WARNING: I'm going to get all sappy and sentimental here and I'm going to be all nostalgic and even post old pictures. Read on at your peril. 😉
I've been scrapbooking since I was a sophmore in high school. (which shows you that I was way ahead of my time, but that's not important right now.)
I had the time of my life. I was a junior varsity cheerleader. And I had the greatest friends in the world.
It was (seriously) the best high school experience any teenager could hope for.
I was All That and a Bag of Chips. (at least in my own mind =D)
But when it came time to go back for my high school reunion, I was nervous. I looked through my old yearbooks and my scrapbooks to prepare.
I felt like I was returning to the scene of the crime.
(Okay. Shut up. I admit it. I was a bundle of nerves. I'll bet I wasn't the only one.)
I realized early on that even after all this time, for better or worse, people probably only remembered the 16 year old me. (I think "bubbly" was a word they used to describe me. SIGH) And, you know, I got a little stuck in my worry over how I would be perceived now.
Okay, so I was more than a little bit worried.
Would I recognize my old friends after all this time? You know, relatively speaking, in the grand scheme of my life, this particular group of people were only present for a few of my formative years.
But what wonderful years they were! We were so innocent and full of energy and excitement about life and the world and we loved music (Motown!), parties and pep rallies.
Just being together was enough.
St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, California. They called it The Trifecta Reunion because there were three classes to be reunited – 72, 73, and 74.
Usually these events are held in some nameless downtown ballroom which makes it seem more like a company dinner than a homecoming. But by some stroke of genius, our reunion was held in the gym. Oh, excuse me… in the M.P.B. – Multi-Purpose Building. Do they still call it that, I wonder?
I went with my girlfriend, Mary. (Eric, would rather be set on fire than to attend another of these events with me, but that's not important right now.) The gym M.P.B. was all lit up and we could hear music as we approached. We both sort of panicked at that point and almost turned around.
But something magical happened when we walked in through those old doors.
We traveled back in time. We were back in the M.P.B. It was back in the early 70's. And all of our friends were there. Just like a sock hop after a football game. It felt like that anyway….
As we walked in, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles began to sing, "I Second That Emotion." How amazing, I thought to myself. That was my absolutely favorite song from that particular time in my life. What a wonderfully welcoming coincidence!
Moments later, Alan, the coordinator of the event came running up –
"Did you hear that I played Smokey for you just now?"
Shut. UP. I swallowed the big lump in my throat, blinked back the tears and gave him a big hug. And so began one of the most wonderful evenings I've experienced in my life.
Our (very small by today's standards) high school was like a tight-knit community and I was just so happy to see everyone again. We hugged and we laughed and we remembered silly things about each other. After the basic questions of "are you married?" and "do you have kids?" we segued into the "remember when's" and "you haven't changed at bits." (Apparently, I haven't changed a bit! =D)
The entire evening was like my old scrapbook had come to life. We danced. We sang old songs by the Temptations, complete with all the moves. What a delicious treat…
Here are some "Then and Nows":
Terence from Torrance. My first boyfriend. Took me to see Smokey Robinson and the Miracles at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. I still have the ticket from that show. It cost exactly $5.00. Can you imagine? The opening act was Little Stevie Wonder. Sweet, sweet memories.
He's still the only person on the planet who can still call me Mungo and live to tell the tale.
Mayra, Julie, Kim, and all the Marys. Some of you have been my friends since the 6th grade.
(Mayra and I went to the same Kindergarten in Cuba! How random is that?)
And how lucky am I to still call you friends?
back row: Greg, Mary, Chris, Kim, Eileen. front row: Colleen, Mayra, Mary, Me.
Aren't we just freakin' cute?
From the What Have I Got To Lose Category: Mark L. confessed that he spent most of his high school career just trying to bag one of us cheerleaders. He provided shoulder support when one needed to cry.
That's Mark on the right. Waiting with shoulder ready… Some things never change. =D
"You went to the Senior Dance with John R.??" (I wonder why this was hard to believe? Was it impossible to believe that he would have asked ME? Or was HE the one who lucked out in this deal?)
We still weren't sure who's idea it was. But so glad we went!
Prom 1971. Chris and I had the best time. In spite of being upholstered into our outfits. Crushed velvet and satin. Were we stylin' or what!?
I think I'm much more relaxed now. =D
Here's a close-up of the pyramid picture I posted a few days ago. Does anyone look familiar?
So just for one night, I got to be sixteen again. And laugh and be my silly ("bubbly") self and this is what I found:
Just being together was enough.
"How beautiful is youth!
How bright it gleams with its illusions, aspirations, dreams!
Book of Beginnings, Story without End,
Each maid a heroine, and each man a friend!"
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow