The party was not about firefighting, or firefighters, or public safety. It was the reunion of the high school class forty-five years after graduation. No, it was not my graduating class, but rather a class which contained among others many students I had taught when they were in sixth grade.
Fifty-two years and one month ago, almost to the day, a freshly-washed bright-eyed bunch of children sat quietly at their desks wondering what they had gotten into as they studied the gangly young man standing before them. Along with the excitement of a new school year, connecting again with friends and classmates, there may have been some trepidation in their little hearts. Should it be mentioned that along with the confident manner in which the young teacher proceeded to open the shcool year for these youngsters, there may have been a tiny bit of trepidation in his heart as well? He was well aware that he had been granted a rare privilege in being made responsible for the learning program for these kids over the next nine months. He knew that it was not only privilege, but enormous responsibility as well.
Did the young instructor actually think all these thoughts at the time? More likely he was focussed on getting on with the job.
Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I was immensely flattered and gratified that these former students sought me out and invited me to their celebration of their long-ago graduation. We put it on our calendar months ago and waited in anticipation of the evening which finally arrived. It was an hour's drive to the site of the party. The firehouse was an excellent venue for the goings-on. The schoolhouse, which is a mere handful of blocks away, is defunct and has not been used in years.
There was a vibrant and energetic trio, Trouble and Company, which put on a great three-hour performance. Songs were mostly fifties and sixties material, which of course matched the theme of the evening.
There was dancing.
And lots of reminiscing.
These are my former students who were in attendance.,
Leah, Patty, Linda, Donna, Teach, Sherry, John, Jan, Dennis
Avanti! We look to the future and move ahead; but it is a wonderful thing to carry our memories of the past along with us!