Class of 1973 30-Year Reunion
I JUST RETURNED HOME from the Class of 1973 30-Year
Reunion. Having never attended any of the previous reunions
I had a certain amount of trepidation, as I wasn’t
sure what to expect.
I didn’t want to go in with expectations too
high or too low. So I compromised by having two sets
of expectations. One was a low expectation in case Murphy’s
Law kicked in and very few people showed up. The other
was a high expectation in which everything would go
all right and the average amount of people showed up
and we end up having a good time.
Let me tell you this…the Class of `73 30-Year
Reunion far exceeded my wildest expectations! I am thoroughly
thrilled. I would like to take this moment to thank
our Reunion Committee for doing an excellent job. I
am so damned happy that I can hardly stand it. I am
still dancing on the ceiling over the reunion. Like
I said, I want to thank the following people: Tommy
Atkinson, David Jackson, Kirk Lindsey, Luanne Smith
Norvell, Steve Powers, Vicky Covey Umphlett, Tommy Tiller,
Ellen Spell Weaver, and Dan Zodun. You guys did an excellent
Jackson’s Memorabilia Room was amazing. This guy’s
collection of stuff from high school blew me away. He
kept everything! He even had an envelope with Wayne
Baker’s mustache trimmings! ( I’m just kidding).
But he did have all kinds of incredible stuff like the
little rubber footballs the cheerleaders threw out and
SF sorority sweatshirts (Where did he get those? I keep
imagining a sorority girl running around in the dark
clutching her arms tight to her bosom screaming that
someone snagged her sweatshirt.). He had gym shorts
(Ugh.) and those little pre-game booster ribbons too.
Not to mention record albums and 8-track tapes from
the era. I’m telling you that you had to see it
to believe it.
night before the reunion was the SpringerConnection
Get-Together in the Wings bar and grill in the Airport
Hilton. My mind was reeling right from the beginning
by seeing all of those faces from 30 years ago. Not
long after arriving at the get-together, I was looking
around trying to recognize people and then I got the
first surprise of the weekend. Lo and behold, I see
Ronnie Ludwig. I had asked on several occasions over
the years, “Had anyone seen or heard from Ronnie
Ludwig?” and no one that I ever asked had any
knowledge of his whereabouts. But here he was right
in front of me. The magic of the reunion had begun to
kick in. I asked Ronnie what he had been doing all the
years and he said mostly teaching music and loving every
minute of it.
second thing that really surprised me was seeing Harry
Shelton (a.k.a. "Bump"). I wasn’t surprised
to see Bump (I knew he was coming to the Reunion), but
I WAS surprised by one of his memories of me. He walked
up and shook my hand and said he was glad to see me
again. We exchanged the typical handshaking and backslapping
that goes on at reunions, but then Harry turns to me
and says,”C-C-R”. I said “Huh?”
and he repeats “C-C-R.” I ask, “Are
you talking about Creedence Clearwater Revival?”
and Harry says “Yeah, that was your favorite band,
wasn’t it?” Now this is blowing my mind,
which by this time of the evening isn’t very hard
to do. It is amazing that of all the things he would
remember about me, he remembered what my favorite band
was. I didn’t think anyone remembered what music
I preferred to listen to. This is further proof of the
magic of the reunion. Harry has been busy as the vice-principal
of a high school in San Diego.
I had to select someone other than me having the most
fun at the reunion, it would have to be Jay Crouch (shown
on the right with Mark Pye). He was working the room
laughing, joking, handshaking and high-fiving everyone
when he wasn’t busy dancing with and hugging the
women. I was having fun watching Jay have fun. What
a card! I could have sworn I saw him in four places
at one time. I hope that wasn't the case, because the
world is not ready for more than one Jay Crouch.
I was just running around the room trying to visit
with as many people as possible. Talking, shaking hands,
hugging and trying to catch up on thirty years in just
a few minutes with each person. I got to talk with Alfred
Saddon, Johnny Delaney, Sue Kurzman, Steve Shifflet,
Janet Robinson, Reggie Brown, and a host of other people.
I can think of almost as many people that I saw that
I didn’t get a chance to talk to for whatever
reason. Mostly it was because they were embroiled in
another conversation and by the time they were done
I was engaged in conversation with someone else. It
was like a giant social poppy field, and I felt like
a butterfly trying to land on as many as possible.
A really significant note about the 30-Year reunion
was that for many people this was the FIRST reunion
they had ever attended. I think that is pretty cool.
It was really great to see people that I have not seen
in thirty years. What you will also notice in the photos
of the reunion is that across the board people are having
a great time.
I’m so glad I was able to get Dodie Campbell
and Sharon Hunt to recreate the well-known “Head
Leaning” photo from the 1973 "Highlander"
yearbook. I think it turned out great and is an appropriate
icon for the `73 reunion because it kinds sums up what
it is all about without words.
ALL IN ALL, I think the HSHS Class of `73 is a special
group of people. We were together during a time in history
where the world was changing. We were coming out of
the Hippie era, just coming out of Viet Nam …
just coming of age. We developed and maintained friendships
with many people from other class years, so that it
almost seems like the lines that separate the different
class years are almost completely erased. Which is why
I believe that we should combine all the 70’s
class years into one big reunion.
I had so much fun that I’d do it again tomorrow
if I had the chance, which is one of the reasons I am
going to make it to the "Blast
From The Past” Springer Party on August 16th.
Hope to see you there----
Anyone planning a 31st –Year reunion?