I had my 50th high school reunion this past Saturday night. Fifty years! Really it seems like only yesterday, but all my friends with brown, red, blonde and red hair have become grey headed or white headed or bald! How did that happen? We were the cool class, The ones who were going to conquer the world. The ones who would remain forever young. Well, we were fooled because life caught up with us. We grew old while raising families, working at jobs we may or may not have loved, saw friends and family pass away and learned life can be hard at times, but at others simply wonderful. So many memories all mixed up in that room that evening. So many life experiences. I hadn’t seen the majority of those people for at least forty years. Some I have kept in contact with. Some I wanted to see didn’t show up. Some of my friends, who shared a lot of life experiences with me, were there. I was glad I went although it did bring back the old teen-age feelings of inadequacy and shyness that I often had back in those days.
This isn’t the best picture of us all because it has the woman in it trying to get us all to stand where we could be seen in the picture, but this is my class. Or at least a few of them. Many have passed away or lived too far away to get here. Or some just didn’t have the best high school experience and didn’t come. Some just wanted to remember the class the way it was, but we don’t remain the same, do we?
Some of my best friends from school are in this picture. They know who they are.
This lady was one of my good friends. We went through twelve years of school together. She probably won’t remember it, but in the second or third grade I drew some paper dolls with clothes and everything and gave them to her. I stayed all night at her house. Her mother loved the musical “South Pacific” and we played the music. Her dad was a dairy farmer and had lots of cows. She had to work hard. She’s spent the last few years care giving parents. Hers and her husband’s. We were pen pals for years when she lived out west. Then we lost touch like you do when you live far apart. This is the first time I had seen her in decades.
This lady has the prettiest smile. She was always one of the nicest people and though I didn’t get to know her real well in high school, I always liked her.
This is David’s cousin’s husband. His cousin went with David and me on our first date. We went to see the movie, ‘Joy in the Morning,” with Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieu. I think I misspelled her name. Evidently something funny was said here. That’s David on the right.
A good friend with her partner. Reading an old diary recently, evidently she and I had planned on forming a secret club that just she and I would be members. Evidently it was so secret, neither one of us could remember it!
Two of my best friends. We went to school twelve years together. We still laugh when we are together which isn’t often enough. The lady in the middle and I went to see the Beatles at the Indiana state fair when they were on their first tour of the United States. What fun it was.
Carol made the cakes for the evening.
They were very good.
Someone did a great job on the table decorations.
The fellow in the middle is a good friend. We went through twelve years of school together too. He went on and got his PHD and has traveled all over the world. I use to help him pass papers in our little town back in the sixties. We were in youth fellowship at the same church and had a lot of fun times together. He’s still as nice as he ever was and we had a good visit.
We all received a folder with papers people had written and sent in about what had been going on with them since high school. We also got a little booklet that told what was happening in the world the year we graduated. We have lived through some pretty interesting history.
We all got a book bag, pens, coasters, and taffy from one of the popular candy stores in town.
All in all it was a fun evening. A good time was had by all.
The next morning we drove around our old hometown where we started our early married life. The day before, we drove around the town where I grew up and David’s grandparents lived and where he lived when his parents moved to the Virgin Islands.
Past the little church where we were married 49 years ago.
It really hasn’t changed all that much
Before we went to the reunion, I wanted to drive by the library where I spent many happy hours and where I learned to love reading. I loved going here where the smell of books was so strong I can still imagine it to this day. The librarians were on a first name basis with my mother and me as we went there every two weeks without fail. I would get a pile of books and felt rich for having them.
We drove through Glen Miller park in Richmond where we use to go to watch the fireworks, where there use to be a tiny zoo and the best playground when I was a kid. There were even buffalo and a lion kept there for a time. I always felt sorry for that lion because it really was not kept in a large enough cage. I have come to the conclusion some animals should never be caged.
This house is in the park where people can have meetings or parties. When I had our daughter, two good friends gave me a baby shower here. It was so nice. One of those friends I graduated with, but she wasn’t at the reunion. I would have like to have seen her.
Also inside the park is a rose garden. It wasn’t there while I was growing up.
When I first walked into the garden, the smell of roses was so strong, I had to stop for a minute and just inhale. I wish I could send that smell to you. It was glorious. Although the roses were not at their peak, they were still beautiful and smelled so good.
So glad this woman championed this rose garden.
A gazebo sat right in the middle of it all. A place that would be perfect for weddings.
With benches placed all around it Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be married here? Especially when the roses are all blooming.
There were still several beautiful roses blooming.
There was a fountain there, but the water had been drained from it.
Some very talented person carved this out of an old stump.
Even the butterfly is carved from the stump.
It was just amazing. I hope the people in Richmond know what a little gem they have right in the middle of their town.
We had to be on our way, so on toward home we drove.
We were traveling state road 40 which goes through many little towns. We saw this carving in someone’s yard.
This one was also there. You don’t see things like this on the interstate.
Or things like this in someone’s back yard. A place to sit outside. An upper and a lower space. How neat is that?
One place I wanted to see was James Whitcomb Riley’s home in Greenfield. I have always wanted to go through it, but it was closed on Sunday.
Here are the hours if you ever wish to go.
He lived in a pretty grand house for his day.
A statue of him stands in front of the court house. When my mother was a child back in the 1920’s school children were asked to send in pennies to help raise this statue. Children paid for this statue. Riley was a poet who lived in Indiana. I have read many of his poems, my favorite being Little Orphant Annie which I have memorized. Ask me, and I can recite it to you.
Yes, we Hoosiers do have a dialect. And proud of it.
I sat by a bronze statue of Mr. Riley.
He was reading Little Orphant Annie. Yes, he spelled it with a t.
We finished our weekend with an ice cream at the Cow Palace. It was a nice weekend.
Here’s to school friends, roses and James Whitcomb Riley. Bye.