Ok, folks! The race is now on - I'm getting ready to do some really serious work here!
Time to start printing out photos I have been accumulating - thanks to many of my high school classmates - and get my photo display put together for my class reunion this coming Saturday.
I finally got off my lazy duff today -actually, the memory thing kicked into gear at an hour of the day when my former classmates wouldn't get upset to get a phone call from me - as opposed to when I tend to think about "oh, I should call so-and-so" and it's like 11 p.m. or way later than that sometimes. This aging thing and memory is not pretty to behold, truly it isn't! I'm lucky I can remember my name and trying to recall something that happened 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days ago, even 5 years ago, is darned risky although I can almost always recall things that happened 40-50 years ago with a lot of real clarity too, no less! Go figure THAT one out, will ya!
But I called several of my remaining classmates who live in this area today - got some more good responses from them too about the photo project.
The last one I talked to was my old buddy "Harvey." He's a trip! My son told me yesterday that he had seen Harvey and his wife up at one of the local "watering holes" in the area and that Harvey had even introduced his wife to my son. Then, of course, he has to do what he does best - try to tell stories about the old lady here to my son! John (which is actually his real name), or "Butch" which is one of his nicknames -and I go way back. We were friends in high school and have remained friends over the years primarily I think because years ago, when I first went to work in the D.C. area and Butch was then working and living down there too, I frequently hitched rides back home most any weekend I wanted to come home cause Butch's girlfriend was from the Philipsburg area and he generally came home almost every weekend to spend quality time with her. THen, after they married, started their family, they were living in the same apartment complex along with my best friend from high school and her husband too as I was. By that time, my Mom was living with me - Butch and his wife lived just around the corner from us and Mom used to babysit their two girls when they were babies/toddlers. My girlfriend and her husband and their little girl lived directly across the courtyard from us and Mom often babysat for their daughter in the evenings/weekends along with watching the little children of couples who were friends of Cheryl and Mitch's. She actually had a thriving little babysitting gig going on there for quite a while!
Butch, back in school, was just a really nice young man -and after we graduated and I was riding back and forth from D.C. to home with him, my Mom then and for the rest of her life, just thought Butch was the best person ever! Yes, he was - still is very nice, friendly, polite. In school, he was fun to associate with but was never a "troublemaker" type of kid.
However, there was one time though back in our sophomore year in high school when something happened in our history class that I really thought Butch was on the verge of going into cardiac arrest.
The classroom we had our history class in had a row of double-desks on each side of the room and then two rows of moveable desks in the middle. The double-desks were the old type that were bolted down to the floor. My girlfriend Cheryl and I shared one of the double-desks and Butch and another guy - Eddie -shared the desk directly behind us. We weren't any of us, bad kids, but we were pretty much bored with ancient history some days plus, that particular instructor didn't have much control over his classes so we devised our own entertainment method. The boys made a deck of cards and the four of us would sit in class and play 500 Rummy instead of listening to the instructor. No problem! That is until one day when Butch was taking his turn shuffling the cards and getting ready to deal out our next hand. Suddenly, the door to the classroom opened and in walked the principal -"old Birdie Ding-dong" which was our lovely nickname for the man who had the position of high school principal. As he started to stroll along the aisle where we were seated, Butch got so unnerved by the principal's presence that he dropped these hand-made cards - 52 pick-up - as they flew all over the floor under our seats! All four of us immediately ducked down, scrambling to get these makeshift cards picked up and neatly hidden away from sight so as to NOT get into any trouble for having been playing cards in school.
Can you believe that was really and truly about the extent of our acting bad during school back in those days? My kids -when I told them this story years back - were astonished to learn that was about the worst thing their mother had done while in high school. Sure didn't hold a candle to some of their antics!
While talking to Butch today on the phone, we got talking too about the upcoming reunion and remembering a few things from the last one as well. And we both had to laugh about the misunderstanding at the last reunion at which the staff at the place where we had our dinner, etc., didn't have the bar set up to be open for business until about an hour after our gathering time. This proved to be a bit disconcerting for a few of us dyed-in-the-wool beer drinkers, as you can imagine. Some were really put out that no one had thought to make arrangements to have the management see to it that the bar would be available as soon as people arrived there. But, in retrospect, as I pointed out to Butch this spring, poor Kate - our beleaguered class president is not a drinker in any way, shape or form and that would have been the very last thought that would have ever entered her mind! (Now, had Kate's husband had a hand in the arrangements, you can bet your bottom dollar that probably would have been one of the very first things he'd have seen to - Jim, like several of the rest of us - does like to indulge in some good cold brews from time to time.)
But, back to my photo project - which I am going to be working on this evening now to try to start getting the pictures printed out, ready to be displayed - I have at this point in time now around 130 pictures I have gathered up from several classmates. These pictures range from a few that are baby or pre-school era photos to some relatively recent snapshots too, some even including children and/or those wonderful little beings many of us are now blessed with - grandchildren! I don't think any of my classmates have great-grandchildren yet but it is entirely possible that some do and I just don't know who they are who have grandchildren old enough to have families of their own now too.
Here's a photo from our 25th Class Reunion - just to give you a little idea of what my classmates and I looked like then. Here's the names now too, of my classmates who were in attendance at the reunion that year: left to right -
Rose Little Wick, Hazel Ditty, Kathy Bloom, ME, Betty Samansky
Bernie Lucas, Susie Violanti, Carol Folmar, Kate Nelson and Lori
Bunyak -in the front row.
In the back from left to right - John Harvey, Herb Lucas, Jim
Wasseen, Charles Steele, Joe Bosak, Ernest Degrasse, John
Krasinski, Arthur Askey, Durvin Wick and Dennis Humenay.
At least two of those classmates pictured are now deceased. Den Humenay, who didn't actually graduate with us as he went to Milton Hershey School for Boys from our freshman year through till graduation died in September of 1988 - six years after this reunion took place - and Jim Wasseen, who died three weeks after our last reunion five years ago.
Now you know what we looked like as recently as 25 years ago but boy, many of us don't look the same today! Well, at least I don't - there's a whole lot more of me these days! LOL
And now, before I wander off here to the realm of what used to be - reliving past history as I look over these old photos and print them out, here's the Bushism for tomorrow - Wednesday, May 30th, 2007.
"I haven't had a chance to talk, but I'm confident we'll get a bill that I can live with if we don't." - Referring to the McCain-Kennedy Patient Protection Act; Brussels, Belgium; June 13, 2001.