Forty-plus men and women from the Hillsboro High School graduating class of 1973 gathered together last Friday evening to eat, drink, dance and catch up at the Taylor Springs VFW Club in Taylor Springs, Illinois.
Some have attended all 5-year reunions since graduation. Others, including me, have been to some. At least one woman attended for the first time last week.
Over a year ago, Janine started a monthly dinner group to plan for this year’s big-40. This group varies in size month-to-month and is always a good time. We eat and drink, discuss local news and always schedule the next month’s date before leaving the restaurant.
We decided on the place, pored over the menu from a local caterer and were blessed to have two classmates willing and eager to get a band together for the big night. Mike and David gathered the band members, chose the songs and practiced in Missouri and Florida respectively. Thanks to the Internet, communication for an event is nearly effortless.
Friday morning dawned hot and sunny. At 10:00 a.m., six of us met at the VFW along with the rest of the band members. Holy Moly! The air conditioning had been turned off the night before, and the place was hot and humid. We were informed by management the air would be turned on “later.” Later? Ummm, what do you mean by later?
This little girl does not like to sweat under most circumstances. I quickly informed the man we were having two very large decorated cakes delivered early that afternoon, and I really did not want to arrive at 4:30 to cake frosting dripping on the floor. He agreed to be back by 2:00 p.m.
Thank God for the men who showed up. They helped us move several tables and dozens of chairs to the back room, leaving only 14 tables to decorate. We/they had to make room for the band and dancing. Men have an advantage – they get hot, they take their shirts off. Women? We sweat and get the itchies.
We covered tables, added lovely candle jars and “40” spikes, etc.
I had enough time to go to Physical Therapy, drive home to get ready and be back at 4:30 p.m.
The best job of the evening, IMHO, belonged to me. As my classmates and spouses arrived, they had to stop at the table by the door in order to pay and/or get a NAME TAG. After 40 years, I purchased name tags. It was time. There were only two men I didn’t recognize, one only because he wore mirrored sunglasses and had a white beard. The other guy has lived in Hillsboro all but 19 years, and I had not seen him since 1973. Amazing!
The bar filled up quickly, sucking the cool air from the room – that was okay – we now had a “cocktail or two” to take our minds off the heat.
Soon it was time for the local newspaper to take the class photo. It is just as hard to get 40+ middle aged people to stop talking and sit up straight as it is a room full of first graders. I know – I was one who did not want to sit in the front row – they made me do it anyway! The curvy, lovely voluptuous lady in the tangerine jeans and print top is Miss Marly.
Okay, ‘keeping it real’ per Mr. Cooper of CNN fame, the overweight woman in the orange pants seated to the right of the pic in the front row is Marilyn Carter Kralik Slagel, age 57.
Next up – time to eat! Milanos Catering fed us well and Susan Irvin sweetened our palates with cream cheese mints and chocolate and white cakes for dessert.
Our bellies full of fried chicken, ham, tortellinis, veggies and squishy rolls, it was time to see if we still had it.
“Get down, get down, get down, get down tonight…”
Wouldn’t you think a bunch of oldies would fill the dance floor immediately and just enjoy the music? Nope! You would have thought we were 15 again, too shy or embarrassed to be the first on the dance floor. The One Night Stand band played several songs before some of us graced the floor.
Just like in high school, the women were first, a group of us dancing with each other. These were our songs, songs we grew up on. We loved it!
The evening stayed in high gear for me until about 11:30 – tired, hot and satisfied the reunion was a success, I drove home with the A/C blasting at my face. Aaaahhhh, a lovely day, a lovely time.
Next monthly meeting? September 21, 2013, where we will attend a Trivia Night at the local Lions Club to benefit one of our own who is battling cancer and pictured here. Deb is a fighter and never misses a monthly meeting.
Hope to see you there!
Love to all,
P.S. In 2015 we will turn 60. Be thinking about it – we’ll party again!
Listed below are YouTube videos of some of the songs taken with Mike’s phone.
http://youtu.be/P-mQpMPFAwc Mony Mony
http://youtu.be/iNcv50dv2Yc Me and Bobby McGee
http://youtu.be/_vkOMqiRBzU Bad Moon Rising
http://youtu.be/E3rFDrevUJo Honky Tonk Woman
http://youtu.be/TewN4ttJAjo Proud Mary
http://youtu.be/9PK42BN_-Wg Rotten Rod Rocks the Reunion with Wild Thing