This weekend marked my 40th high school reunion. I decided not to attend the event, a decision I ended up regretting. The following is what I wrote on the reunion’s page on The Facebook:
I continue to hear stories from friends & acquaintances about the horrors of their high school years. The Husband is still bitter about HS & even today, finds his life leading in certain directions because of experiences during his 4 years at Lewis & Clark HS (class of 1968).
I enjoyed a happy & secure childhood & had a groovy time during my 4 years at Joel E Ferris HS, 1968-1972. I was involved in nearly every theatre & music activity. I traveled easily around the different sub-groups of high school: AV aids, nerds, jocks, greasers, druggies, band geeks, hippies, smart kids, teachers, debate team, 4H, & enjoyed an easy going relationship with the most popular people, you know who you are, don’t make me call you out by name, & of course, I was quite at home with the drama nerds.
I went to every dance & prom, because I love to dance & because I was determined to make being gay unimportant or at least not tragic.
I give my classmates the credit for my good HS experience, for being friendly, open-minded, & occasionally willing to be naughty.
In HS, I wanted to work hard & train to become the best actor, singer & dancer possible with the resources available to me. My other priorities included getting loaded & getting laid. I was rather successful at both.
Now I regret NOT being at our 40th reunion. I am unemployed for the first time in 45 years. My Husband is just getting a new venture off the ground. Our lives don’t quite run in the black & we have made a game of spending as little money as possible & making big sacrifices. We got rid of our automobile & its monthly payments, insurance & upkeep, & purchased bicycles. We only dine out at “happy hour”, & we grow some of our own food. But travel, even to Spokane seemed out of the question.
Now, as you all celebrate, I wish that I had found a way to be there, even if I had hitchhiked, like I used to do in 1972.
I have deep affection for the group of us that went all the way through school together, grades 1 thru12 : Hamblen, Sacajawea, & Ferris. I would have really liked to have looked you each of you in the eye & heard about your life post-1972.
I would have welcomed the chance to shake hands & have a conversation with the idol of my youth, the distinguished screenwriter/producer- Harley Peyton.
As I mentioned in a message to childhood neighbor & school chum, Bruce Roberts, maybe there was a reason for my not making it to the reunion. There was always that chance that I would have had too much to drink, insulted someone, & made an unfortunate pass at someone else. At our 20th reunion, & ended up smoking pot & having sex in the car with a former, then/now married classmate. Oh well… I never desired to be a role-model, not in 1972 or 40 years later.
I hope you all had a swell time & I will definitely see you at our 50th… you will recognize me, I am the one with the really cool walker.