreman on a gas platform. The gorgeous girl I had a crush on all through third year still is ... and moreover still thinks I'm a prat. Id go just to people-watch. Bound to be a song in it .....


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