5 08 2015

Cath and I traveled to northwest Ohio last week where we found ourselves at a birthday (so to speak) being celebrated on Rock _nthe shores of Lake Erie. Actually it was folks from my graduating class who had gathered together to commemorate that most would be turning 60 this year. (Yeah, I’m older but they still let me hang out with them!)

I suppose you could say there wasn’t anything incredibly special about this gala; we had some prizes, raffles, a great dinner and even sang Happy Birthday to the class. Other than that it was just people hanging out talking, laughing and smiling. Talking. Laughing. Lots of Smiling.   Perhaps when I say it wasn’t incredibly special that may not be entirely true. You see our class is little different when it comes to gatherings. Most high school reunions are held every 5 years, some 10, and I know a few that seldom if ever had met after graduation. Would you believe since the year 2008 this group has come together five times! I’ve told that stat to other people who have made comments like, “Your class trying to set a record or what?!” And “You guys must be one large group of party animals!” Then I’ve also heard “You like each other that much to meet like that? Awesome”!

As I was driving over from Indiana for this latest celebration, I gave some thought to the question of just what it is that brings the class of 1973 together so often. For me and my Lady it’s partly a reason to come home where we grew up since we have no family left to visit there. Truthfully, I wasn’t well connected to my classmates during high school years; my closest relationships were with the band I was in and they were all older and out of school. Still I enjoy being at these functions particularly watching people’s eyes light up when they spot precious people from their past as they arrive, and thus begins the talk and the laughter, and yes the forever smiles that would go on all night if allowed. I began to see in my mind what makes this class so special, but I wanted to hear from others their opinion on the subject. So I asked a number of folks at this last gathering, “What is it that you think makes our class special?” A couple of them had to think for a minute but most gave an answer right away. “It’s because we care for each other.” “After all these years these are the ones who relate to who I am the best.” “It doesn’t matter who you are out there in the world; you’re accepted here.” “No matter how long it’s been we pick right back up as if no time has passed whatsoever.”

As I put these thoughts to paper I suddenly realized these are not descriptive of a high school reunion group, these folks are defining what we generally call, Family.

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.”

I know some will disagree with me, but I truly believe that this group I simply refer to as “73” can proudly be seen as more than a group of aging teenagers if you please, they truly possess something special. It has nothing to do with status since we all have had diverse levels of success since leaving school. I firmly believe it’s something richer than rank or class, it’s true and genuine “caring” for one another.

I’m reminded of a quote by my favorite author C.S. Lewis, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

Thank you 73, for you have made this “Traveler of the Rock” and his Lady feel special, because of your care for us, and for each other.

“Good friends care for each other, Close friends understand each other, but True friends stay forever, beyond Words, beyond Distance, beyond Time”

No argument here!
See ya next time!!




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