While the flight to Juneau from SEA had a few minor bumps and a delay (gate shifts, a plane change, etc.), ultimately I arrived with no significant problems. I got back from the reunion with a tailwind and no difficulty. The frozen fish was still frozen, etc.
A few thoughts about it, now that it’s had time to settle.[updated]
It was worth going. At least 20 known passed away from a graduating class of about 270, so better than average (10%), assuming there are not a lot of others we didn’t know about. Found out a few details of some. One was out duck hunting on the flats. Got stuck in the mud, struggled to get free, sunk in nearly to his waist. Then the tide came in. Drown in 5 feet of water. That would really suck. OTOH, he wasn’t a very nice person, so… karma?
Most of the attendees were people I also saw at the 20th. A bit less than 20% of the class showed up for it, so that’s about average. The rest can’t, or have no reason to hang out with the adult form of the kids who made their lives miserable 40+ years ago. I get it.
Some people I remembered somewhat and are doing well. At least one who was a mess back then is now pretty functional, so that’s a win. Lots of divorces. Most people in attendance appeared to have had kids, and/or spouse(s).
The popular kids mostly still hang out together in cliques; the more things change…. Sit alone at such an event, and I was more likely to be approached and talked to by a spouse than a classmate. Not sure what that means.
Only a handful of people are still recognizable, or would be if you showed a modern pic and put it next to the yearbook photo. Years are hard on people, especially those who have clearly not taken care of themselves. Most didn’t, but a few had. Quite a range of kid’s ages, too, from 37 to I think 15 was the youngest I heard about.
Just about everyone I talked to who was recently retired, or soon would be retired, worked a government job, and they do not appear to understand at all that the rest of us are likely to be a long while before we can do so, and don’t get the resentment they see. It’s like we are on the cusp of the generational change, and government jobs made my class Boomers, working in the real world made Gen-X people.
It says something that most of the venues chosen were loud and/or had drinking involved. Not entirely sure what, though, as several people noted the problems. (shrug) I didn’t make the arrangements, so not my place to complain, just noting it.
The Class of ’81 apparently now has a modest reunion every year. As we get older, that might be a good idea. If you miss one from a scheduling conflict, you only have to wait a single year, and it’s easy to work into a normal visit for those who don’t live there.
One very funny / memorable thing was one man proposed to long-time friend and fellow classmate while out on the whale-watching cruise. Was well done; totally not a thing I’d ever do, but can totally appreciate. They are both divorced as I understand it, and he was good friends with her for a long time. Was a nice high-point, a celebration.
One of the activities was a tour of the high school. It had changed a bit, except for the wood shop that looked exactly the same. It is now a celebration of all things Native in the main entryway, with gay pride or BLM flags in several rooms. Nothing at all celebrating western civilization, men, family, kids, white culture, or any of the things that actually made America. If you had a plan to totally deracinate the kids and set the country up for a civil war where the should-be dominant side simply surrenders, that’s what it would look like. Do NOT send your children to modern government schools; it’s child abuse.
Not sure what it was with some people wanting to use their phones to take surreptitious photos of everyone constantly.
Met a gal who sat next to me at graduation. She remember me, said she remembered us making a constant stream of wise-cracks about the people crossing the stage. I don’t remember it, but that does sound like something I’d do.
One of my classmates, and one of the few people from the class I’d have called a friend because she was a fellow computer-geek, is now the mayor. Sounds like she’s well-liked, or at least fairly well-respected, as a very practical, pragmatic sort, which is no less than I’d expect from her.
While in Juneau I went fishing with my brother for a few days. Collectively, the boat caught three halibut (including one hundred-pounder), a king salmon, some silvers and dog salmon, a rockfish, and a variety of scrap fish. While out, we saw whales, including orcas with a pod-puppy. Overall, a lot of fun, even if the weather was highly variable.