Attending a 40th high school reunion
  • Adjusting to a new high school
  • The sounds of high school
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    Juggling Act

    A memorable 40th high school reunion

    I grew up being called by both my first and middle names, a part of Southern culture that has faded over the past few decades. I usually only hear myself called by both names when I visit my family. But I was called by my double name so often during a 40th high school reunion that I almost didn’t recognize myself.

    I suppose that’s what high school reunions are, an interesting mix of the past and present. They’re a time to recall memories of adolescent relationships and to reconnect as adults with a lifetime of widely different experiences. For a period of time, we are, in the eyes of old friends, the people that we used to be. So we call each other by the names we knew 40 years ago.

    I went to the high school reunion of a class that isn’t mine, officially. I graduated from a predominantly white high school just as the school system in my North Carolina hometown was slowly accepting integration. Most of the people I grew up with finished from what was then the high school for black students.

    If it wasn’t for nametags, many of us would not have recognized each other. But we laughed it off, all the while looking for familiarity in middle-age faces that had lost the innocence of youth. We talked about the friends who have passed on and those who are struggling with illness. And we tried to capture, for the people that we shared our dreams with long ago, what has happened so far on our life journey.

    It was a wonderful celebration. 

    Do you have memories you’d like to share of a recent high school reunion?

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