The invitation to my 50th class reunion arrived recently. Yes, I’ve been out of Sidney High School since 1972, and I will enthusiastically attend on the second weekend of September.
This holiday week I’m not writing about sports but rather about the origin of the enthusiasm I just referenced. My situation could apply to many readers of this column, and I hope it has a positive impact.
I didn’t partake of our early reunions despite encouragement from several classmates, especially Terri (Shreves) Cooper who was and remains a devoted committee member. When she solicited my attendance in 1992, I told her I admired her persistence but was already scheduled to be in Atlanta on those dates. However, I promised to make our 25th event in 1997. I would give it a try. After 25 years, it would be time.
I also felt I owed this to Terri, who lived adjacent to Whittier Elementary when we completed sixth grade in 1966. She and her mom hosted a “halfway graduation party” following the last day of school for Mabel Leckey and her students. I’ve never forgotten their kindness. I still remind 91 year old Ginny Shreves when I see her. She made us a great cake on that day, now over 56 years ago.
Not only did I attend in 1997 but had an amazing time. I rekindled many friendships and actually got acquainted with a number of classmates (and spouses) I hadn’t known well during our school days. That scenario has played out at every reunion since as I’ve achieved perfect attendance. At my first reunion in 1997, I vowed to never miss another. I also joined the planning committee and served four terms.
Many attendees moved away after graduation, have to travel long distances to get back to Sidney, and don’t get home regularly. Some still live here but our paths don’t seem to cross. If I didn’t go to our gatherings every five years, I’d likely not see them. Our class also schedules monthly lunches to bring some of our group together between reunions.
If you’ve never been to a class reunion, I hope you’ll give it a try. You’ll be able to see old friends and make some new ones which is exactly what has happened to me.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross joined the local sports media in 1975 as a radio commentator on high school sports.