This past summer I travelled back home to attend the 50th year reunion of the Class of 1964 of St Mary’s High in Annapolis, Md.
Although I really am a graduate of the Class of 1965 Annapolis High, I had spent 10 years of my young life with the class of ’64, having lost a year because of my first year in the 10th grade.
During that time I was emerging from my previous hermit life in the country and realized that girls were more than just friends and how wonderful and exciting the real world was.
As a result of my new discovery of life I had no time for studies. I promptly failed Geometry, Latin 2, French 1 and Chemistry.
As a result goodbye St Mary’s, hello Annapolis Panthers.
I then proceeded to enjoy my new life even more and only through the grace I suppose of the Good Lord and a great English teacher who passed me in spite of my foolishness I proudly graduated from good old AHS.
Since I didn’t graduate from St. Mary’s I was surprised that one of my former classmates tracked me down and insisted that I should celebrate this great occasion with my former classmates. I did and I truly enjoyed going down memory lane.
It’s funny, it seems like only yesterday I was taking my grandmother down to the bus station and sending her off to celebrate her 50th class reunion and I can remember as clear as day wondering what old people would have to do at a 50th reunion of everything.
But before I say anything about the reunion, I need to tell you that my greatest joy about this reunion was reuniting with my best four friends in the world. I hadn’t seen them or talked to them in 30 years but they still were and are my best friends.
My wife Molly never could understand how I could call these folks my best friends. She reminded me on many occasions that it was hard to call someone your friend that you hadn’t seen for 33 years.
After our visit I believe she truly now understands.
In my life I have hundreds of acquaintances that I have met around the country. I can still talk to them on the phone share a few laughs and if we were together would have a grand time. In my life I have only allowed six people to take a part of my heart and become my friend for life; one just died so I now have five.
A friend becomes part of your memories and is intertwined in your heart just like a family member. An acquaintance, on the other hand, touches your life at a certain time of your life and that’s it.
I am grateful for both acquaintances and friends, but my friends – like Marie, Gene, Bobby and Bitsy – I love.
The reunion was neat most folks didn’t change and talking to them was just like we talked 50 years ago. Most were successful; some had struggled; but for a moment we were all young again and the future seemed bright and full of promise just like it did 50 years ago in a peaceful old colonial town that rolled up the sidewalks at 5:30 p.m.
I loved Annapolis and I had dreams then of politics and future success and I had additional dreams that I would someday move back and everything would be the same. But I learned that Thomas Wolfe was right when he wrote in the book “Look Homeward, Angel” that you really can’t go home again, unless of course it is just for a brief moment to enjoy of a past reflection of a grand time in your life.
T. Pat Cavanaugh is the Publisher of The News in Rockdale and Covington. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org