These memories are cluttering my head – in a good way. So many reminiscences have surfaced; keeping up with the plans of the reunion precipitated the flood. Even though I was a newbie to Texas and to the school system, I quietly tried to fit in. Yes, I was a Yankee from New Jersey moving to a southwestern environment. When I arrived in 1963, I fully expected to see dirt roads and cowboys on horseback – my preliminary image of Texas had definitely suffered. Well, that image changed. That first summer, though, not yet being in school, was difficult because I knew no one and it was majorly hot! At the end of the summer, I began attending a brand new high school. I felt the excitement of all those walking the halls that year. As a junior, I was part of the elite upper classmen group – juniors were lucky because we were really “seniors” for two whole years! That first year was special since we all contributed to making decisions that set the traditions for the school. I met some wonderful people, participated in good classes (Typing was one of the better classes that prepared me for the future), and activities (Future Teachers, Annual Staff.) Little did I realize that there were some undercurrents of unfairness in treatment of gender in some classes. Didn’t I say I was naïve? But, I enjoyed my years in high school. Home economics classes were great, and I loved sewing – I made my senior prom dress as a project for my home economics’ class. Certainly my original Texas image had faded because of walking those high school halls, fun pep rallies (Y’all yell now), football games, rides to Pal’s and cautious dating.
I digress, however, for it is the people that I had especially wanted to remember. As I mentioned, my life was a bit chaotic after graduation and there didn’t seem to be any way to keep the liaisons I had formed. I didn’t want to move. The result, I lost touch. After I had been attending the local college for a while, I learned that many of my high school mates had also attended. They had started right after graduation, and thus were ahead of me. Of course, many chose other majors. I only re-established one important relationship when I returned to Texas – I later let that one go. My life, then, became centered around college activities, meeting new people, part-time work; later, full-time work, part-time school, marriage, involvement with a service sorority and a decorating group; and then, divorce, re-marriage, master’s degree program, parenthood, divorce, professional responsibilities and other things that occur, especially if you are blessed with life. I had attended a ten-year reunion, but I didn’t do anything about maintaining those tenuous liaisons and went on my own merry way. There was a thirty-five year hiatus between the ten-year and my re-establishment of contact with high school folks. During that forty-fifth reunion, I did make contact with several special people. I am most grateful. However, I discovered that a few of the folks for whom I had fond memories, were deceased. And now, with the fiftieth in the past, there are still several that I would love to know about – but they are on the “no information available” list – many search attempts have been made. Even in this day of a plethora of ways to get information, they still escape discovery. However, they live on in my heart with the same freshness that I had when I first knew them. As many of us have gradually realized, life is often both favorable and not so favorable. This enforces the desire to solidify whatever good relationships from the past that we can. These relationships are sweet, remembering those who are no longer with us, is of course, the bitter part of it. I am fortunate to have lived long enough to experience this – so, I definitely want to hold on to whatever liaisons I now have. I am most grateful for my life and am especially grateful for the memories, bitter and sweet.