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Three Years and the Ghosts of Yesterday

High School reunions can be a whirlwind of emotions. (Travel snaps challenge)

By BreezyPublished 27 days ago Updated 26 days ago 2 min read
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The trip I want to describe was not important for its physical distance (less than 20 miles from my home) but for the visit I took down memory lane.

The high school I attended 25+ years ago, is in the process of being torn down and simultaneously built anew for the Gen Z students currently enrolled. Old school literally meets new school.

Left: Old Building, Right: New Building

This summer, with the completion of the new buildings, the remaining old buildings housing the theater and many of the classrooms will be torn down. The school chose to hold a Super Reunion and invited all of the students who have attended the school since it first opened in 1963 to come back and haunt the halls one last time. To my delight, I got to witness how many graduates, both old and young, came out to visit.

One of two signs filled with signatures from those who have previously, or will soon graduate from the school.

I ran through the halls playing laser tag (with no teachers to stop me). I strolled through the Walk of Ages with tables showcasing pictures and keepsakes from each graduating class for 60 years. A 5K run, a scrimmage for former football players, a brunch with past and current teachers, a movie on the football field, and fireworks were all available to those who attended the reunion.

Dozens of former players enjoyed returning to the field.

Photo banners stretched the length of the bleachers providing viewers with glimpses into the past, telling stories even when the individuals within the pictures are no longer here to do so.

Moments from six decades are frozen in time.

It’s not surprising that I find myself wondering what it is about a three-year experience that leads people to seek connections to it even fifty years later?

The class of 1974 held their 50-year reunion, in conjunction with the Super Reunion.

I have had so many character-building, growth-inducing, life-changing experiences in the 25+ years since I left high school. What is the significance of just three years when compared to a couple decades of life?

However, I find that the weight that those three years carry in my heart and in my mind—surprising, although perhaps understandable, simply because they occurred during the formative years of my development from adolescence to adulthood.

Rose-colored glasses make it easier to remember the good times with friends and harder to remember the social pressures and daily drama with classmates, the hours of homework and studying for exams, the physical and emotional exhaustion from balancing both those aspects, and the teachers who were simply out to “make my life miserable”.

From my yearbook: “In Mrs. Stonehocker’s class, these students work furiously to finish a test.”

However, the students, the teachers, the administrators and the support staff that created my high school experience left an enduring imprint upon my life, which led myself and many others to make the journey back to our school’s tired hallways recently. We returned to reconnect with people, to remember events, and to recall who we were before donning the mantle of adulthood—and the loss of the innocence of adolescence.

My trip was for both my body and my soul, because as the saying goes, without a past, we have no future. I have recently traveled to my past and at present, I would say my future is looking bright.

(Author’s note: I don’t know how many planning meetings, people, and hours were spent to produce the reunion, but I am sure it was in the hundreds, and I desire to express my appreciation for their efforts.)

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About the Creator

Breezy

I'm a mom of four and a lover of stories. Unfortunately, the busy mom life doesn't leave a lot of time for reading and writing, but audiobooks and the stories they tell help make the daily mundanity more bearable.

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