The town of Irwin was having an all-school reunion. Translated means anyone who has ever graduated from the town of Irwin can and should attend. And attend they did. Four Hundred and three came from near and far. When a graduating class is comprised of 30-40 people, 403 is a lot of students under one roof. People from classes of 1942-1990 attended the bash.
They couldn't exactly get them all under one roof. A large tent was banged into place and the "younger" people banned to outside. Graduating classes from 1971 through 1990 were considered the younger sect.
One of my sisters, Claudia, and her husband, Jack, came to the reunion. My arm was twisted into attending. I don't think she was feeling bad about leaving me home alone. I think I have lived here long enough I would recognize people she didn't and help break the ice.
I am told the class I would have graduated with was one of the larger classes in Irwin. I whopping 5 people showed up. One lives a mile across the field from me. We have become friends. I recognized her. Two of them are faint memories. Two others have not changed a bit in forty-seven years. Well, they are taller, but that's it!
I dashed home after the reunion to dig out my old school photos from when I lived here. Sure enough I had pictures of the frozen in time people. They could be on a milk carton from years ago and no "looks like now" sketch would be needed. I don't think it's fair some of us don't age and the others of us have to bath in anti-aging cream.
I discovered there were many reasons people did not attend this all-school fiesta. "I didn't know." Come on this is a small town. Everyone knows everything.
"I have a family reunion to attend." Really. Family over long lost comrades? All though to be fair, I drove past that reunion. They needed an entire field to park all the vehicles. And it looked like fun. Yes, we slowed down as we past this all ages party. Didn't want to dust anyone from the gravel road.
"I'm attending a bachorlette, party." This excuse is a reason for missing...anything!
Students were not the only ones attending the gathering of classes. Some former teachers attended. One such teacher was a woman in her 90's. I had the most fun watching her. She fluttered from one former student to another. A broad grin gracing her face. I'm guessing she had all well behaved pupils. Or she has forgotten.
The night was warm outside. No matter. I had a blast listening to my former school mates lives. Claudia also enjoyed finding old friends and catching up. I was able to help Claudia remember some faces. She soon took off on her own remembering her days as "the perky cheerleader" and the winner of the "Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year." (We have yet to find the teacher who gave her that award!)
We went home (past the reunion still in full swing) feeling nostalgic. It had been fun to see how people have matured and learn about their different lives. I thought the nostalgia was finished for the decade. Claudia had other ideas.
The next morning Claudia awoke wanting the see the sight where she attended kindergarten. This was in a tiny town called Kirkman, population 64. The school (where our father and uncles spent their school days) has long since been demolished. A historical marker is all that remains.
The school might be gone, but some recreation still remains. An old fashioned merry-go-round!
Claudia and I jumped on. We spun until our heads nearly came off and our stomachs hurt from laughing. Jack took pictures. He wasn't allowed to ride. The smell of barf in the truck is hard to get rid of.
We all look toward the future. Wondering what next adventure is around the corner. A look back in our personal history is good for the soul. We must remember where we came from to see where we are going. I thank my could-have-been class for letting me crash the party. It was truly an experience to remember!