There aren't so many of us now. Mortality is against us. Nonetheless, yesterday, we gathered at the Troy Community Center in Welshfield, Ohio, to celebrate our 53rd high school class reunion. I believe only five were there from our class.
I'd been to our 50th, but I'd forgotten to go to the 51st, and our 52nd was on Joyce's birthday, so I missed that one, as well. But yesterday ... I was there.
Because Hiram High was so small--and closed its doors forever after the 1963-1964 school year (since then, all Hiram students have gone to Crestwood HS over in Mantua)--we have whole-school reunions instead of individual classes. Our numbers dwindle every year, and (on a grim note) the program begins every year with a list of those who are no longer with us. (The photo shows the building--cornerstone: 1913, the year my father was born--in the early 1960s.)
There are also classmates who have disappeared into their lives, people I haven't seen--or heard anything about--in decades. All I can do is wish them well.
I sat yesterday with old friends Paul and Tina (who were a year behind me in school) and with classmate Ronnie, who, I discovered many years after graduation, had also been a career middle-school teacher (science; Stow, Ohio). We have war stories to compare. Ronnie and I used to laugh a lot in Latin II, mostly because neither one of us was exactly making Cicero return from the dead to see those two young men in Portage County who were so artfully employing his language.
HHS ("We are the Huskies, the mighty, mighty Huskies!") was a good place for me. Because it was such a small school (as I said), I got to do so many things--sports, band, choir, stage productions, newspaper, etc. When I became a teacher later on, I found those experiences really helped me. I supervised a lot of those activities, and (I like to think) I understood kids who were involved in such things.
I chatted some with other classmates--Carla and Sharon and Ellen. And with some folks I knew from earlier years. Some from the class of 1959, my older brother's class, wanted to know how he was doing. (He's doing fine.) It's strange what time does to us: Some of them I would have known immediately on the street; others have changed so much I had to look at the name tag.
The event was scheduled from 1-4 p.m. (always the third Sunday in July), but things started breaking up a bit before 4, and I wandered away with the majority (always a Follower, eh?). We'd told stories, laughed at old screw-ups, remembered old friends who were not there.
The HHS building was razed years ago. Just grass remains. No marker at all. Plans for a park or something seem always on the table (but nowhere else).
But before we left--a picture of the five of us who were there from the Mighty Class of 1962.
|L to R: Carla, Ronnie, Dan, Ellen (and her husband, Don), Sharon|