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.
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: 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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