Ah yes, those were the days………..

Fifty-four years ago this September, I left my parents’ home to attend a small mid-western college. Not being a small mid-westerner myself, I was somewhat intimidated by the new surroundings, as well as the awesome fact that I was now out on my own. Several hundred miles from home and clueless about the world outside of my old neighborhood and high school, I began a four-year trek through the perils and joy of higher education and adult responsibility.

This past weekend, I was privileged to celebrate the 50th year of the culmination of that passage. I approached this opportunity with just a bit of apprehension. I wondered how I would remember classmates or them me. I shouldn’t have worried. The experience was totally delightful and one filled with great reminiscences and taking up with old friends like we had never been apart. The emotions engendered, recalling those now seemingly carefree years and the friendships made, had all the comfort and warmth of those typical bitter sweet feelings that come with aging.

But more than that, it was a chance to share about our lives since. It was a realization that all the hard work and sacrifice of serving one’s country, building a career and raising a family was a virtue shared by all of us, regardless of the diversity of each of our lives. It validated and punctuated the feelings of love and respect I had for my college over the intervening years.

This was a swan song of sorts, as I doubt I’ll ever get back to that bucolic campus again and all the happy thoughts that go with it. But for one short weekend, I was once more that innocent, awestruck young man, strolling the grounds of the place that helped shape the person I am. And that may be the greatest memory of them all.


23 thoughts on “Ah yes, those were the days………..

  1. Al, Al, Al….we all waited impatiently for you in the bar after Saturday night’s dinner. Barb, Becky, Becky, Sally, Woody, Jim, me, Suzan, Jack, Heidi, Jean….we were very loud in the corner. Remember, it was your idea. “Where’s Al”? It’s okay…we understand. You’re forgiven and it was great to see you!

    • My apologies, though you’ve already forgiven me. When I got back to the room there was a message from my wife who said she had heard I was hanging out with several beautiful women all weekend and to please stop. Well, discretion IS the better part of valor so……..

  2. What a lovey reminiscence. Great idea to use your old yearbook photos on namtags. I don’t think I would know any of my classmates without them.

  3. So we both left school in 1965. When in Dublin, I pass the school I attended but never have any desire to revisit. The memories were best left between the walls.

    I am glad you enjoyed your reunion and caught up with old class-mates!

  4. Did you recognize everyone or did you need name tags? That’s my fear when (if) I return to a 50 year class reunion. If some of them have oxygen masks on, how will I recognize them? 😉

  5. Well the college can certainly be proud of the man you became and what you achieved in your career. Now you are enjoying a well-earned retirement, but nipping back to look at the roots of the experience is always nice. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    • You are very kind , sir. But the truth of it is, based on the hell raising I did as a student, I think they are just happy that one of their alumni isn’t on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list!

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