Fifty years from a distance

George just left for a gig with the Peninsula Players,  Lady and I are sitting on the deck in the cool of the evening, and I’m basking in the nostalgia of my 50th class reunion–the one I didn’t attend.

There are some who live right on top of the old home town who couldn’t be bothered to book a dance with nostalgia. Others will drag themselves across half the country to quench their thirst with a glass of classmate camaraderie. I fall somewhere in between: too far, with too many obligations, to make it easily, but delighting in the idea of staying in touch with the people who are part of my roots.

for blog

Myself at age 14, with my dog Cindy.

Thank goodness for Facebook. My Catholic Central High School has its own page, and I’ve been reconnected with many of the 300-plus I graduated with. And thank goodness for friends with cameras, who took me to the reunion through their lenses and showed me smiles I haven’t seen in 50 years.

Yes, they were all smiling. No wallflowers in that group, no separation into this clique or that group. They’ve all grown up and grown beyond those sorts of insecurities. Now, they’re just people who developed careers, got married (or not), raised families, carved niches into new terrain, and can count themselves blessed for still being here 50 years later, as some of us, alas, are not.

Only those from a Catholic high school might have realized that the reunion was held on the Feast of the Transfiguration. It proved to be prophetic, because I saw transfigurations in each of the photos that were posted. Some of the high school heart throbs would hardly keep a heart beating now, while many of the plain janes


Myself last week, armed with a camera, as always.

blossomed and, like that cliched fine wine, only got better with time. Some of the chunky ones lost weight, the slim ones added a bit of girth, and a few of the boys lived up to their parents’ promise that their growth spurt would come eventually. All of them looked confident and comfortable in their own skin.

Some I recognized immediately; some I would never have known. But since they all wore name tags, and the women’s included maiden names, I suspect it was the same for everyone. Some, thanks again to Facebook, I now know better than when I was in school, while a few, just a few, have disappeared completely from everyone’s radar.

I may not have been able to be there, but it was fun to peek into others’ photographic mementos.  And I can assure you that I carry each of you in my prayers.






About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog.
This entry was posted in friendship, getting older, Memories, Reflection and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fifty years from a distance

  1. Couldn’t resist commenting here to restate how many folks were disappointed to find you were not at the reunion. You and George have become very important to so many of us! You are both loved! Next time!!!

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      Thanks, MJ, I really appreciate that. I would love to have seen everyone. But a working musician works when he can, and up here, that’s during the summer so it’s hard to get away. I prefer not to travel without George. Plus, we have a dog we won’t leave in a kennel because she’s just too old. I sure did have fun looking at all the photos, though!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s