What was the event you attended today?
My high school, Santiago High in Garden Grove CA, held a reunion/fundraiser at the campus. Several classes were invited. I saw people who attended during the sixties, seventies (I was a member of the Class of ’73), and eighties.
Have you attended many reunions in the past?
Why did you attend this one?
Not sure. I had the time. Thought it would be nice to “catch up” with some old friends. I’ve been thinking about the past a little bit more than usual lately. I have been ever since my friend, Thor Swanson, passed away. He was a member of the Santiago Class of ’73, too.
What was the first thing you noticed?
While I grew up in Garden Grove, I hadn’t been in that area for fifteen-twenty years. When I got off the freeway, I thought the neighborhood was smaller and more congested than I remembered it being. Some familiar landmarks were still there. Bob Mucha’s Chevron was now a Chevron Mini-Mart for example. A couple places were really rundown. Others had been remodeled or rebuilt.
What about the high school?
It was very clean and spruced up. More buildings. When I attended, there was barbed wire running along the top of the chain-link fences. That was gone. Someone else remarked on that, too.
How did it feel being on the old campus?
Weird. Good memories and bad memories surfaced. I don’t understand why the incredibly stupid stunts you pulled flash back first. Not that I did anything too bad. No drugs or fights or anything. But I always felt awkward and out-of-step in high school (especially in social situations where I always picked the wrong thing to say or do) and some of those feelings flooded back. Maybe they never truly go away.
What about your classmates?
Lord, I went to school with a bunch of old people. No, really, I remembered a few immediately and a few remembered me. One woman didn’t know me but remembered my younger brother, Tim. Another woman and I remembered working together at a part-time job but not going to school together. Met a few new people. It was good to see Seth, Bob, Karen, Brenda, Gary, Michelle and others. Found out that I’m not the only one who moved out to the Inland Empire. There were a couple of people that didn’t attend who I wished had. All were very nice.
Will you go to another reunion?
Maybe. We’ll see when it happens.
Why “we’ll see”?
I have to be honest. If my hair doesn’t fall out or turn completely gray and if I don’t put on anymore pounds around the middle, I probably will go. Oh, man, I did go back to high school in mind and body. Are my clothes cool? Will this stuff really cover up my zits? Will there be any cute girls there? If there are, what do I say that won't be dumb or embarrassing ?