Monday, June 4, 2007

The last yer gonna hear about this. Well, maybe...

This is the post you've all been waiting for, i.e. the LAST about my High School reunion!

The photo shows all the folks who showed up who graduated in the '60s. I was a little disappointed that more didn't, but on the flip side, given the constraints of time at what was basically a dinner party, it was a workable number in terms of having time to chat. We all managed to sit at one table, marked "60s", which was a little ironic: not only did we graduate in that decade, we are all in that decade of our lives! Pictured are grads of '61, '62, and '64. There were probably 200 people at this thing, but the younger squalling brats in their 30s and 40s didn't count.

Notice the lack of, er, light blond hair in the front row. I suspect a little exercise of a woman's prerogative, but it's not nice to speculate on that so I won't.

I have been asked, if not threatened, by a couple of the gals not to say anything, as in zip-point-zilch, nada, bupkis, about them. It's understandable, given that one of them was the only one I would have recognized on the street after all these years - she still looks like her 'Wanted' poster. Not their names, credit card numbers, blood types, or genetic predispositions, and so as not to single them out, ain't gonna be nuthin' 'bout nobody, with the exception of Steve, who told me to knock myself out.

The last time I saw Steve, standing, right, I was a slick-sleeve Private of Marines and he was a Canoe Club Seaman 2d. He went on to retire from the Navy as a Master Chief and now has his own Systems Analysis company. He lives in Virginia, so he gets the mileage trophy for the dinner, which coincided nicely with his Mom's birthday. Might as well have more than one reason to come all the way out West! He and his lovely bride of 39 years took his Mom to Lake Tahoe for a little R&R and came to visit me last week. We had a nice afternoon.

We all had a fine time reminiscing, catching up on our lives, and, sadly, finding out who all is gone. It's amazing to me how folks can remember some of the little things about school days that are long forgotten. I don't mean big things, like having a chair with your name on it in the principal's office, I mean little things, like the time you bent over to pick up a piece of chalk and your pants split! Just a theoretical example, mind you...

I must admit to the whole evening going kinda blurry after one of the ladies told me about riding her Honda 90 around in fishnet stockings and a mini-skirt. I can only assume that was in her beatnik days and not last week. My strong sense of chivalry will forever prevent me from identifying her, of course. (Second from the right - G's Bad Angel)

These folks have all done pretty well for themselves, although to be fair, some of 'em had a pretty good head start, but in the back of my mind was this little nagging suspicion that one or two might have saved up their state crazy checks so as to put on a good appearance, and had a shopping cart in the underground parking. My suspicions were forever put to rest as we waited to ransom off our car keys from the valets. Escalades, Lexuses, and one notable two-seat M-B in an absolutely livid flourescent barracks green! I think ours was the only pickup.

By the way, the '60s group out-partied the youngsters. We were the last to leave. Maybe we just had more trouble getting up...

It was well worth going. I had a great time, and due to the miracle of e-mail, some of us are keeping in touch as we speak.

The venue

The reunion was held at The Regency Club in Westwood. This is the fanciest joint I've been in for a long time. I violated about 2/3 of their dress code. I woulda had a clean sweep if I hadn't got 'The Look' from Mrs. G when I told her I was going to wear my Grateful Dead T-shirt!

They had two chow lines for dinner, salads on both, one with a meat and one with a non-meat terminus. There was also a large table with sushi, which anywhere else would have qualified as a very well-stocked bait shop. The food was excellent, prime rib and rack of lamb, with good sidearms. The non-meat-eaters got noodles. The lines were long and slow, and Steve and I agreed that these cats didn't know squat about runnin' a chow line, nor the patrons how to move through one. I will admit it wasn't exactly like rammin' a metal tray forward and having it come back with God knows what on it...

After greasin' down, I wanted to go have a smoke. While I was rollin' it, I casually mentioned to Mrs. G that I was gonna do something I used to do in school, go smoke in the restroom. 'The Look' again. Scratch that idea. On the theory that if ya wanta get results, ask an enlisted man, I asked one of the young mess cooks staff (they were all young. UCLA is three blocks away. Click 'contact' at the club site.) where they went to smoke. He led me to an elevator exclusively for the use of floors 16-18. Just a note here - you couldn't get to the floor the dinner was on from the parking garage without a staff member keying in a special code in the elevator. Did I mention this joint was a little exclusive? He accompanied me to a balcony equipped with ashtrays and made sure I knew which elevator to take to get back without screwing up. A good lad.

Now, I lived in L.A. for 35 years, but I had never been on the 18th floor of anything in that town before this. There has been a tremendous amount of development, and such buildings didn't exist when I lived there, except for downtown. It was a lovely clear evening, and I was treated to a spectacular view. The tallest building in West L.A. used to be the Mormon Temple, about a mile away, and I was dead level with the Angel Moroni on the top of it. I got a little vertigo looking over the edge. I'll give you Noo Yawkahs time to quit laughin'...

It's barely possible I was a little under-dressed for that joint. Hell, I went 'Truckee formal', which means I wore socks and zipped up my fly.

My school

I was a little surprised to find that my school has a Wikipedia entry. Be sure to scroll down to 'Notable former students'. The list is nowhere near complete, at least as far as to my day, but I knew the late Meredith MacRae quite well. Click on her name to read about a quality lady.

Well, that's about it. Since this was the first reunion I've been to in 45 years, at this rate look for a post about the next one in 2052.

No comments: