We spent the greater part of yesterday at a high school reunion. This one was a little different, the first 10 classes of Mohawk Trail Regional High School gathered at the Charlemont Fairgrounds for a festival of sorts. It felt like a small fair with the food vendors and class tents. Bands played from the past all day long, whisking us back to youth with the power only music has on one’s memory. There were activities, group photos, reminiscing along with a table of yearbooks and photographs that did and didn’t make the cut back in the day (how those survived 35+ years is beyond me).
This is the kind of thing that reminds you how close our communities are. As I have said in the past, each town that sent kids to this regional school was a small town. My class from Rowe consisted of four people (including me). In school you make your lifetime friends I believe but for those of us that grew up in such small communities our town friends become our family. Having the reunion encompass so many years, with my class right in the middle allowed us to not only visit with our classmates but reconnect with people we wouldn’t have otherwise.
In this age of social media we are fortunate to be able to stay connected with some of our favorite people with a touch of a few buttons. It is an amazing world. When I arrived at the reunion it was good to see so many of the people I talk to so often, it felt comfortable. Then there were a few of those OMG moments. Those occurred when I recognized someone I never thought I would see at an event like this.
Good moments, moments of recognition, hugs, warmth, familiarity. These were moments spent with the people I have known since I was 5 years old. Moments talking about age, family, life. It was a time, however brief, when I felt like I was surrounded by the best parts of my family. These are the people who know you so very well. The interesting thing is that many of them I have not seen in a decade. It’s the situation you find yourself in where you just pick up where you left off.
I read somewhere a long time ago that people who know each other from their youth always see each other as they were when they were young. A trick of the mind. So all of that graying hair, weight gain or loss, baldness falls away as the conversation begins – you are really seeing their soul in some respect, their essence. You see them as you know them and always have.
For me, that’s the amazing thing about these reunions. While part of it always serves to remind me how quickly time passes I am quickly reminded that even with the passage of time we all are essentially still teenagers in our minds.