Maybe it is Reunions that get our digestive juices flowing. I know that many of us believe that reunions allow us to relive our high school glory days, if just for a day. Then again, it also reveals that some of us never really stopped living those days.
For our part, we saw a need and moved to satisfy it: Find our classmates, contact them, and in some unfortunate cases, record their passing. We were led to believe that could be our contribution to the class. To some, it has become an uncomfortable reminder of lost opportunity, to others a reminder of their mortality. To yet others, it is taken in the spirit in which it was offered: cause for celebration and commemoration.
But truth be told, for us, it has become a symbol of how a group of people from so many different backgrounds came together for their high school years to create a unique synergy. Think of the great things we did together; we had athletic teams which hold records still unbroken; we produced all school productions the equals of which I have yet to see in high school; our combined concert band chorale performances were magnificent; our academic achievements still shine in the award displays of the school. Even in classes, the unique collection of teachers we were blessed with provided a real education in spite of our silly selves. And throughout and above it all, we had fun.
Building the alternative website was not fun. It was a lot of work. But it was necessary. It needed to exist and despite interference from surprising circles, it prevails and serves its purpose. It truly represents a continuing effort to locate living classmates whose whereabouts are unknown, a clearing house for such information; it is also a living dynamic memorial for classmates who have crossed
the veil as told by their families, through obituaries, so that their classmates may be informed about what remarkable lives they led and the loved ones left behind. We have taken great pains, even as we did to secure and encode your emails, to assure that the site cannot be used to steal identities for those of you who fret about such things.
Recently we began replicating our memorial page to expand our efforts to Facebook because of its convenience. Imagine our surprise at the hue and cry this engendered about identity theft and other security concerns ignoring the fact that while the SSDI database was used, social security numbers were deleted. Despite quite a bit of support from our FB classmates directory group, the stridency of the objections raised made us decide that simply providing links and news via this blog was going to have to be sufficient. Members of our class have had from the beginning, a heightened sense of insecurity regarding their cyber presence. Believe me when I say that this is definitely an East Coast phenomenon. So whenever there is something to note, Linda and I will get the news out on FB but the details will be available via links to our website. That way no one will be reminded of the uncomfortable truth that everyday, we get a little bit older and a little bit slower (apologies to the Fab Four) unnecessarily but inquiring minds will still be able to get their class news.
Remember, that we are but a humble clearing house. While we still do find out about classmates passing directly from Vandermay in Wayne and other local NJ funeral homes and other sources, we also rely upon your participation as you travel hither and thither. Again, belated thanks to Marlene Zachok Capraro for letting us know about Pat Schwartz, and Franny Minervini's brother Rick, on the passing of Suzi Loper Lawrence. We also recorded the relatively recent passing of Lynn Tonnesen White. Obits at (http://www.waynevalley67.net/html/inmemoriam.html).
And here's a strange one that highlights human fallibility (i.e., ours). We were under the mistaken impression that Bernice Alexander passed back in 1997. Turns out she lived another 20 years of what looks to have been a great life. Sometimes I'm happy to be wrong.
"So that's all I have to say about that." Forrest Gump