Some people enjoy a stroll down Memory Lane. I find Memory Lane a frightening place, filled with embarrassing mistakes, missed opportunities, forks in the road of life chosen for the wrong reasons if for any reason at all. As Yogi Berra purportedly once put it, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” I followed Yogi’s advice a lot in those days and prefer forgetting about it.
The article in the local newspaper went through the “The Most” choices from the 1956 yearbook, careful to omit “The Most Likely to Succeed”, who didn’t succeed at removing funds from the bank where he worked (I was told). The Best Looking couple ran about 3rd at the 50th (not bad), The Friendliest never said “hello” to me, and The Most Talented apparently couldn’t find their way to the meet.
The highlight of a 50th reunion is any event that occurred 50 years prior that can be recalled with any accuracy at all. If you can remember the name of anyone who was not your intimate friend, you find yourself the center of attention at a 50th reunion.
Those who had remained in the old hometown had more to talk about and perhaps share the closeness the newspaper article mentions. Those of us who surrendered our roots were little more than new acquaintances, though several of us turned out to be interesting people in our own right. Plans were made for private rendezvous at later dates and different places. Something may come of it yet.
Fun? I suppose, if a sort of enjoyable blahness comes under the cover of that term. We had spent an important time together, trying to figure out adulthood collectively. But most of us had risen to that task long ago, each in our own way, and we certainly did not have time over a single weekend to compare notes on how we managed that daunting task.
So, we smiled to see each other alive (not all of us made it) and looking as good as we did and chatted about things that were no longer relevant to any of us before they vanished from memory altogether.