PORTLAND, Ore. — I owe one of my sons a debt of thanks for steering me this direction, at this time, to attend a particular event.
I have regaled (or bored) you already with my tale of woe regarding my 30-year high school reunion. I had some serious trepidation about coming to the 50-year event. My son talked me into going.
I’m glad he did.
Yes, the event exceeded my expectation. Who knew? Perhaps it was because I set the bar so low that it was next to impossible to not clear it with ease. It was quite unlike No. 30, for which I set an impossibly high bar; there was no way to meet the expectation I had set for that one.
And wouldn’t you know it, as I gravitated around the room schmoozing, back-slapping the guys, hugging the girls and getting caught up, I heard from three — maybe four — of my Parkrose High School classmates that they thought No. 30 was a downer, too.
Imagine that, will ya?
My son had advised me that this one would be better because his mother — my wife — would be there with me. She had a good time, too. She met some of my classmates, a couple of whom shared stories about me back in The Day that bore a semblance of truth, although one of my old runnin’ buddies seemed to embellish his recollection more than just a little.
My best friend from high school, Dennis — along with his wife, Linda — attended the event, which all by itself made it worth the trip from Texas. Dennis’s friendship is the longest sustained relationship I have with anyone on Earth who is not a member of my family; we go back 55 years, to the seventh grade.
My biggest takeaway is this: The 110 or so classmates who attended seemed to go out of their way to circulate and to talk to those they might not have known all that well in the old days. My comfort level was enhanced many times over what I felt two decades ago when I ventured here from Portland to attend the high school reunion I swore would be the last one I’d ever attend.
Silly me. I must have forgotten how time has this way of making most of us grow up.
I am glad I came.