It’s been a year or two since my high school reunion, but recent discussions have put it back in my mind.

I did not particularly enjoy my high school experience and (unlike my junior high school experience) I have no one to blame but myself for it. I was always a poor fit temperamentally for Mayne {pronounced to rhyme with “maybe”} High School. It was filled with people that had money and seemed to care most about those things that people that have money care most about. It was loads better than middle school, but it wasn’t for me. I never dated anyone from my high school and my picture appears in the yearbook only once because I never did any extra-curricular activities.

As such, I probably never would have attended the reunion at all had it not been for the chance to be reunited with my best friends Clint and Dave. Dave and I flew down from Shoshona and Deseret respectively, met with Clint in Ephesus where he was living at the time, and then drove to Mayne. Even if there hadn’t actually been a reunion, it was great to hang out with them even if much of that time was spent driving. Much to my surprise, the reunion itself was a blast.

Oddly enough, or maybe fittingly, I did not spend all that much time talking to people that I knew from high school. I spent it talking to people that I didn’t know at all or that I knew in elementary and/or middle school but not high school.

I went to West Oak Elementary School (WOES), which is about as middle class as you can get. We were looked down upon by the people that lived in Mayne, but were better off than those that lived in working-class Southfield and Larkhill. For middle school, West Oak and Larkhill Elementary School (LHES) fed into Larkhill Intermediate School (LHIS). Larkhill was much more working class, so working class that it’s actually mentioned in a Bruce Springsteen song. Larkhill Elementary was significantly larger than West Oak, so the average economic status at Larkhill Intermediate was not good.

The same sort of thing in reverse happened when Larkhill Intermediate fed into Mayne High School with upper crest Mayne Intermediate School*. As with before, the school we were merging with was considerably larger than the one we were coming from. Not only did they have a lot more students, but their students were wealthier, more achieving, and better behaved. Almost all of the “problem kids” from high school I knew from junior high and they were weeded out, dropped out, or farmed out to a correctional institution. So what I ultimately saw happen a lot was that instead of people hanging out with the people they hung out with in junior high we Larkhillers would gradually ingratiate ourselves into an existing group of friends from MIS (and Airfield, see note below).

So all of this is the long way of saying that the people I talked to were in three distict groups: people I was friends with in elementary school (who I was not friends with in junior high because they started going to advanced/honors classes), people I was friends with in junior high (a fair number of whom were weeded out or reinvented themselves into some other group in high school), and people I knew from high school.

Here are some observations that I recall (after looking over some emails that I wrote at the time) from the reunion:

  • There were almost no Asian-Americans there, despite their presence on campus. I can literally remember two that I think are more of Pacific Islander descent and they were twins.
  • The people I was most anxious to talk to were the ones from elementary and intermediate school. Particularly elementary.
  • Once they started tracking us into regular and honors classes I lost contact with a lot of them. I hung out with the smart kids in elementary school, but didn’t get into the smart classes in high school.
  • The Mayne/Airfield contingent was over-represented. The number of people I knew from Larkhill Intermediate but not West Oak Elementary (read: those that went to Larkhill Elementary) was nearly non-existent.
  • I spent the first hour or so talking to someone that I didn’t even know in high school. After I got my food I needed a place to sit down but none of the tables had a friendly congregation. I decided that sitting alone while eating was one high school memory that I was not going to relive, sat down at a random table and made some friends. When we finally parted, our last words to one another were, “I wish I’d known you back in the day!” “You, too!” I wish I’d made more of an effort to get to know people back in the day.
  • A couple of the guys did not really think that it might be inappropriate to talk about all the girls a guy “banged” when his wife of six months is sitting right next to him at the table.
  • There was only one awkward instance of a guy that I knew that didn’t know me. I knew him in junior high and we were actually pretty good friends. It did not occur to me that he would not remember me. I guess it’s understandable, though. He was a nerd when I knew him but he became an ROTC nut in high school. he’s probably blocked out his nerdy years.
  • The reward for the coolest guy goes to Jesse Brooks. I remembered him as being a really cool guy for a goth/punk/industrial dude. He ended up going to MIT, flying jets for the Navy, and working for a venture capital firm in Ephesus. Unlike the ROTC guy, Jesse remembered me despite having done a lot more in the meantime and more genuinely reinvented himself.
  • While smoking a cigarette I had the obligatory conversation with a girl that I never, ever could have mustered up the courage to talk to back in the day.
  • All of the cheerleaders and drill team members I saw there had engagement and/or wedding rings. Every last one. Only one that I saw married her high school sweetheart.
  • Two Larkhill classmates had four or more children. I was not surprised by either of them.
  • The girl that Clint obsessed over and Dave’s serious high school girlfriend both had kids. I missed out on any of that since I never dated anyone from my school and besides I was rarely interested in people my own grade. I wonder if I can sneak in for the reunion of the Class of 1999, wherein I could see the fate of the girl that I obsessed over.
  • I don’t know what the jocks made of their lives since I didn’t really talk to them at the reunion. They didn’t look like they’d completely wasted away like I might have hoped once upon a time.
  • High School reunions are great places to meet people romantically if you’re still single. None of the three of us were, though, so that was sort of a waste. On the other hand, the fact that we weren’t single may have made it easier to go. In fact, I considered my wedding ring a giant shield. So long as I wore it, I was impervious from female rejection.

* – It’s actually a tad more complicated than this. In my 8th grade year they built a new middle school, Airfield Intermediate School (AIS) and my 8th grade class was smaller than my 7th grade class with a portion of the wealthier students siphoned off. Most of the students at Airfield had previously gone to Mayne Intermediate, so they essentially had the same experience we did with the integration of the snobs, they just had a year sooner and on a slightly more limited basis. As such, I’m counting both the Airfield and Mayde students in a single group since they were both (at one point or another) dominated socially by the same people.

Category: Ghostland, School

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3 Responses to Class of 1995 in 2005

  1. Peter says:

    There are a couple of very interesting reunion threads at 2 Blowhards. Is that what inspired your post?

    I’ve never been to any reunions and never actually had much interest in them. In fact, AFAIK my high school has never had any. Though, I must say, I might think about attending my next college reunion, emphasis on might.

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