Saturday, October 15, 2005

Existential Friday: Saturday Reunion Edition

by Tom Bozzo

Today, with my mother and grandmother in Madison for Julia's birthday, I'm missing my 20-year high school reunion back in Delaware. None of my closer friends from high school were present at the lightly-attended 15th, and as I was in the freaks-and-geeks branch of the social hierarchy, it was not too much of a shock that a large number of my friends are in fact listed among the missing alumni. That made the probability that I'd have been stuck catching up with ex-popular kids relatively high. A classmate I've kept up with (though not enough) — coincidentally also residing in Wisconsin — and I agreed that time had not been overly kind to a number of those folks. And not a whole lot of time had elapsed, all things considered. Meanwhile, there's only so much fun in figuring out who among the non-geek set managed to become highly paid professionals.

Mortality is not yet a big issue for my class. In fact, the only listed death from mine was an early-Senior Year suicide of an athlete who had major depression issues and access to a firearm. Various improbable tragedies dominate the relatively few other alums from the eighties who have died. One friend of mine fell out of a dorm window at Swarthmore; a classmate of my brother's was murdered during a robbery in D.C. during the mid-'90s; another was a naval aviator killed in a plane crash a couple years ago. The star of all the musicals in my early H.S. days died of AIDS, a less improbable tragedy. (The star of the theatrical productions at Suzanne's much larger school in Minnesota — we missed her 20-year reunion, too — was Steve Zahn.)

At this point, I've fallen into the trap of the Oscar Madison meme, which is to say they require far more skill than a Friday Random Ten, and I've written myself into a corner where not even a trip out to see previous Existential Friday subject Greg Brown at the Barrymore Theatre (who ended his set with Existential Friday lyric source "If I Had Known," at that) provided any inspiration as to how I might dig myself out. Failing that, I'll just note that I e-mailed my friend in Racine to arrange an impromptu reunion in the big city to the East sometime soon; I should be able to get together with a large fraction of the remaining classmates I'd still want to see sometime over the holidays.
Comments:
Do you remember what year the Swarthmore dorm window falling happened (and even what dorm)? Just curious.
 
In the department of unreliable memories, I'd have said mid-eighties w/o the miracle of internet search engines, but it was August, 1989 -- turns out his sister works for the college. I expect a search of your campus newspaper from the time would reveal if I have any other details badly wrong.
 
Hey Boz,

Think we can snap a picture when we meet and call ourselves the WI chapter of the alumni association? Lisa and I were discussing how many of our peers didn't hold up as well as us. Too bad she can't fly out and join us. I'll bring the digi cam. :)

Barbara
 
Barbara: It'll be interesting to see if the digital photography revolution has caught up with our alma mater such that a reunion picture will be posted promptly. Meanwhile, we totally have to get a picture in: I'll bring Bucky if you supply some Packers gear :).
 
Are you thinking a cheesehead? lol That I cannot do. Scott has a jersey somewhere...
 
A cheesehead would be a little over the top, though funny. Truth be told, we don't actually have any Bucky stuff, either.
 
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