As I walked into the Glob-Bowl Party room on Saturday, September 22, a little girl was standing near the door, her eyes wide. “I’m waiting for Nona,” she told me, pointing to a lovely gray-haired lady. “She’s my great-grandmother,” the child explained proudly.
I asked her if she knew what all these people were doing here in the party room. She knew it was a class reunion, but wasn’t clear on the particulars. She told me she’s in fourth grade and is definitely going to graduate from high school and college and then become a doctor.
“Well think about the other kids in your fourth-grade class today,” I remarked. “Can you imagine all of you coming back to see each other 65 years after you leave high school?”
“We’ll be really old,” she said thoughtfully.
What I can tell her and all of us after spending some time with these twenty remarkable people is that they may be “really old,” but they are all really happy to be celebrating another milestone anniversary. Unlike most classes that mark ten, twenty-five and fifty years, the class of 1953 began holding reunions in 1958 and have continued to hold one every five years.
Of course, everyone has not been able to attend every year. Since 1953, 40 class members have died. This year, several sent regrets due to poor health or other commitments. 14 did not respond at all. Leaving these twenty to enjoy a few hours and a dinner together.
I asked them, “Who was the smartest?” and they all pointed to Florence Danielson Gray, who was Valedictorian of the Class of 1953. Did she remember anything she said in her speech? “Not a word,” she laughed. No one else did either (a lesson to all who will agonize over their speeces in 2019), but one classmate announced, “She probably told us all to get out there and get to work!”
And that’s what they all did.