PORTLAND, Ore. — Thank goodness for name tags.
They saved my backside while my wife and I attended my 50-year high school reunion. I had feared walking into a roomful of individuals I hadn’t seen in a few decades. I was prepared to deal with the consequences that time has brought to human beings over a 50-year span of time.
I did discover a couple of things about my classmates. One is that a surprising number of them remain quite recognizable. Another is that they — and I, for that matter — are pretty good at shooting quick-hit glances at name tags before greeting each other.
I found myself relying somewhat on name tags — which contained pictures from our 1967 Parkrose High School yearbook.
The event was far more enjoyable than I expected, which demonstrated the wisdom of setting the bar low and then being pleasantly surprised at the positive result.
I made up a throwaway line for those who wondered where I live these days. “I live in Amarillo, Texas,” I would say, “but my wife and I came all the way here for this reunion — and just to see you.”
Here, though, is my major takeaway from the 50-year reunion. It is that I am giving some preliminary thought to attending the 60-year event when it rolls around.
One of the women of my class, Karen is her name, mentioned attending No. 60, presuming she’s still alive. Indeed, time has that way of reminding us of our mortality.
If I am still on this side of the grass in 2027 and am in reasonably good health — and still have my wits — I’ll likely be there.
It is weird in the extreme to have these thoughts after how I felt coming out of the previous reunion two decades ago.
I’ll have to remind the event planners, however, to be sure to print the name tags. We’ll need ’em even more the next time.