J. Alexander (johnmill79) wrote,
J. Alexander

Down Nostalgia Road: The Reunion That Almost Wasn't

This day got off to a rather complicated and frustrating start, but ended quite well. I really didn't know what to expect, but I guess I should have known that nothing would go according to plan.

It started bright and early for me. I was paranoid of oversleeping, which of course caused me to nearly not sleep at all. When I finally gave up, it was a little after 6 and sweltering in the little room in which I lay. I had spent most of the night with a quilt covering only my midsection as a result of this.

Mike, my mom's husband and the man I may as well call my dad, came in and said: "John, we couldn't locate Benny, so you'll have to just ask Torrance to take you over to Pinecrest." A little backstory: Torrance is my next oldest sister Kiana's ex-husband. He's always been a goofball, and I've never really trusted him to do anything right. Benny was a guy who had graduated in my class and was supposed to attend the reunion, but as far as I can tell he never showed up.

Anyway, I scrambled out of bed and down the hall to shower and put on my clothes. I was dressing for a nice, warm day, with shorts, as I wasn't really sure what to expect. When Torrance showed up, I asked him if he wouldn't mind taking me over to the school so that I could meet someone to take me around for the day. "Sure, no problem."

I got into his sooked-up ride, and I could feel myself thrown back against the seat by g-force as he accelerated out of the driveway. That thing had to be going at least 80. Then we started bouncing over so many ferocious potholes that I could hear my brain rattling around in there. Yeah, I was pretty nervous.

First, we stopped at a lake to allow the kids, my nephews Reggie, Tyreek, Torrance, (whom we call Doughnut, as a result of Tyreek's mangled attempt at saying his name when very young), and Kania, the only girl, could go fishing for a bit. It was pleasant out, the first day that felt significantly Automnal. The soaking rains had passed, much to my relief.

At 9, we finally piled back into his vehicle and headed over to the school. There was a tour of the facilities, examining the old and new buildings on campus. It was definitely nostalgic to walk around my old stomping grounds. It started to get hot and the walking a little long, so Torrance said "all right John, I think it's about time to go. I had already told him to just ask around and see if someone else would guide me, but he simply refused to do this. As a kind of compromise, he left Reggie and Tyreek there with me while he took the others to get something to eat, which pretty much curtailed any chance I had of hooking up with someone else. One of the women who had expressed interest in seeing me over MySpace did manage to track me down, but even that lasted only seconds.

Finally forced to concede defeat, I decided to just go home. I spent several hours lying around, watching college football and lamenting small town life and the need to rely on so few people for transportation. Fortunately, things improved markedly for the second half of the day.

Mike got home around 3 and told me that he would still take me to the dinner that was to close the events if I still wanted to go. And of course I did! I had paid $35 for the entire day. Mom got home a couple hours later and expressed her displeasure with how the earlier events had played out as well.

By 6, I was all dressed up and at the Long Leaf Countryclub in Pinehurst. I feared this place and the people would be rather snoody, but it was quite far from it. The place was relatively empty when I arrived, but it didn't take long for the crowd to start filing in and becoming raucous. I actually benefited from the loudness, since everyone had to talk in elevated tones to be heard.

I ate at the married people's table. That is, assuming everyone in there wasn't married. They were really nice, the valledictorian, a guy named Bill Pate, and his wife Maria. Also a woman named Kristy and her husband, who's name I cannot remember. I spent most of the night talking to them, but spoke to many others as well.

Kristy helped me over to the buffet line, where I got a different kind of potato salad, using big slices of potato with their peelings still on and some tomatoes thrown in for flavor, fruit salad consisting of cantalope and honeydew mellons, roasted turkey with gravy, rice, long thin green beans with almonds, and a roll which was entirely too hard for me to eat. I topped all that off with a slice of pumpkin pie and some iced tea. Made me feel a little like Thanksgiving.

I met several other people, some of whom I could remember clearly, others not as well. The names all became a blur eventually, but I do remember someone named Nicole who came over to meet me. I said: "that name rings a bell", and she replied "I hope so." Then she gave me a hug. It was just amazing to see what effect I'd had on some of those folks.

Several pictures were taken, then things finally started to break up. I did get six plastic cups with "Class of 97" written on them, which will be good for use in the apartment. Then I went outside to sit on the rocker and await Mike, so that I could return home.

So all in all, it turned out to be a nice, amvigorating day. That's why I made myself wait until it was over before writing this entry; if I had written it earlier like I wanted to, it would have been a lot more of a rant than anything else.
Tags: travel, weekend

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