Friday, June 19, 2009


Tomorrow in New Baltimore, Michigan, the Anchor Bay High School Class of '84 will celebrate their 25th anniversary class reunion. And I wish I could be there.

I've written about my experience in the Anchor Bay School System in the posts The Freshman and The Homecoming Queen and The Anchor Bay Experience (Postscript). The short story is that I went to junior high and high school there, became a teenager there and going through the changes that all teens go through. And just at the point where I could feel my attitudes toward life turning the corner, we left the area. We moved to Elyria thanks to the United States Coast Guard, and a different chapter of my life opened up. But I never got closure.

As their 25th reunion approached I contacted Greta Furlong, who I knew as Greta Lenhausen, and asked if I would be welcome to attend. I said that I had been seeking out people from my years there, and finally felt as if I was getting the closure I sought. She wrote back invited me to attend the festivities. She also reminded me that although reminiscing can be a good thing, we can't live in the past.

But I still can't help playing the what-if game. I left after freshman year. Life moved on for them, and I am sure none of the people I knew gave me much thought after I left. I never could get them out of my mind, however. In my thoughts I wondered if I ever would have started dating there. Would I have been given a chance? Would the ladies of Anchor Bay High School have been able to look past the greaseball of 7th grade and see a maturing human being with the capacity to care for them? We will never know.

I've been spending time on the Anchor Bay 84 website, looking at old senior pictures, seeing what people have been up to, watching how people have aged. Greta was right, as she often was 30 years ago when I knew her and she was upbraiding me for my negative attention-seeking behavior. We can't live in the past. I can't wonder who I might have married because they are all married already. I can't wonder if I would have played football or have finally gotten some measure of respect from the ones who taunted and tormented me, because it's over. As Daniel Farraday said on LOST, "Whatever happened, happened."

Greta, Robin… Michael, Bill, Robert, Keith… Kim, Beth, Sheri…. Have a good Saturday. And a great life.


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