Journey to the Past and the Present


Class of 1971–(Little town in the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming)

50th High School Reunion! We went to ours last week. When I first heard it was happening, I told Mr. CowGirl (same class, same high school) that we should go. He replied, “Why would I want to do that? It’ll just be a bunch of old people!” He wasn’t being entirely sarcastic, either. But, I finally convinced him over the weeks that people would be happy to see him, and he would probably have a good time seeing them.

He and I weren’t an “item” in high school. Our class had 127 students–the largest class so far in the history of the school. He dated three different girls. I dated a couple of different guys. One of his relationships lasted two years after graduation, but she wanted to live in our hometown and Mr. CowGirl definitely wanted to leave. Actually, he joined the Navy when the draft numbers were released in January 1972…his birthday was #3 on the list! So…Very LONG Story…he and I ended up being married in 1974 and now it was time to go back and face The Past.

Yes, the ex-girlfriends were there. Yes, my former boyfriends were there. But— this time it was just exciting to see everyone! My husband and I didn’t spend much time together at the reunion. We had been in different social circles in high school, so we didn’t have the same people to chat with. I watched him laughing and talking to the three former girlfriends, all at once! A guy I’d dated for a year chose a chair so he could sit with us at lunch.

Fifty years makes a big difference! There was a memorial to the twenty-two classmates who had passed away. We noticed that some of the people who hadn’t come actually live in our hometown still. Maybe there were conflicts…maybe they just didn’t want to be there.

When we finished the party, and it was time to leave, we walked out to our truck and he stopped and looked at me. “That was really fun. Thanks for talking me into it.  And…you’ll notice that you are one I’m leaving with!” He’d seen me watching him chatting with the old girlfriends. I assured him that I had no bad feelings about who he spent his time with, and who he’d talked to…I, too, was leaving with him.

Well, I guess the moral of this story is: The past is always with us…and the present wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if it weren’t!! Go see your extended family! Go to your school reunions! Look up an old friend on social media! Some of them won’t be excited to hear from you. Some of them will!

Mr. CowGirl was right–It was full of a bunch of old people!

Published in Group Writing
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  1. Stad Coolidge

    I’m trying to talk neutral observer (aka Mrs. Stad) into going to both of her 50th college reunions (she started in one class, but graduated a year early, so it’s 71 and 72) and her sorority’s 50th get together.  I said, “What’s wrong with going to beautiful Colorado Springs three times in two years?”

    I even promised not to go with her and ruin the fun . . .

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  2. navyjag Lincoln

    Good story Cowgirl. Went to a 55th reunion a couple of years ago. Since our boarding school shut down the rival co-ed Catholic HS felt sorry and invited us.  Had a great time as almost everyone went to rival Catholic grade schools.  And many of gals had really aged well.  But social skills need some improvement. Tried to talk about Viet Nam experiences; I was Navy but not directly involved- on a carrier- and had a great trip back there in 2015. But two Army nurses who had been there and two infantry guys (one Army, one Marine) that I had played basketball with wanted to strangle me.  So I shut about that experience. But overall a good time. 

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  3. OldPhil Coolidge

    Went to my 50th 3 years ago and had a great time. Re-connected with people I hadn’t seen in years, and now talk to them on-line a lot. My wife’s high school reunions every 5 years are a riot.

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  4. jonb60173 Member

    My 50th is coming up in October, wondering if it won’t be the last.  No second thoughts on going, because we’ve all heard it – “Life is too short ….” in this case life is too short to not spend and evening with those that you spent some pretty important years of your life with.

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  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    I went to mine in 2017, and had a great time.  I had very few friends in high school, and was sort of in the “out group”, but 50 years later everyone would talk to me.  I had already gone to three previous reunions, one of which reunited me with an old girlfriend, and now we are closer than we were then, discovering that we are both conservative.  She always was, but I took longer.

    This year is my fiftieth college reunion year.  The college canceled the in-person reunion.  Dumb.  No way will I do any online activities. I already disowned my real alma mater, for Hillsdale.

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  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    This journey to the past and present is part of June’s theme: “Journeys.” Stop by now to sign up for the July group writing theme: “We Hold These Truths (or Fictions).

    There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, now managed by @she. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim a day of the month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with a bit of accountability and topical guidance to encourage writing for its own sake.

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