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.