High school reunion

Last night, I attended my 40th high school reunion in Illinois. Because I’ve “friended” some Highland Park High classmates on Facebook, several people said they were reading the blog. (No catty comments on classmates’ weight gain or hair loss here!)

It was a big high school with something like 530 students in the class of ’70. Figuring out who was who was an intellectual challenge. I remember vividly my Ravinia Elementary School classmates and the “Level 1 crowd” from high school.

Once again, I was amazed at how many nice Jewish boys in my class fulfilled their parents’ dreams by becoming doctors. I don’t think any of the nice Jewish girls went to medical school, though quite a few are lawyers or teachers. Many ’70 grads are running family businesses. Jane is a community college instructor in Texas.

People who show up at reunions are a self-selected bunch. Everyone seemed to be doing well, despite the economy. We talked a lot about our children, but not many grads are grandparents yet. A high percentage of my classmates delayed marriage for college (and often law or medical school) and didn’t have kids till their late 20’s or early 30’s. Our children are marrying later too.

After the 20th reunion, I wrote a Mercury News column about hanging out with the Mr. Parkerites, classmates who’d been in Mr. Parker’s fourth-grade class at Ravinia. He was a brilliant teacher. Sue sent him a copy of the column, which must have run on the Knight-Ridder wire. He died a year later, younger than I am now. I’m glad he got to see it.

Richard, my elementary school rival, remembered that I won the spelling bee in Mr. Parker’s class. I remembered that he won the math contest, winning a Parker Pen, because I forgot to study weights and measures. (In spite, I refused to study after the test and never really mastered pints and quarts and such.)

Linda said she’d had a huge crush on Mace, who told me at the last reunion that he’d had a huge crush on me.

My It’s Academic team mates, Brad and Mike, were there. Once again, we recalled the red-haired sophomore from New Trier West who beat us in the second round.

Everyone said I look just like I did in high school. I gave them the Dorian Gray line. It’s too bad my hearing hasn’t held up. With lots of background noise, hearing is an intellectual challenge too.

I’ll be on vacation for the next week, so blogging may be a bit light.

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  1. I think Jamie H. is an example of a nice Jewish girl from the class who’s a doctor

  2. I love high school reunions (virtual or otherwise) and Facebook is a godsend. Last time I attended a physical reunion was my 20th in 1996. I was shocked at how good most of the ladies looked and how bizarre the guys had become. Time’s best gift, though, is turning your former nemeses into human beings.

    What’s up with the 3+-kid families, though? I believe it shows how “provincial” (to use the term favored by one of our Spanish teachers) my peers are, deep down. Yes, the town is a short drive from New York City, but those who stayed became quite firmly entrenched in the blue-collar / Red-state mentality. Those who got away got FAR away, in both location and mindset.

  3. I didn’t know Jamie’s a doctor. I knew there had to be someone.

    I can’t believe a boy in my nursery school car pool is now a doctor (Dan Z).

  4. About self-selection – I just went to my 30th reunion — all male high school in Tennessee. Not only do unhappy people not attend, but bald men self-select out. There were 30-35 men at the party. Two were bald. I think that’s below average for 48 year olds!