Back up to June of the same year. Our typically apathetic classmates had done nothing to prepare for any kind of Reunion. Quite a few went to the 10 year reunion. Less to the 20. Now here we were at the 30 year marker. Were we really going to let it go by without even a nod?
A few of us called each other. We thought that IF we could make this really casual... IF we could make sure all of us knew that THIS is the one we're going to all try to make it to... IF we could keep it really inexpensive...WE could make this happen.
My friend Leslie and I started our party planning. She contacted the Alumni office and they gave us the list that they had for our classmates. Truth is, most of us didn't even make sure we had given accurate contact info to the Alumni office. It just wasn't that big of a deal for us. They told us that our classmate since grade school, Chuck, had asked about it recently so we recruited him into the conversation of what to plan. When I suggested we simply have the get together at my mom's house in the old neighborhood, Chuck thought differently. His home was actually not far from my mom's and was significantly bigger. Diane, his wife, told me later that our reunion plans really helped light a fire for getting all kinds of renovations. She got her fabulous covered patio with kitchen and Chuck got his garage "man cave."
So I set up a Facebook account for the Class of '79. We called for volunteers to start making calls and try to find each other. Most people were initially hesitant, but our enthusiasm could not be dismissed. Most of us were not big alumni types. If that makes any sense. But in the end, people agreed to come from all over the country. We simply decided that THIS would be the year we'd all attend. Several people said it just took that personal call to say, "Hey, I'm going. You should come too!"
But our big party would be the next night at Chuck and Diane's house. It was a perfect setting to a wonderful party. Even the rain couldn't dampen our spirits. Over 70 classmates plus a few brave spouses attended. We drank and chatted into the wee hours of the night.
A lot has happened to us over 30 years. We've lost quite a few classmates over these years. They were missed. But for those of us that saw each other that weekend in October, it felt so good. The more pretentious layers seemed to have fallen away. We were genuinely excited to see each other. We were less concerned with what career path anyone had chosen, and more interested in just seeing each other and hearing what was going on in each others lives!
Facebook has allowed us to stay connected. Small spinoff get together have been happening. I have no idea if we'll plan another big reunion like that. But I'm so glad we did this time.