An Uncapped Pen

July 30, 2009

Thirty Years

Filed under: About Me — cindylv @ 7:49 pm

Wilmot Union High School, Wilmot, Wisconsin
Class of 1979

I attended my reunion last Saturday night. It wasn’t held in a fancy country club, or a posh lakeside resort. That wouldn’t have represented the spirit of our class. We met in a small, smoke-filled bar in Genoa City, nibbled unhealthy appetizers, and drank. That’s the spirit! No gowns, no tuxes, no pretensions.

I took my little brother as my date. He’s tall, handsome, charasmatic, observant, and extremely funny. In short, the perfect date for a social event I’ve been anticipating and dreading. Thank you, Tommy.

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to remember people, places, faces and events. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so proud. I was amazed at how many people I didn’t remember, even with nametags. I’d have sworn I never went to school with a guy named “Joe Smith.” Is that exactly the type of name bestowed by the US Marshals?

Some folks I’d never forget. They were shining stars in our school, and they still sparkle: Kathy Keating, Julie Kruzan, Colleen Saucerman. These women look as though they’ve been kept in cold storage with their odometers disconnected. I’m not one of them, regardless of all the squeals of “You look exactly the same!” In 1979, I had long curly brown hair and weighed a whopping 145 lbs on my 5’9″ frame (I thought I was obese.) Today my hair is approximately 1 1/2 inches long, colored “champagne sparkle” and I weigh, well….MORE than 145 lbs. But it was kind of them to say it.

Of course, some friends weren’t able to attend. I was disappointed not to see Doug and Kricket Jackson. My first day of 8th grade in my new school, I sat next to Doug. He’d bought a class ring with a ’79 on it to give to Kricket on the first day of school. Doug dropped it and it rolled over to my foot. He was mortified that I’d misunderstood. I just handed it back to him to pass along the rows over to Kricket. They started going steady on that day and pretty much stayed together ever since, getting married right after high school. Well, except for those few rocky months after our junior year, but let’s not dwell on that. They’re still together and I love thinking about that old story.

I saw an old friend who worked with my family, who loved my parents, who knows all the dirty laundry and still loves us. Debbie Hendzel, you’re a true gem. Seeing you, spending an hour listening to your voice, made the price of the trip worthwhile. I promised to keep in touch and I swear I will, this time.

The captain of every sport team, Danny Moore, a guy I never spoke to in school, resembles one of my favorite actors: Ed Harris. I actually walked up to him, said hello and chatted for five minutes. He’s still sparkly. He’s friendly and articulate. I walked away from that conversation all tingly. Not in the “I’ll-never-wash-my-hand-again!” kind of tingly, but the “I-just-spent-a-few-minutes-with-someone-special” kind of tingly.

I thought I was going to go to the reunion, stay for an hour or so and leave early. Imagine how surprised I was to discover it was almost midnight and the party still raged on (just like old times). My brother’s family was waiting up for us, so we had to leave. The noise, the smoke, the smell of greasy bar food….I wasn’t sorry to leave all that. The blaring sounds of late 70’s rock and roll? Hmmmm….At least it wasn’t the 80’s pop or 90’s techno-poop that youngsters in those decades listened to! Although, if I ever hear “My Sharona” again, it will be too soon.

I’m glad I went. As usual, I wish I’d circulated more, met more people. As usual, I gravitated to the few familiar faces. And, as usual, I talked more than I listened and I could have learned more about my old friends.

Thirty years. As my six year old niece would say, “O. M. G.!”



  1. OMG, mine is in November. Yep. Class of ’79.

    Comment by Lisa Kenney — July 30, 2009 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

    • Like Mason says: O.M.G.!

      You’ll have fun. I promise. I’m thinking of hiring my brother out to shepherd nervous reunion attendees through their ordeals. Did I mention that he PAID for my drinks all night (3 plastic cups of Merlot).

      Comment by cindylv — July 30, 2009 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

  2. Wow, would your brother take me to mine next summer? (Class of ’80)

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s making me think about actually *going* to my reunion; I’ve never been to any of them, as most of my HS friends were actually a grade behind me (lots of grade mixing in music and theater classes, and I was one of those artsy ones). We shall see…

    p.s. — good to see some more writing from you — I’ve missed it! XOXO

    Comment by Piglet, MPH — July 31, 2009 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

    • I’ll add you to his list of reunion “dates”. :^D

      I understand about the grade mixing. I spent my HS years in band (wind ensemble, marching band, arranging and composing, theory, etc.). I didn’t spend much time with the kids in my own class either.

      Thanks for the comment about missing my writing. I’ve got my sketch pad out on the table and I am drawing a few charts to clarify some plot/character points in my novel. Back at it, full of energy once again!

      Comment by cindylv — July 31, 2009 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

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