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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Valley High School Class of 1969

I really enjoyed attending the Valley Alumni Banquet and our 40th class reunion. All my classmates who attended looked great and took time to get reacquainted with genuine interest. I tried to talk with everyone from the class, but I really didn't have enough time to make all the rounds. Having been a teacher at Valley High for twenty-seven years, I also found many of my ex-students in attendance, so I also enjoyed chatting with them. The evening passed too quickly as we relived stories and caught up on our time spent apart. I found myself kicking right back into the secure feeling I had always felt with my classmates. Here were old friends who had a lot in common forty years before and still the bonds seem tight. A little nervous at first, I quickly found confidence in the fact that despite the miles between us now, we still maintain a special closeness of heart. Laughter and behavior of the past echoed again in our old high school gymnasium. Some friendly ghosts of the past were surely in attendance. I had a great time. I believe all my classmates did too. I noticed a few things about our class that I think contribute to our cohesion. First of all, we have so many unique people in our group. Personalities of these individuals are vastly different, yet these differences all play a role in the unit. This pooling of personality makes the class depend upon every one's talents and resources to complete the team. It seems we, as a class, learned this very early-- the class was only as good as all of us wanted it to be, and we worked together for the betterment of the class. In other words, all the people took pride in caring for each other to elevate the common good. The sincere love and care still exist. Secondly, our class is very social. We seem to dispense of the formality some groups feel required to show. People in our class want to identify with activities and interactions in informal ways. I really believe no one in the class feels threatened by such close interactions. If anything, we seek the "togetherness" of a close-knit family. Some would say the times and history of the '60s contributed to that comradeship, and perhaps it did. We know we maturated at a very important yet turbulent time, and we know someone had and still has "our back" in times of trouble. A spirit of kindness and generosity was laid years ago and continues to be genuinely felt as classmates "reach out." Lastly, I guess the best word to describe an attitude that lingers is confidence. Granted, sometimes we can be a little cocky but we don't always brag about our class: we simply feel it was one of the best classes, not just as individuals but as a group, to graduate Valley Schools. That confidence generates pride to the point that we consider many of our under classmates honorary members of the class of '69. In our own way, we still try to be big brothers and big sisters of these people. We knew we were an ornery class in school, yet we knew the limitations of fun. We cut through cliques and prejudices to make us stronger. I feel our positive confidence helps mold present attitudes toward the value of change through outstanding cooperation. May the spirit and love of the class live. No one is trying to bring back the past; however, reflections allow us to celebrate what were certainly wonderful times of forty plus years ago. For one night, my belief in togetherness returned. Again, we walked the halls that meant so much and became the seniors of 1969 at age 58.
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