Tag Archives: McCluer North

Pomp and Circumstance… and Patina

I went to my high school reunion last Saturday. The 30th reunion. Sheesh, where has the time gone?

I used the dread these things, nervous about how I would be perceived by my former classmates. But after 10 or 20 years, you start to relax and just enjoy the experience. This one had it’s particularly good moments.

Almost as an afterthought, we reached out to a few teachers to see if they could come. Four of them did, and among them were:

  • My band director. Mr. L was a fiery conductor. We all loved and feared him at the same time. I can still march a 22.5 inch step from my marching band days.
  • One of my favorite English teachers. Mr. D taught me to read novels with an eye for what the author was saying about life and society. I never wrote a good essay for him, but his passion for literature spurred me to read with more understanding.
  • My favorite history teacher. Mr. M taught ancient civilization, but was a true Renaissance Man. He taught history well, but was gifted in the theater arts. I had the privilege of working for him in both school and community plays. It was a  great pleasure telling him that I chose my college degree (social studies education) because of him.

I received a crushing bear hug from a fellow choir member who happened to be a gold-glove boxer in his younger days. He was among the many black students that came to my school when we merged districts. I was painfully reminded of my initial fear of kids who were different than me, and of my gratefulness that they were a part of my young life. Looking back, I wish that I had made more friends like him in school.

I got to talk to old friends that I seldom contact, to marvel at what they’ve become. Some have grandchildren already. Some have experienced the death of a spouse. Many look back on their younger years and smile at their ability to still emulate those days, while others chose a completely different path as young adults, and relish at their accomplishments today. Others still, have completely reinvented themselves and are enjoying a new start in adult life.

They’re all remarkable stories. I’m the richer to have heard them that night.

So here’s to the McCluer North Class of 1983.

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