Wilder's Whole World

By: Dwayne Wilder


Wow; what a difference four years makes……………………….!
I attended my high school class’ latest reunion this past weekend. It was held in conjunction with the Sherman High School Class of 1977, so it was their 35th reunion and our 34th technically, but we count it as 35 years since we graduated SHS in 1978.
We held our 30th reunion – after 10th and 20th ones – in 2008, so it’s only been four years. Yet, I guess it is THE four years that separates late 40s from early 50s in age! It separates children in college from children college graduates for many of us. It separates single vision glasses and bifocals. This significant four year period separates that milestone of 50 years old, regardless of how you feel inside.
In 2008, we hadn’t lived 50 years yet; now, we are into our next half century. It’s an interesting mindset as we truly begin thinking of retirement and travel and grandkids.
Even four years ago, cell phones weren’t as prevalent. Now, everyone is showing pictures of children, grandchildren and trips from them. Those phones have replaced the ‘wallet’ as the life index we hold dear enough to carry around on a daily basis. It was so fun to see it occurring in just about all the groups present at the reunion. We all should be proud of what we have done in these years since high school.
I’ll admit that I didn’t remember that many people from the Class of 1977. I can probably recite more names now than I could Saturday night. Even seeing their names, I was drawing a blank. Like I heard someone say, “I’m lucky to remember people in my own class!”
I also didn’t mingle as much as I should have. It will probably be five more years before another reunion; and I missed a few opportunities to reconnect with people that I now think I should have. I hate that, but I am glad I got to talk to the people I did talk to.
What I truly love about these reunions is the commonality that we feel toward one another. We are all from a moment in time; and we have that in common. We can talk about it as adults now and reminisce all night long.
Yet, I also realize that some of these people wouldn’t have talked to me during our senior year! So, here I am talking to a woman who I KNOW I would not have talked to much in high school. Not because I didn’t want to, but because of all those ‘cliques’ and societal things that are so stupid, but mandatory in high school (or so it seems). 
Of course, we are both genuine now; and there is no hint of those ‘slights’ from the teen years. I like that; it’s just funny to realize how far we’ve come and how things do change.
I don’t remember anyone being mean or teasing me unmercifully in high school, but I also don’t remember being the center of attention at any time at all. Seeing each other 35 years later is a great equalizer! We all have ‘lived’ as an adult in an adult world almost three times longer than we were old in high school! So, we respect each other for that.
Taking a class picture Saturday night was fun, too! There was no jostling for position with your ‘friends’ like all those years before. No, we were happy just to be in the picture! We must have looked good because those watching were cheering and supporting us……………..or maybe, they had had just a little much to drink…………..!
I don’t want to sound like bragging, but I have to mention this one conversation I overheard at the reunion. It was between a person from the Class of 1977 and my class. The 1977 person was commenting how all through high school that the Class of 1978 was ‘important’ and ‘special.’ He wasn’t saying it out of envy; just as matter-of-fact. He concluded that even after all these years that it was true. The Sherman High School Class of 1978 is and was special to that school and to the city’s history; and even beyond in many cases.
I am honored to be a small part; to be a member of that wonderful class which 35 years ago set a majestic and productive course out into the world. I can say that even after all these years, I love - and am proud - of each and every one of my classmates. The lawyers, the businessmen, the tradesmen, the bank employees, the doctors, city council members, the engineers, the teachers and the stay at home parents. Each has made their mark on this world; and that is all that matters as we journey through life.
I am already excited about seeing my classmates in five years for our 40th class reunion! Go Bearcats! Go Class of 1978!!!

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