Who are you?

Who Are You?

On Jeopardy the answer would be, “What was the most asked question at the Shelby (Ohio) High School 50th class reunion?”

After mysterious people introduced themselves to other mysterious people, hugs and warm handshakes ensued. The experience was fun and heartwarming, but often baffling. Some of the people who hugged me had never spoken to me during our four years of high school. Others had spoken to me only when required by courtesy.

Even so, the meet and greet and the reunion dinner were fun. Some women still have shapely bodies and lovely faces. Some men are still as handsome as they used to be, albeit with gray or no hair. Some men look every minute of their 68 years. No woman has passed 25.

I found myself walking up to both men and women and introducing myself, something I would have been afraid to do in high school. My most amazing adventure was speaking to the Class Hunk. Back in high school all the girls adored him, even though we knew that he was not aware of our existence.

I approached this tall, slim, retired judge whose white hair did not age him, but added a patina of sophistication. Knowing exactly who he was, I asked, “Are you ____ ____?”

“Yes, who are you?” I told him, knowing my name would mean nothing to him. Then I said that I had read about some of his decisions in the newspaper.

Shocked, he asked, “What newspaper?”

“The Daily Press.”

After a moment he made the connection and replied, “I went to law school at William and Mary and liked the area, so decided to stay there.”

Grinning, I asked if he had taken any classes from George Wythe (W&M’s first law professor and Thomas Jefferson’s mentor.)
He asked me to repeat the name. I did and spelled it out. Then he caught the joke and responded that he wasn’t able to take any of his classes. We laughed, bid each other farewell and never spoke again.

Then we faced the real test of our age – dancing to the oldies. A few remembered the steps, most of us pretended we did. Some pooped out after a few dances. Our bodies couldn’t rock all night like they did in high school. Couples still slow-danced the same way they did at prom, steps that seemed unique to our school; at least I never saw those steps at any other dances I attended over the years.

Learning that after 50 years the class VIPs are just regular people was worth the trip across three states. The measuring stick for who is “in” and who is “out” is gone for good. We’re all adults, first year baby-boomers, who still like to play. And play we did. You should see the “dress up” photos. We picked outrageous costumes and posed dramatically. The results were hilarious.

Several of us began leaving about 10 p.m., a travesty in 1964, but necessity in 2014. We went to bed and dreamed of being 18 again.

© by Sharon Dillon, August 12, 2014


17 thoughts on “Who are you?

  1. Dear Sharon,

    Here is the next one.

    Good summary of “reunionitis”, or “what do I say when I get there?”

    Keep it up.


    Jack Lott

  2. What a great nostalgic post! I can close my eyes and still remember the gym smell and hope some cute guy would ask me to dance. Back then, girls rarely danced with themselves. But then again, I wouldn’t want to dance like they do now (and it’s embarrassing to dance like we used to! Well, except for the Twist perhaps.) Blessings and remembrances,

  3. Oh funny! I can relate, because we just had a 60’s and 70’s happy hour for our residents. We “dressed the part” and danced the twist. It was fun! LB

  4. I had a 40th Junior High School Reunion. And like you, I went up to everyone and said hi. Unlike my shy teenage self.

  5. Sharon- Nice piece. I’ve no more desire to visit a class union than set myself on fire. I always like to refer to the baby boomers as the Age of Aquarius.

    1. I only went because it was the 50th. But no one was playing the “popular” game. Age of Aquarius is a good description for most of us. I was married with children during the Summer of Love.

  6. Sharon …

    You earned an A+ for your 50th reunion essay both in style and on point. I was not able to attend my 50th last weekend but I was there in spirit. I just can’t believe one half century has passed. Seems like yesterday when we knew everything and then the day after graduation and I started looking for a full-time job I suddenly realized I didn’t know anything except that Viet Nam was raging and Uncle Sam wanted me!

    Sixty thousand young men and women later what did we learn??? McNamara was just kidding. Seems like we learned the same thing after we went into IRAQ and there were no WMDs … Rumsfeld was just kidding. Sad.

    1. Thank you for your A+

      Agree on all points. My mom chided me for telling a classmate to go for National Guard instead of active duty at the same time as my husband was in Vietnam – first tour. Bush I left Saddam Hussein in power to keep the region stable. Then Bush II came along and, well, we see what good his “Mission Accomplished” did.

  7. I felt the same way about my 25th reunion, Sharon. I was the Class Clown in 1984, not popular with the guys but I could hold my own. The funny thing was that “popularity ” which was SO important beck then really didn’t mean a hill of beans 25 years later. It was such an equalizing event for my high school class. Almost therapudic! Great post!

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