40 years. A lot has happened in the four decades since high school graduation. One marriage, two daughters, seven moves, a second career, and more memories than I can remember. A few days from now 143 people from the class of '77 will gather together to laugh, cry, tell a few lies and harken back to days gone by. I pegged the over/under at 150 attendees and Bob chose over, so I begin the weekend with a win! I hope there will be many more.
To minimize "reunion risk" of one bad evening with awkward pauses, half hugs, and faces not recognized, I built a fun filled weekend spread over four days. It begins with a Black Hawks game Thursday night. Mike has tickets and five of us will enjoy pre-game in West Loop, then witness the anthem like no other stadium in the country followed by a guaranteed Hawks victory. Friday starts with a round of golf hosted by Scott. I last played 10 years ago so I will be the entertainment. Heck, I don't mind if a few buddies laugh at me, as long as I get to spend time with them, it's all good.
Saturday is bike day. It's become a thing, a tradition we invented. Every time we go back home, Bob and I ride a bicycle around town and "pop in" on old friends. More often than not, it means free beer and a laugh or two with an old friend who didn't know we were coming round. Steve is joining our bike ride, so we are a trio for the first time. It's a fine pre-game ritual before the formal event that evening. I'll be going casual Saturday night in typical Texas attire - jeans and boots. No need to impress with fancy rags, those days are in the rear view. I'm betting the evening will be great fun. A few people have worked very hard to pull it together and I am thankful. I wonder if there will be a better line than Amy said at our 30th. Something like, "better look now boys because we won't appear like this in 10 years". She was probably right but also wrong. I have learned a little about beauty these past 40 years and where to look for true grace, style and elegance than those high school years. Living with three ladies the past 30+ years ... let's just say I understand better how and why girls grow up faster :-).
Assuming we survive Saturday night, it's Bear Down Sunday the next morning with a 9:15am pick up at the hotel. The original four - three brothers and a sister - have a play date with the hometown team. Their 2-4 record doesn't really matter. Once a Bears fan, always a Bear fan!
Well that's my homecoming weekend. A little planning should go a long ways.
I like to read and write stories that dig deep into characters and how they respond to challenges.