This week’s mail included an invitation to my 50-year class reunion for 1973 graduates of Shelbyville High School. I am very thankful for my thoughtful classmates who have organized the event and invited me. If planning the reunion had been left to me, there would be no reunion.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am looking forward to attending and seeing all my old classmates. It’s just that organization isn’t a strong point of mine. When June Sanders was my boss several years ago, she put it best one afternoon when she yelled, “Kris, you couldn’t arrange a dog fight if I brought the dogs.”
I didn’t even attend any of the planning sessions. So, I really shouldn’t say anything, but there is one event planned that does worry me a little bit. This year’s graduating class is planning on honoring us at their graduation ceremony. If members of the class of 2023 talk to some of my classmates from the class of 1973, it could dampen their spirits and maybe burst their little bubble of graduation day happiness.
When we graduated in 1973, we didn’t honor the class of 1923. We could have and that would have been OK. The 50 years after 1923 brought great advancements. Talking to the class of 1923 wouldn’t have dampened our spirit. It would have been fun talking to the old-timers.
The class of 1923 would have mesmerized us with tales of what life was like when they graduated 50 years ago.
- Using a hand crank to start their Ford Model T.
- The entire family gathering to listen to the radio.
- Heating water on a wood stove to take their weekly bath.
- Using the restroom at night required a candle, shoes, and a corn cob.
- The thrill three years after graduation when Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris.
We don’t dare tell this year’s graduating class what life was like for us 50 years ago. We would risk sending them off into a depression so deep that they wouldn’t get out into the world and get a job. We desperately need this year’s graduating class to get jobs and pay into social security, so that we keep getting our checks.
If we tell this year’s graduating seniors what life was like for us when we graduated 50 years ago, it would be:
- Popular cars included the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. (Oops, in 50 years, I guess Ford and Chevy still haven’t come up with anything better.)
- Popular music included The Rolling Stones and Elton John. (Oops, still touring and filling arenas with fans.)
- Traveling by automobile 50 years ago was great. The interstate system was new and smooth. (Oops, same interstate system bumpy and always under construction.)
- Traveling by air 50 years ago, the airplanes were jets, just as fast, but with more legroom, a meal served during the flight and no hassle at the airport.
- Telephones 50 years ago were connected to the house by a wire. Modern cell phones seem to be an improvement but for a teenager, think again. Fifth years ago, our parents didn’t have a clue as to where we were and had no way to track us. As a teenage Martha Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing!”
See you all next week, same Schwinn time, same Schwinn channel.
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