Print Story so we went to the reunion.
By ana (Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:49:48 PM EST) that was the way we were (all tags)
 Well, I'm back.

 I graduated high school 40 years ago this summer.

Over the past year or so, using facebook as a networking tool, one of my friends found well over half the class members. This past weekend was the actual event, in Boulder. I watched the wiki list of people who'd said they were going, and was disappointed to find that two of my closest friends apparently were not.

However... One of them (T) had been hoping he could. There was a business meeting in Tel Aviv he had to attend, scheduled for the same weekend. They always postpone them... except when they don't. So he was in the area the week before, and sent out e-mail making contact and asking if we could get together ahead of time.

The other one (P) went to the 20th, decided he hated it, and didn't want to spend the money. But he drove up from NM, and he and T and I got together with my official BFF J. Brewpub. Beer. P's new wife. ADD-driven interruptions, which once one learns to surf the waves are kind of a fun way to do the catching up thing. No need to wait for that "this reminds me of a story" moment. Blurt forth! We closed down the bar, even though it was only 11 pm on a Thursday night.

Such things are a perfect excuse to visit the relations who live in the area, but also provide a distraction and something else to do, which is good. My folks moved into a retirement center just about a year ago; it was the same one where my oldest brother J lives. When he retired, I think he only wanted to move once more in his life, so he picked this place. He's quite active in all the activities, and it seems everybody knows him. The family resemblance is enough to be uncanny, apparently, and a number of his friends were rather disturbed by me.

Dad's been rapidly losing mobility, so the on-site doc agreed he should go to the hospital a couple weeks ago. So they ran lots and lots of tests, and the neurologist decided he probably has Parkinson's. There's a medication for that which is remarkably effective, at least for a while. So they started him on that, and moved him to a rehab center where he can get lots of physical and occupational therapy. They work him pretty hard, but he's gone from being unable to walk with a walker to over 100 feet in a week. The hope is he'll be able to go home in another week or two. The retirement center has nursing help available in people's apartments (for a fee, which thankfully my sister has agreed to pick up if the insurance won't cover it), which would be a great help in easing him back into a more active life.

They also have a used equipment exchange, which hooks up potential buyers with sellers. J found a power chair for Mom there; she was getting too weak to walk the quarter mile or so of hallway from her apartment to the dining room. I asked if he could look out for a lift chair, that would help Dad stand up out of his chair. He agreed that would be a good thing to have.

Mom's slowly losing her marbles, in the form of being able to convert short-term memory to long-term. She's pretty sharp, and she understands what the questions are; she just doesn't remember having asked and gotten them answered 10 minutes before. So you smile and have the same conversation again. I think partially motivated by the loss of memory, she has a lot of trouble throwing stuff out. She's on every right-wing mailing list known to USian mankind, and sometimes important stuff gets lost in the blizzard of junk mail. She was sorting it into piles on the available surfaces (arms of her chair, the side table, her footstool), but the piles got too high and dumped onto the floor. So I spent an hour one morning "helping" sort the mail (i.e. throwing out everything but the most recent issue of magazines and the occasional bill or other financial statement). We ended up with six grocery bags full of paper to be recycled, supposedly this morning. I hope she remembered to do that.

One worries about her living alone; she really hasn't ever done that before. She kept saying I should retire and come and live with her. Not gonna happen. The retirement center is pretty nice, actually, if you don't mind a population with a median age of about 75, in which many people are partially disabled. There's lots of stuff to do, mostly organized by the residents. We played wii bowling with a dozen other people the day I left.


So Friday I drove the hour or so up to Boulder, the town where I grew up and went to school, and to the university. Much has changed in the 36 years since I left. And much has not. Driving into town, I saw waiting on a side street an old-style VW Bug, which might have lived in Boulder for 40 years or more. The house I lived in for most of that time has been extensively remodeled. The other house I remember is much as it was; the very next owners put in an outside exit in the basement, but otherwise except for trees growing, it looks the same.

My friend C who moved in across the street when we were in 1st grade? His folks still live in that house. They're old, but still kicking. I had breakfast with C and his wife and his folks on Saturday, and spend much of the day doing the tourist thing in Boulder with C. We toured the Celestial Seasonings factory. We cruised up and down the pedestrian mall where the main street used to be, and finally found some brightly colored tie-dye shirts in my size. I bought two and loaned one to C to wear to the evening's reunion activity.

And I wandered the ped/bike trail along the creek, which is a remarkably nice place. One of my novels features an academic in Boulder, who lived in a condo not far from the creek up near the mountains. There's no such place in the real Boulder, but hey. She walked down the creek trail to get to the campus and her office, musing about the plot point of the day. I have a better feeling for that now.

The reunion itself was surprisingly fun. One friend who was 2 years behind us in school heard us talking about it, and allowed as how she might like to crash it, since she knew a lot of us from school, folk dancing, whatever. Being without partner, I brought her along as a guest, and people seemed happy to see her.

Organizing these things is kind of a frustrating experience for the organizers. People simply will. not. shut. up. so that announcements can be made, door prizes delivered, memorial balloons released, or what have you. Best to not try, I think. One previous reunion was in a theater that also does cocktails and such (think cabaret on multiple levels). The poor classmate who had agreed to sing simply could not be heard above the conversation.

But really, the conversation is what such an event is all about. And the pictures. There are a number of those on facebook, if ya'll are following me there. One guy I knew from Kindergarten on down brought along all of his elementary school class pictures. It's astonishing how much people resemble their childhood selves.

< so my boss got the jorb | Your solemn masters are large-handed robbers and filch by law >
so we went to the reunion. | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
I misread that by kwsNI (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 08:47:34 AM EST
"with my official BFF J. Brewpub."

My first thought was that was the coolest nickname for a hipster I've seen on here. 

Not a hipster... by ana (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:10:20 AM EST
but one of his (many) jobs (he's a software engineer, so he moves from company to company kind of a lot) was less than a mile from this particular brewpub, so he knows the staff, they know him, and he even has a name plate on one of the huge brewing casks (for drinking 100 gallons of beer or something such).

So that's not far wrong...

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
WTF is FTW backwards. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 10:03:03 AM EST

I've enjoyed my high school reunions. 30 is next year.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

if you don't mind a population with a median age by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 12:25:13 PM EST
Well the 90 year olds sure so dig the younger set.

so we went to the reunion. | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)