Once again I had the pleasure of chaperoning Safe and Sober Grad Night. My thanks to the fellow chaperones, parents who endlessly worked on making the evening a success for our departing Coast Union High School seniors and the donors who contributed to assuring fun was had by all.
This year, as the seniors were only one grade ahead of my son (yes, he’ll be a senior next year), I found I knew almost everyone in the class. How sweet. How sad. Some I’d known since they were in preschool, others from Little League or other sports mates of Zachary’s .
I was struck yet again by how special our kids in Cambria are. Yes, there are arguments and disagreements, likes and dislikes amongst the group. But, all in all, they are a well-adjusted, likeable lot. Maybe that’s due to the small school size. More so, my guess is, because they’ve gone to school together all these years.
Grad Night started at 7 p.m. Friday and I got to sleep about 4:30 a.m. the next morning. Seven hours later I headed down to the L.A. area for my eighth-grade reunion. Yes, eighth grade. Catholic School. Class of 1973.
Why would I go to something like that?
I’ve never been to a high school class reunion. Never heard about any, so …
I actually only attended St. Dominic’s for four years, unlike most of them who’d been there all eight. Everyone knew everyone and supported one another against the nuns (ha, ha, ha). I was eagerly welcomed back and felt part of this group of people more than any other during my formative school years. I know that to be true in Cambria, too.
Held at the beautiful home of one of our classmates in Pasadena, more than half of our 75 alumni from two classes showed up. From Pennsylvania, Utah and Colorado they came, as well as from Sacramento. That seems somewhat of a testament to our closeness right there.
We had nametags with our eighth-grade pictures and maiden names on them. You’d look at the tag and immediately go, “Oh my God, of course it’s you!! You look just the same. Just no hair.” Or whatever. How surreal yet absolutely wonderful. The memories shared, discoveries made, old friendships rekindled. My two best friends, well, it was like we’d never parted. Why did we? Time. Life.
Thankfully, there may be class reunions. There’s the Internet to help maintain the communication, though I doubt my older son employs that as much as he swore he would, which I chided him to do after high school. “These people are part of who you are! Don’t lose sight of them!”
I am already regularly writing my old pals and have even more to write to since we’ve discovered we have even more in common (kids, divorces, adventures). It’s those formative years, I tell ya, when you are who you are, not what you’re expected to be.
Cambria kids, you have something truly special here. Hang onto it!