Sunday, October 21, 2012

No Bald Reunion

Listeners to my weekly radio broadcast (!/pages/Cucina-Chatter/110141525699341?fref=ts) on “Cucina Chatter” are aware that I recently attended my 50th high school reunion. It was everything I thought it would be, and perhaps a bit more.
I was amazed at how many guys had kept their hair, but—although envious—I was pleased to see that those big crops of gray hair actually made them look older than did my nicely tanned pate. At least that’s what my wife told me, and she would never lie to me.
About 100 graduates (20 percent of the class) attended, and the list included doctors, two priests (one who is now the principal of my alma mater—Father Judge), engineers, business executives, educators, law enforcement officers (OK, they were cops—like me), and various other professions. I was quite impressed by the prosperity of my fellow alums.
When I mentioned this heady indicator, one of the wives at my table brought me back to earth. “Only the successful attend reunions,” she warned.
And how can you argue with that observation. How many of the other400-plus were ex-cons, neurotics, drunks, drug addicts, street people, or just plain bums? Sobering thought. No pun intended.
But I won’t dwell on what I don’t know. I just feel vindicated that a four-year Catholic high school education from the late 1950s to the early 60s seemed to have worked well for the Class of ’62.
There was a noticeable paunch here and there, and even a cane or two, but it felt good to reconnect with some of the wisenheimers I knew back in sophomore year. In their way, they were still wise guys, but it had evolved into wisdom—an excellent trait in a senior citizen.
I’ll be meeting soon with one of my old colleagues—a guy I literally had not seen nor heard from in 50 years. Like me, he’s a cancer survivor who leans heavily on his Catholic faith. So I’m sure we’ll talk about old times, old pranks, and old friendships. But newly added will be a different way of looking at life.
It’s funny how your perspective changes with the mere passage of a half-century.
A lot of the talk at the reunion was about how we have to do this again. So I guess we should form a committee to start planning our 100th reunion.
Maybe some of those gray, wooly-headed grads will at least have a receding hairline by then.
One can only hope.

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