Old friends: They’re the ones who know where you came from

Old friends: They’re the ones who saw you cry on the first day of school and didn’t make fun of you. The ones you saw five days a week, nine months a year for 12 years, who saw you struggle with algebra and get tongue-tied any time a girl got close. The ones who cheered the baskets you made and said “Shake it off,” when you missed.

All the friends who know where you came from: It was good to catch up with them after 49 years.

The Wren High School (Piedmont, S.C.) Class of 1967 had a mini-reunion last week, 15 or 20 of us, I guess, along with a few spouses. We plan on doing a bigger bash next year to celebrate 50 years, but we’ve already lost 21 of the 80 or so classmates who graduated from what was then a small country school, so a few classmates who have stayed in touch decided it was time to catch up a bit and arranged the reunion. Thanks to them for that.

We made a lot of noise in a back room of the seafood restaurant. Laughter was interspersed with memories. “You remember the time…? Whatever happened to…? Who put the outhouse on top of the school? What was that teacher’s name, the one who…?”

I’d like to say we all looked the same — no gray hair, no wrinkles, no creaky joints. That would certainly be a lie. Reality was evident as we greeted each other with a look on our faces that said, “I know who are — just give me a hint.”

But maybe our eyes are just not as good as they used to be. We figured it out. We got reacquainted. We caught up.

Many of us still live in old neighborhoods. Some have moved around a bit. We are diverse. The Class of ’67 has made a difference, I think. We produced some soldiers and sailors, some builders, teachers, musicians, writers, managers, technicians, a few ministers, hard workers, good parents and even better grandparents.

We seemed a happy bunch last week. We laughed a lot. We shared some news, some good, some not. We celebrated the Wren High School Class of 1967. We’ve done okay.

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