Last weekend was my 20th high school reunion.  For a long time I was ambivalent about attending, but as it drew nearer and I gradually started to reestablish contact with a wider circle of old friends from high school, I was genuinely looking forward to it.  It turned out to be a great time.  I spent Friday night with some of my closest friends from high school, some of whom now have official Friends of Pipeline merchandise.  I was amazed at how quickly I didn’t feel like we were catching up, and instead were just laughing, telling stories, and generally getting along the way we did 20 years ago.

I had the same general experience the next night at the official reunion.  People I used to enjoy talking to, I still enjoyed talking to, usually even moreso because 20 years has given us all varying degrees of additional wisdom.  And I found new people, people I knew in high school but never really had a substantive relationship or even conversation with.  I had a number of those conversations, some long, some just short 30 second fly-bys when you are in the same conversation circle, that made me realize how much I missed the boat by not getting to know more people back then.

Mostly, though, I found I missed my high school friends and general acquaintances more than I realized.  For some reason I’ve always, or at least since I left Kansas in 1993, been very aloof about most of my high school experiences and Topeka in general.  Within a year of graduation I was only in contact with a couple of friends; only one person from my high school years was at my wedding.  Virtually all of my current life involves people I met after high school.  As a result, it sometimes seems as if high school was another lifetime.   The reunion made me feel a bit ashamed for thinking that way.  My life didn’t start after high school.  I remembered, again, where and when I grew up with these people, and I remembered why we all became friends in the first place.  To think that I was ambivalent about having that experience makes me feel like a total donkey.

As it turned out, that wasn’t the only reunion I was to have last weekend.  My uncle Herschel had been terminally ill for some months, and he finally succumbed to cancer on Friday morning, when I was still about an hour out of town.  After I arrived at the hospital I got to see many of my cousins, my grandmother and other family members that I haven’t seen for years.  It was a sad occasion, but also a time for the family to come together.  I was glad to be there for that.

All in all, it was a heavy few days.  It’s a lot of different pasts to reconnect with in one short weekend.

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1 Response to Reunited

  1. pipelineblog says:

    Worlds of Fun’s main attractions for me growing up were the Orient Express and Zambezi Zinger, both of which featured extensive runs through somewhat dense hardwood forest. The Orient Express is gone now, having gone from one of the early steel tube rail front runners to obsolete in about 15 years. The Timberwolf, their 1989 wood addition, is very highly regarded on ranking sheets.

    Valleyfaire! here in the Cities has a couple new coasters, including a woodie, that are supposed to be pretty good.

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