Friday, May 25, 2018

Getting together with Old Friends

Be prepared, if you decide to go to your 60th college reunion. If yours is a college where the graduates in attendance march through the campus in the order in which they graduated, you will be dangerously close to the end of the line. There were more than 40 of us who graduated in 1958, but there were only a few stragglers behind us leading me to believe this was likely to be our last roundup.

I’ve only been to two other reunions at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, home of the Battling Bishops, my 25th and 50th and overall, I have not been an active alum. Yet, it was such a kick to be there and to renew friendships from so long ago.

The university has grown and prospered. We were treated royally and spent Saturday night having a fancy reunion dinner together. We each received a booklet with photos of us all as freshmen in 1954. Some of us were even recognizable.

After the weekend festivities, seven women who have been special friends through all the years spent a few days together, something we do every other year. Once a dozen, we are now only nine and three of those were unable to make it to Delaware.

We’ve been pretty organized in our gatherings over the years. This time, when one of us asked, “What’s the agenda?” no one had an answer. We really didn’t need an agenda because the point was to just be together, to hang out, to eat and talk and take a little nap in the afternoon, to reminisce and to laugh, which we did plenty of. We’re a little goofier now than we once were and we also have a new awareness of the necessity for humor.

Sandy touted a restaurant/bar in Waldo, a little berg up the road from Delaware that specializes in fried bologna sandwiches. “You’ve got to try one,” she insisted. And so we piled into one car and off we went.

These sandwiches are serious business. The hunk of bologna is more than a quarter inch thick, fried until kinda crispy and served topped with cheese and sweet pickles. It’s a sandwich with some heft to it. Sandy remembered them as going for $2.85. They’d gone up to $4—still a deal, if not for the food, then certainly for the atmosphere. The place was filled with customers and wait people who had obviously been feasting on these favorites frequently and for a long time. The place made a nice contrast with the fancy, white tablecloth dinner we’d been served at the reunion.

                                          En route to Waldo.

These gatherings get more precious every time we meet. It’s going to be next to impossible to get us all together again, but we will probably try because we’ve been getting together to talk and laugh since 1986 and we’re not ready to quit—not just yet.

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