Sunday, September 07, 2008

Small Town - Part 5

Elementary School FriendsI loved growning up in a small town during the sixties and seventies. Everyone knew everyone. There were only two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Our graduating class still remains the largest--to my knowledge--with 143 (I think) graduates in 1976. One of the things that made those days so memorable were the friends I made. I still keep up with quite a few of them via email/phone calls. Several of us attended the same church; we still call each other to catch up on the newest grandchild, wedding, etc. not necessarily in that order.

Four of us have remained in touch better than most. Bart, Chuck, Robert and I have known each other since elementary school. Chuck was a couple of years older, but he's always been around. We spent many nights at each other's homes growing up. Double dated, hung out on Friday nights, "dragged" Main Street, went to concerts. We also got into trouble together at times--I'll spare the details. We all graduated and went our seperate ways for a while. I ended up at a "technical school;" the other three landed at a four year university, but we would come home on the weekends and get back together from time to time. After college, we were groomsmen at each other's weddings. My brother, Kelly, was the best man at my wedding, but I made sure Chuck, Robert and Bart were in the wedding party.


The other three have remained more in contact because they still live in our home town. Dana and I moved about eight miles down the road to another town in the early nineties. We've done a little better keeping up with each other with the advent of the internet/email (thank you, Al Gore). This past year, we've gotten together several times to celebrate FIFTIETH birthdays. Time flies when you're having fun! We created one of our better memories this past weekend when we all attended the Eagles concert in Tulsa. We met at Robert's house where he charcoaled steaks for us, then we headed to the BOK Center for "An Evening with the Eagles." All four of us have been Eagles/Joe Walsh fans since our middle school days. They rocked the house!! One of the best shows I've seen.

We're a little older, a little "grayer" --what hair we have left-- and hopefully a little wiser. Well, Chuck, Bart and I are wiser...we're not real sure about Robert. But that's just Robert. It's funny; we may not see each other for months, but when we get together, we just pick up right were we left off. Time doesn't seem to have diminished the bond that began over 40 years ago. I hope it never does.

High School Friends


Scotty said...

I graduated in 1968 from a school in upstate New York. The elementary, middle school and high school were all in the same building!! We had 50 in our graduating class! So I know small towns too. But, my experience was almost the complete opposite yours.

Haven’t been to a single class reunion, I really can’t get excited about seeing people I didn’t care for back then. You wouldn’t think a small town could be as clicky as I felt that one was. After my stint in Vietnam I became even more estranged from my peers back then.

I don’t miss small towns or country livin’. It’s GREAT not having to drive 20 minutes to got shopping!!

Keith said...

It's real interesting re: reunions. We have better attendance from classmates that live out of the area than those that still live within 10-20 miles of our home town! My wife is like you--has no desire to see any of the people she graduated with.

We had our "cliques" as well.

Definetly something to be said for not driving 20 miles/minutes to the grocery store.

Baxter said...

I love your stories, and the pictures of then and now just really top them off. Hope you are saving these things for future nostalgia. One day, your children will look back and be glad they are there to read to their grandchildren. My daughter and I were looking at old pictures of her paternal grandparents as they lived their lives of more than 50 years together. They are both gone now, and what questions we had, well, they will just have to remain questions...there is no one to answer them now. Thanks again for sharing a bit of your nostolgia with us.

Keith said...

Baxter: I'm finding more often than not that people just don't maintain friendships. We get busy, move away, etc. Can't explain it, but for whatever reason, we (the four) have stayed in touch all these years and have shared some very happy and some very sad times together. I am blessed.

nacotaco said...

Hi Keith, I have one friend since 14 who lived down the street.....oddly thru the years we have stayed close enough even having our kids and now her grandchild and my daughter growing up together...our husbands don`t like each other but our friendship makes me smile...thanks Keith =]

Keith said...

Nacotaco: You can't beat friends like that!