Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh baby, you knooooooow what ah like!

Having just returned from my 40 year high school reunion... Piedmont High School, Class of '71 .... I have just one thing to say about that:

Oh baby, that's what ah like!

Never before have I been amongst a more beautiful crowd. From the beaming faces to the open arms and hearts, this was a Love Fest to beat all Love Fests. I am bowing and hailing the incredible organizing committee for bringing us all together for this amazing reunion. Thank you a hundred times over .... Hank, Gail, Sherri, Carl, and Garrett.

PHS Class of 1971

This was a night when the high school cliques and groups dissolved and became one big happy circle. Hugs were served up all around whether you knew each other well in school or not. (Hugs of the wine-sloshing, rib-crushing variety as I predicted in my last post ... was I right? Hmmm?) I think this was the hugging-est event I've ever been to. A T-Bird Woodstock. A feast of warm fuzzies. A perfect Piedmont par-tay.
Kim, Mark, Debi & Gary
Glasses were raised as toasts were made, arms were punched, lipsticked kisses were planted on cheeks, asses were grabbed, stories of delinquent days were swapped, photos of kids and grand kids were pulled from wallets, and beer was swilled once again (but this time not in cars at Senior Circle). Someone said the funniest thing as he raised his glass to a group of us chatting together (was it Kim Gimbal?) ... he said, "My God, I think this is the first time I've had a drink with all of you legally!" Hilariously true! 
Kim Gimbal with his chickie babies; Debbie, Sherri, Debbie and Moi
Carole, Katie, Debi, & Debbie

Sue, Tracy, Ann and me

The room roared with shouts of recognition, lively conversation and laughter and needless to say, pretty soon everyone began to feel real loose like a long necked goose. And oh baby ... that's what ah like!

Classmates Tracy & Kent; too cute not to post!
Me with the man of the hour, Hank; reunion organizer and T-Bird drummer extraordinaire
John, Garret (Zook), Kim & Scott
Coleen, Cheri, Shelly, Belinda, Noel, Sherri & Gail

Oh yeah, and I think there might have been just a little bit of music .... and perhaps some dancing going on.

The teenage girls of the Class of  '71

Our class is so lucky to have our beloved T-Birds, the most awesome group of teenage boys who formed a Sha Na Na inspired band back in the day, and who have continued to perform over the years, most memorably at every high school reunion we've had.

Dan, Hank, Christoph, Kim (hidden on drums), Kent & Scott
Scott Bowhay; pure joy
We possessively call them "our own band" and brag that no other high school class has this. Last Saturday night our T-Birds give us all a priceless gift ... one night to kick off our 58- year old's clunky shoes with orthotic inserts, step into our teenager be-boppin' shoes, and return to our youth. Time fell away and we were kids again. No hair color in a bottle, no face lift, no red Ferrari, no nuthin' could make us feel that young again. Only a night with our boys, the T-Birds. Thank you, guys! Why must I be a teenager in love with all of you?

Forty years ago we were unaware of what lay ahead of us. Now we have those answers and our blank pages have been written and filled with our own unique stories of the paths we chose. I love that we came together to share them. Who would have ever thought that after all this time, we would reach across the years and celebrate our teenage years together in our lovely home town of Piedmont in 2011? This reconnection brought our scattered worlds together, if only for one night. 

Hank
Carl & Scott
But we've lost eight classmates ... gone much too soon, so many blank pages which should have described their extended lives, left unwritten. These classmates were beautifully honored and remembered through a moving video and song, thanks to Hank, Christoph and Kim. I choose to believe these eight classmates were with us on this wonderful night, reminding us that we are so blessed and privileged to be continuing on and that every day is to be cherished.

As the night drew to a close, Katie Wood Cole said it best. The T-Birds were playing their final song and she tearfully hugged old friends on the dance floor saying, "I don't want it to end."
Katie

It doesn't have to.

Call me a sappy sentimentalist but I think we were given something that night that we will always carry with us. Nothing can take it away. And besides, rumors of a 5-year reunion are already buzzing, people. And talk of a dinner gathering next year! Why wait til we're 68??? And then there is Facebook, which thankfully keeps many of us connected on a daily basis.
The boys in the band in Debi Bartlett Anderson's high school mustang.
Love you all. Virtual hugs, ass grabs, and lipsticked kisses all around. 
Oh baby, that's what ah like!

xoxo,
                Michelle 


P.S. Many thanks to Lorraine Moreira for most of the fabulous photos I used here, and to Tracy Mikkelson and Coleen Casey Manuel's husband for a couple more. 




3 comments:

Annie Boreson said...

That looks like a fantastic time. How lucky you are to have those friends from high school. How fun to know there will be another chance to get together in five years!

Janna Qualman said...

How wonderful! What a great time. And a great bunch of people, you can just tell.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I like yours! I also love the pictures you have of your dogs. You can certainly tell their little personalities, just from the camara's perspective. :)

Nancy said...

This looks like so much fun! I have never been to a high school reunion, but now I'm thinking I might have to reconsider. I also graduated in 1971.