Ya kinda had to be there - - 1972 class reunion?

A place to leave information about upcoming reunions

Postby Jeff Merriam » Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:19 am

I suppose as reunions go the 30th reunion of the Groveton High School class of 1972 was a smashing success. But when you consider that the 250 plus people that showed up at the Crystal City Hilton on Saturday night were from every class from 1957 through 1984, our class’ 30th got significantly lost in the shuffle. We figured there were about 15 members of the class of 1972 in attendance. I found that out of those 15 people, there were few people that I really knew, and fewer that I wanted to see. My extra weight, beard, and balding pate made me nearly invisible to most people.

So I lumbered around incognito with a beer in my hand awaiting my opportunity to do my MC stint.

Well, things didn’t turn out for the MC gig either. Between Mickey and the DJ there seemed to be plenty of people to MC the effort.

Once more, I believe that the presentation by the 1964 football team pretty much killed any hope for getting people to pay attention to anything but music. I’ll tell you, what a tear-jerking story! It took 15 minutes to tell--effectively putting the crimp on the comedy routine I intended to do.

Especially with the poor guy sitting there in wheel chair!

"So Ed, here’s the game ball, buddy."

Needless to say, I bowed out as soon as I figured out that my MC talents weren’t needed, or indeed appropriate. I slipped downstairs into the Thunder-bolt Grease Slapper and slid down 95 to over anxious dogs and a good night’s sleep. Call it copping out if you want, but since I came only because I promised to help out, and since my help was clearly not needed, the time had come to go. That certainly doesn't reflect on the gala event at all, Mickey did a #### of a job. Besides, I suspect there will be other 30th anniversaries to MC.

I always find it interesting who actually shows up at those parties. Not the people you suspect will show. The people who lived and breathed the school were nowhere to be seen; no cheerleaders, one football player, two basketball players, and a couple members of the baseball team. I could honestly say I only knew one person in the room well, my old buddy Kevin (pronounced KEY-vin) Carr. I really only met Mickey through the last reunion, and Janette through this one.

Man did those people look old. The ravages of time can be cruel, too.

All those funny looking old people running around lose.

Although Mickey and Janette looked great, I have to admit. Reminds me that I got to get into shape.

Unlike me Kevin leans toward the extravert. While he was recognizing people right and left and exchanging pleasantries, I was standing around saying,

"Who?"

"Oh, you remember we had him in Latin class."

"Uh, no."

I recognized Wally, walking around looking like an action figure with his bright yellow T-neck and his bleached blond hair. I recognized Mark Medvin, who typical of the old Hollin Hills group looked right through me about seven times. I talked briefly with Buck Pollard and Barry Ratliff; I tried to talk to Katie McCeutchon over the music, catching maybe half of what she said. I chatted briefly with Steve Wynkoop, who I barely knew in High School, but might have become friends with. But I stayed away from the Scott Harper—Jeff Rusinow access of arrogance (you kind of got to be a Hollin Hiller to truly understand that..."lines intertwined with lines."

Yeah, I know that’s unfair, they probably grew out of the way I perceived them to be in High School. But I had nothing to say to them, less than nothing to be honest. They walked past me a number of times with the opportunity to say something and didn’t, so I suspect they had nothing to say to me either. It’s not so much a grudge as an unhappy memory being reinforced.

I harbor too much resentment of my High School experience, I guess. Unlike college, where I recognize everyone from the class, I knew very few of the myriads of people that Kevin pointed out, and I should have.

That’s another reason why I chose to leave instead of taking up the job of imposing more announcements on a festive crowd far more interested in talking to one another than listening to me. I mean, as a curmudgeon what was I going to say?

"I remember Groveton. I remember really hating the place.

I don’t remember many of you and I chose not to know most of you that I do recognize. I was afraid of my own shadow in High School and a number of you contributed to that fear. I remember little glory and much grief from my high school years. I recall dreading school everyday. I remember limping through the easy academics with Bs, and was therefore not well prepared for college.

Mostly I remember the basketball games where everyone that supported Groveton suddenly became as one to dwindled my fearful shadow to nothing."

"High School presented a series of firsts for me: first love, first experience with large quantities of alcohol, first time behind wheel of a car, first exposure to drugs. I recall few personal victories, but a number of personal defeats. I suppose those defeats built character but the also perpetuated my abject fear of my own perilous existence. So while all of you may be here to celebrate high school, I'm celebrating that I never have to do it again. I note that my circles of friends choose not to show up, probably with good reason, and I feel alone. While I reflect back on 30 years of growing since I graduated from Groveton, I still cannot help but consider you as I knew you and not as the mature adults you grew into."

I had something much better than that planned. But after nearly five hours of hanging out with the gang, and the long-winded 1964 football stories, I doubted that anyone wanted to see me try to pull off the hometown comedian act. Someone out there is bound to say, "how do you know if you didn’t give it a chance? And I respond, "Irrelevant, the mood was gone and I was ready to go home."

Here’s the irony. I am really proud of myself for even showing up. Never mind that I didn’t do any of the stuff I thought I was going to do to help out. I actually got up the balls to go to a large function with lots of strangers and not pout the time away. Once more, with Mary in Pennsylvania, I went by myself. There was no one--no one--around to hold my hand through the ordeal. And the truth be known, I really enjoyed talking with Kevin, Mickey, Janette, and Katie. I wish to #### that there had been more people from our class present, but c’est la vie.

Maybe we can pull some people together for the picnic at Lake Anna on September 14, what do you say, Kevin, Sherry, Mickey, Phil, Drike and anyone out there that knows anyone that went to Groveton. We deserve a real 30th. Word of mouth, tell people.

On the positive side I would have also had this to say.

"For a brief period of our lives we all owned a piece of Groveton: the traditions, the mystique, the pain, and above all the memory of that place and that time in all of our lives. While we may not know each other, we know of each other’s experience made similar in many aspects by the school we all attended. When I meet a Groveton graduate in public, I believe that I have found a friend, an ally for that moment in my life.

We share a common bond that no one can take from us. Groveton may no longer exist as a Fairfax County High School, but once it flourished and we made it flourish."

"Now here I am surrounded by old people! Where did the last 30 years go?"
Jeff Merriam
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Postby Brad King » Sat Aug 24, 2002 12:37 pm

:)   Alot of you maybe shocked ,but I miss those days
  at Groveton ,yep Brad liked going to Groveton. Unlike the
guy who writes above me . I missed this reunion and I am
sorry that I did, I hope those of you who did attend
 had a great time.  Maybe I will see you at the next
 reunion.


   Brad  :cool:



Edited By Brad King on Feb. 08 2003 at 10:47
also use e- mail address
blking5794@aol.com after , 6/15/03
Brad King
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30th Reunion

Postby Jeanette Healey Jones » Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:30 pm

Took me a year to respond to Jeff, but, the reunion was an unusual event and I needed some time to ponder over the whole event.

I also knew few people at the reunion and was glad to have been part of the group of folks who volunteered to help run the event as it gave me something to do. Although the class of '72 was sparsely represented, it was still nice to somehow, for just a little while, pull back the curtain and take a peek into the past. Some people never really leave their high school days----reminded me of the Bruce Springstein song "Glory Days". Some people leave and never look back, but some, on occasion, take the old walk down memory lane and look things over. I find it helped me to some understanding of who I had become. I think that as I approach that great big "50" number, it is a good time to look at where I have been, how I got where I am, and where I am going. Certainly high school was a part of all our lives, whether it was a good or painful memory, there are building blocks in there that helped shape our futures.

I did enjoy talking to Mickey, Katie, Jeff and Kevin from our class as well as some of the folks from other classes as well. I hoped everyone enjoyed my little slide presentation with photos from old year books and places we used to go, like the Dixie Pig, Krispy Kreme and Dairy Queen.

Over all it was a pleasant evening shared with some old and some new friends and the start of what turned out to be a brief, but wonderful affair with an old classmate---life IS stranger than fiction!

So, my friends, if you get to go to a reunion, do it. You might be surprised at what happens!

Jeanette Healey Jones
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Postby Thespian1972 » Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:24 am

Hi Jeanette!

When is the next reunion?

I plan on coming!

Remember working on a film for the Jr. class show in '71? We went
to the zoo and were trying to make it match the Simon and Garfunkel
song, "Something tells me it's all happening at the Zoo."
And how we wrote almost the entire show that funded the
prom, for which I had no date!

I have a nice memory of us after the Baccalaurete night.
Some of us decided to defy order and wear red roses in our sashes and hair.
We wore white dresses. I think there were some people at your place
after that night or the evening of the big graduation day.
We must all catch up with each other. The class of '72 Rules!
I married a handsome Englishe professor, John Michael Thro.
We just had a grand-daughter and I am visiting my daughter, the new baby and my son in law until Aug. 30th.
Hope to hear from you.
Kathryn Forrester
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Class of: 1971


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