Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent
Summer is the time for reunions – family reunions and class reunions.
This summer is a special one for us. We just attended Jack’s 50th Class Reunion.
Wow, he sure is getting old.
Not me though. I have a whole year before I have to think about my 50th.
It was a really good time seeing some of his classmates that we haven’t seen in years and seeing the ones we still see pretty regularly once again too.
He is lucky because he was part of a very small class (just 26 graduated from Concord in 1963) and because many of them have remained close friends throughout the years, especially in more recent years.
We are part of the Viet Nam era and several of his classmates spent some years right after graduation in the service and sometimes “in country.” A few came back forever changed, but thankfully none were lost in that horrible war.
These days we are all a lot older, a bit heavier, and getting grey, but we still love to get together and mull over the memories we have made over the years. The conversation is now more about family, grandkids, fun things we have done and would still like to do, and not so much about careers or the money we made – or didn’t make. That just doesn’t seem quite as important anymore.
There are retired auto workers, factory workers, farmers, lawyers and business owner in this little group and never a lull in the conversation. After all we have to cover 50 years of happenings while we are together.
A reunion every five years or so just didn’t seem enough. In fact for the last few years, they have a “mini reunion” every month – a breakfast meeting in Jackson on the second Friday for anyone who can make it.
Old friends are important. While it is a two hour trip for us, we still have managed to make it several times over the past year and it is even fun for me too, since I know several of his classmates from when I went to college in Jackson and met him.
In fact another one of them, actually an ex-boyfriend from my teen years, is the person who introduced me to Jack. And Jack and I subsequently introduced a couple of his buddies to a couple of my girlfriends resulting in a couple of other marriages too.
One of his classmates became, until her death, my very best friend. Her husband then was one of Jack’s best friends.
A few years ago, another special buddy and a member of that class made a surprise trip all the way to Clare from Ohio just to attend an open house when son Don retired from the Marine Corps. Sadly, he too, is now gone, but will never be forgotten.
It was a bittersweet time for us since in the past couple of years, three members of his class have died, including the one that was instrumental in keeping the classmates connected over the years.
The 50th reunion for Jack’s class was included a relaxing weekend at a bed and breakfast near Jackson with loads of good food and conversation, memories of the ones now gone, and a special buffet dinner together at the annual Concord Alumni Banquet. The all-school reunion was especially interesting since it was held in the new (several years ago) high school we had never seen and we got to see many old neighbors and friends there as well as his classmates.
Family and friends and good times together — another reason summer is such a special time…