This weekend, I will attend my 30th high school reunion. It’s hard to believe that many years have passed.
Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn overlooks the picturesque Narrows and Lower New York Bay, home of The Statue of Liberty. It was a short subway ride to Manhattan. My high school years were a lot of fun. That’s where I began to establish myself as a leader and mentor. I served as senior class president of a class of more than 850 students.
Though the school was established in 1941, there was no alumni association when I graduated in 1978 so I helped start one. We clearly didn’t want to lose touch with each other so we had one-, five-, 10-, 20- and 25-year reunions.
It’s true what they say. At the 10th reunion, everyone was focused on impressing everyone else with their positions, accomplishments and possessions. By the 20th reunion, it was more laid back and easy as we swapped pictures of the kids and really got to know each other again. It was the same at the 25th. The only difference was the memorial table honoring classmates who had died, including one in the Twin Towers on 9/11. At the 30th reunion, I hear most people are grateful for their health or dominate conversations with their war stories about operations and illnesses. We’ll see.
I’ve always found reunions to be an interesting social experiment. You see your life through the eyes of teenage friends who knew you well or thought they did. Their offhand comments or heart-to-heart talks remind you of some of the hopes and dreams that guided you in adulthood or that you abandoned, by choice or necessity.
It’s a reality check that some people avoid altogether. What was your reunion experience? I’ll let you know about mine.