We arrived late due to traffic and not reading the schedule. We missed the pre-meal mingle. I recognized some right away. Jim, for example, must have found the elixir that eluded Ponce de Leon. The rest of us vary in the effect the ravages of time have had on us.
They led our party to a table. We ate as a slideshow looped on a screen in front of the room with images of days long past. I scanned the room and recognized some, others I had no clue who they were, but one thing I did notice...we all looked--well, for lack of a better term, a little broken. Not broken as in "doesn't work," but broken as in kind of beat up.
Some of us have gone through broken dreams, and broken bodies, and probably most have experienced broken hearts--not how a teenager would understand the term, but how those who have lived and worried about a sick child, or wondered how the mortgage would be paid or experienced the day-to-day events that come with age would define "a broken heart." And even though we seemed to all have a good time, I think many would admit that they were a little tired.
After dinner we played a game (or some of us did...), but mostly we reminisced and spoke to each other as memories churned from the depths of our experiences and reminded us just how long it has been. From each corner of the room came laughter as we got to know each other again. I had SO many good friends in those days, so many times we sat in classes and attended games and plays and concerts, all in a building that no longer exists.
Against a wall stood a row of tables on which were placed objects that held so much importance to many of us during our tenure as students of Davis High School. Lettermen and cheerleader jackets, a set of pom-poms, but at the end of the table were flowers and a video screen showing the faces of friends no longer with us. Their smiles bring a sense of melancholy, but one face in particular is haunting.
As the night ebbed, we said our goodbyes. I spoke to many, but not everyone. I tried to thank those who put in the hard work so the rest of us would have a good time. To be honest, before the reunion I was a little nervous about going, but as we walked from the Timberline Steakhouse in Ogden, Utah, to our car in the parking lot I was glad I came and glad my wife was able to come with me. It did, however, make me wish more of those good friends from decades past could have been there and had a good time, too.