It was what you might call a doubleheader. Last weekend featured two very important events.
There was my high school reunion. Not one of these three-day events that some alumni have, but just a good lunch and a lot of reminiscing. Out of the 48 graduates of that long-ago class, 15 were there, plus some spouses and children.
We retold old stories, talked about those who weren’t there, etc.
Tommy Rushing was there. He was a person of interest for a couple of reasons.
First, he and two siblings graduated that year. Yep, three the same year, which in those days put quite a strain on the family’s pocketbook. Also, I had just seen a story in the local paper that he had been inducted into the Lamar County Gospel Singing Hall of Fame. Wow! Is this the same Tommy Rushing who was in the FFA quartet, along with Junebug and Olen and Paul? The very same. Congratulations!
And we remember the other members who weren’t there and won’t be.
And Sara Kate was there, all 80 pounds of her. I shouted to her that if she had brought her clarinet and I had brought my trumpet, we could have played the duet we played at our graduation. I’m not sure if she understood me.
She and I, by the way, were the only two people in the class who went all the way together from first grade through 12th.
Ah, my high school best friend, Pierce, was there. He lives in a suburb of Eclectic, Alabama. We remembered the third member of our triumvirate, Turner, and grieved once again over his sad demise.
There was a picture of the last reunion, clear as a bell. But except for about three of the girls, I couldn’t make them out – a lot of white- and gray-haired old ladies.
Where did our youth go? When did we get to be what we thought of as … old people?
I don’t know, but we sure did.
Belva Jean, when we were writing notes in the sixth grade, who would have thought it would ever come to this? Jean? Barbara? Frances? Tell me.
Ah, ‘m, well, see you next year, maybe.
Then there was a big get-together at the Care Center, a little birthday party for Mother. She seemed to know what was going on. Frail, weak as water. But I think she enjoyed it, seeing a bunch of kids and grandkids and great-grandkids.
It was her 106th birthday, by the way. She’s been around for the administrations of 18 presidents. She was alive when the first Model T rolled off the assembly line.
Later, up at the house, there was the usual family bunch, kind of like Christmas day at Grandpa’s, kids all over the hillside … and food, food, food.
But there was a little, how shall I say, sadness there. When the property was split up, my sister got the house place, because she has been the main one looking after Mother. We figured she would move in when Mother went to the Care Center.
But she has a perfectly nice place 20 miles away. So her newly-married son will be moving in … whenever they’re ready.
Since Mother moved out, the house has been kind of a wonderful bread and breakfast place for all of us. Go in, cook, eat, watch TV, sit on the front porch, walk around over the property, etc.
As gracious and sweet and accommodating as the new couple are, it won’t be the same. It’ll be their house, with their way of doing things and their places for things, etc.
Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note.