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How To Attend A Baby Boomer High School Reunion

Lessons From The Front


Whether you’re a city boomer or country boomer, big school or small, these rules apply.

If you were home schooled, tag along with friends from the local high school. If your Mom wants to go, you make that call.

1. Stay somewhere within walking distance of most events. The less driving the better.

  • A DUI in your hometown isn’t a badge you want to wear.

2. Pace yourself for long days.

  • Get hammered with your pals, just don’t be the nail.

3. If you ask about your classmate’s parents, brace for a variety of answers. My favorite:

  • They’re DEAD. Thanks for asking.

4. Is bringing along a Texas fifth of really good liquor a recipe for disaster?

  • Probably, shooter. No, definitely. See #2.

5. Will you recognize anyone? Will anyone recognize you?

  • Don’t be a drama queen. Everyone changes. If you don’t remember a face, call out the name of the prettiest girl from class, or handsomest man, then apologize for the mistake.

6. There’s three events on the first night and you’re fading fast after two. What do you do?

  • Pull the ripcord and call it a night. Try not to fall in the slough on the walk back to your room. See #1.

7. You have two events the second day with six hours in between. And it’s Saturday. What to do?

  • Watch the Oregon Ducks crush Tennessee. And be moderate. See #4.

8. If you find yourself in a group of former classmates all with advanced college degrees, relax. It’s not a competition, it’s a reunion.

  • Avoid asking, “So when did you know you were smart?” Valedictorians knew early. You should remember.

9. If you see the woman who stole your high school boyfriend, or the man who snagged your girlfriend, thank them.

  • If they keep eyeing your spouse all night, it’s a compliment.

10. If classmates show up the same size they were in high school, they are role models.

  • Don’t ask about gastric bypass, stomach staples, or illness. Instead, make a pledge to drop a few pounds. You’ve got ten years starting…now.

A successful high school reunion means a certain disconnect from the life you’ve lived the past decades. An sense of confusion is normal.

What if things had been different back then…what if you’d paid better attention…why didn’t you notice your classmates when you were younger…and my favorite:

If I moved back to my hometown now I would…?

Being part of any group you’ve traveled years with is an honor. Seeing them in glimpses over a lifetime is worth the hassle of making time for them again.

Share your life, raise a glass, and cheer for memories old and new.

If you don’t think reunions are important, you’re wrong. Your classmates miss you.

(photo via Jim Denman)

(photo via Jim Denman)




About David Gillaspie


  1. Nancy Lewis Swendsen says:

    Love the photo Dave! And well said, “Being part of any group you’ve traveled years with is an honor. Seeing them in glimpses over a lifetime is worth the hassle of making time for them again.”
    Thanks for sharing! North Bend Class of 1973 Graduate . . . Designated Driver:).

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Hi Nancy,

      We hear about the speed of life increasing and still try to fit everything in. Sometimes it takes a bigger effort to get up and move, but it’s still worth it. There’s nothing that replaces high school friendships, for better or worse.

      When I mention high school reunions to people some say, “I never go. I have better friends from college.” Or work, or the neighborhood, or no friends at all. A return to the formative years to see who broke the mold this time around is too good to miss.

      Thanks for coming in,


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