When the first letter arrived I was not excited. I'd been to a couple of La Jolla High School Reunions before and I hadn't been all that impressed. But the school yell came flooding back into my memory...Yay! Scarlet! Yay! Black! Yay! La Jolla hold them back!
The invitation was for September 21, 1996 at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club (I'd never been there before). The choice of food was excellent and the disc jockey would provide Big Band music.
My appetite was being whetted!
I'd often mulled over in my head that Richie and I would probably never have a 50th wedding anniversary, since we didn't marry until we were thirty-five. At age 85 we probably wouldn't be too lively dancing the Anniversary Waltz, either. Maybe this could be our pseudo-Fiftieth as well as the Alumni Fiftieth!
Then I received a follow-up phone call.
"Are you planning to attend?" Erna asked. I had known Erna since seventh grade. We'd had lunch a few times over the years and kept in touch.
"Well, we're thinking about it."
"Great. It will be wonderful to see you two again. Say, could you help with some typing?"
"Sure, I have a computer."
Is anything ever simple? This led to attending monthly Alumni Committee planning meetings at Sheldon's in Pacific Beach, a favorite restaurant of our past. We had all gone to Sheldon's since our junior high days.
Typing a few letters became a fifty page book of memories dedicated to those of our Viking Ship Mates who had taken their last voyage. A small favor stretched into 'my summer project' and the more ideas I came up with the more involved I became, until I got 'testy' just thinking about it. But like all things worth doing well, it became a thing of beauty and a joy forever!
I even agreed to be on the welcoming committee with Erna, which formed, took care of 'the cocktail hour' schmoozing that I always hated. Instead,I greeted the guests, provided them with name badges and checked their names off the list of reservations. That way I knew immediately who they were. I wouldn't have to strain my eyes to read name tags later.
"Yea, Scarlet, Yea, Black ... Yea, La Jolla, hold them back!" one of the school yells kept running through the cobwebs of my mind. For me, it was probably like the football players hearing the roar of the crowd. This was probably as close as I was going to get.
As I scanned the round tables of eight, I realized I didn't know these people in high school. I only knew of them. A few were friends ... a few ate lunch with me in the Senior Court, a few were in my youth group at church.
This night being called Four Eyes or the fact that I'd been plagued with teen-aged acne in high school became miniscule in my mind.
What mattered was that tonight was better than my dreams of the occasion could possibly have been. It was exquisite! We, as a class, were no longer the brash, unthinking, competitors of our youth. We were all pushing seventy and we knew by now what was important in life. Family, friends and health. We were grateful to be alive. We were fortunate enough to hold our Fiftieth Alumni Reunion in the balmy warmth of Southern California underneath a starry sky at the world famous La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club due to the generosity of one of our classmates and football hero, George Coleman.
Who could ask for anything more?
Copyright © 1996 - Thelly Reahm - Tidbits of Time
La Jolla High School Website