Sunday, June 10, 2007

Catching Up on the Last 40 Years

As I looked at the nametags of my classmates, I found myself constantly trying to fast backward to 1967. It was obvious that time had been much kinder to some than others. There were pounds gained, hair lost, and in some cases even more extremes like hips replaced and even a walker. Perhaps most shocking was the list of 36 names of departed souls.

I had kept touch with my small group of close friends, the ones pictured above in 1967, the ones with whom we were staying. Although each of them has had definite challenges in these 40 years, there were no real surprises. We are amazingly the same people we were back them. We’re spread out across the eastern part of the country and two of them are currently air hostesses flying all over the place, but when we get together, it’s as though we pick up where we left off.

The most striking change in the class as a whole was the total absence of clickishness. Those groups that used to be so sacrosanct had simply dissolved leaving a bunch of 58-year-olds that were looking back with a certain acceptance and fondness and forward with a desire to be just one happy family.

I looked around the room at guys I had once been interested in. There was Bill from 3rd grade who was very tanned in flip-flops and had a young trophy (second) wife. There was Ray, my football-player heartthrob since 8th grade, who never even knew all those years that I liked him. By the time he finally asked me out in college, my crush had passed. I caught up with the last 4 decades in his life as a Navy man. Turns out he and his family live just a few miles from me. There were numerous others, like Tommy and Graham and even a newly found friend Richard, who were always good for a conversation about just about anything. But then I looked at the one sitting right next to me and realized I had chosen the best of all.

One of the girls in our class, Jennifer, had been a wild child. Ray, the big strapping football player, admitted that he had been scared of her growing up. In fact his mother had warned him to stay away from girls like her. Jennifer had managed to marry a former NFL player as her second husband. He had been one of the duo who perfected the short 3rd down pass that FSU popularized in the last 60’s.

We sang along with and danced to the music of our high school years – some of the best songs ever. Songs like Double Shot, My Girl, Stop in the Name of Love, When a Man Loves a Woman. One of my classmates had gone to the trouble of making a CD of those songs for each of us.

I’m glad I came. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed talking to people I didn’t even know very well. I absolutely loved my reunion with “my girls”. We captured our feet in the sand this morning.

As for the location, you can’t get much better than Panama City Beach, “the world’s most beautiful beach.” Here are a couple of pics in and around our (free) condo.

I’ll be back for the 50th. But meanwhile I will be in close touch with the fearsome foursome, the best of friends.


Anonymous David said...

It was really a fabulous weekend. I hope my next one is as good. You're really lucky to have such a great core group of "daisy" friends. The rest of my comment can be found "riiiight here", as they say in P.C.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It's looks like a wonderful weekend.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Fifty-Eight and Fabulous! You gals look great, especially you!
I found the same thing at mine...that you just talked to everybody and any old cliques just disappeared. People seemed truly imterested in talking with you. My high school years were great!
I'm glad you went and had a good time.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

It's always a group of four fast friends isn't it? Why do you suppose it's four?

6:19 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Four is a very stable number, maybe that's why??

Barbara, I LOVE all the pics, especially the pedicure pic (of course). The swimsuit shot is gorgeous. I like David's version which is much larger. You are still so babacious.

And yes you definitely chose the best of the lot. I can say that with confidence even though I've never met the others...oh yeah! Welcome home!

8:04 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

David -- You get a gold star for putting up with 40 years of reminiscing with all the gossip we just had to include. What a good sport! But then, what guy wouldn't like being the date of 4 lovely girls?

Kristin -- Yes it was!

MOI -- Thanks for your encouragement to go. It was definitely a lot of fun!

Ulysses -- Four is so much safer than 3, where someone is always on the outs. We've weathered a lot of storms together.

Reya -- The foot picture was Mollie's idea. She is also the makeup artist, having won a car selling Mary Kay makeup. She can do anything she sets her mind to.

I'm sitting in the FSU bookstore cafe with its free Wi-Fi. The place has changed incredibly since I went to school here in the late 60's.

I'm looking out the window at trees laden with Spanish moss. Some things never change!

3:40 PM  
Blogger steve said...


(oopsie, didn't mean to shout)

5:01 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

What fun! So glad you went and took us along!

9:32 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Sounds like you had a blast.

Maybe I should go to my 30th reunion...I have yet to attend one.
And you girls do look great!

10:23 PM  

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