02 October 2017


Jan Grape
Jan here… I was asked by our class secretary, Orabeth White, to read this poem at our 60th Class Reunion banquet.


Every 10 years, as summertime nears,
An announcement arrives in the mail,
A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand;
Make plans to attend without fail.

I'll never forget the first time we met;
We tried so hard to impress.
We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars,
And wore our most elegant dress.

It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel.
We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined,
And everyone thought it was swell.

The men all conversed about who had been first
To achieve great fortune and fame.
Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses
And how beautiful their children became.

At our 20th, the homecoming queen,
who once had been lean
Now weighed in at one-ninety-six.
The jocks who were there had all lost their hair,
And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.

No one had heard about the class nerd
Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon;
Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain;
Why she'd married a shipping tycoon.

The boy we'd decreed 'most apt to succeed'
Was serving ten years in the pen,
While the one voted 'least' now he's a priest;
Just shows you can be wrong now and then.

They awarded a prize to one of the guys
Who seemed to have aged the least.
Another was given to the grad who had driven
The farthest to attend the feast.

They took a class picture, a curious mixture
Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties.
Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini;
You never saw so many thighs.

At our next get-together, no one cared whether
They impressed their classmates or not.
The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal;
By this time we'd all gone to pot.

It was held out-of-doors, at our lake shores;
We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans.
Then most of us lay around in the shade,
In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.

By the fiftieth year, it was abundantly clear,
We were definitely over the hill.
Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed
But be home in time for their pill.

And now I can't wait; they've set the date;
Our 60th is coming, I'm told.
It should be a ball, they've rented a hall
At the Shady Rest Home for the old.

Repairs have been made on my hearing aid;
My pacemaker's been turned up on high.
My wheelchair is oiled, and my teeth have been boiled;
And I've bought a new wig and glass eye.

I'm feeling quite hearty, and I'm ready to party
I'm gonna dance 'til dawn's early light.
It'll be lots of fun; But I just hope that there's
One other person who can make it that night.

— Author Unknown

Image may contain: 16 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor
photo courtesy of Debbi Ethridge Hanks
(whose dad is very tall guy behind me,)

As you can see by the photo that I wasn't the only one to show up at my 60th high school reunion in Post, Tx. (Post is 35 miles southeast of Lubbock) It was a nice group of 21 from the class of '57.Thirty-three have passed away. There were four who were too sick to attend.fortunately 2 had only minor illnesses. There are 3 who have never attended a reunion and we don't know if they are still alive. They just don't want anything to do with our high school period.Two of the class sponsors attended and one of the coaches. We also had some children, grandchildren, and of course, spouses who graduated in other years or who attended school elsewhere.

We all had a grand time. Some of us attended the Post Antelope's football game on Friday nigh, watching our 'lopes and afterwards met for coffee and donuts. Our banquet was held on Saturday night There were many hugs, laughs and a few tears as we discussed our current lives and brought up the old days. Rumors were flying around the room faster than you could imagine about who did what in which class. We all denied the bad and laughed about the good. And the best part was we voted to do this all again in three years.

I'm so glad I got to go and look forward to 2020. Now surely I can come up with a good story from this adventure. In fact, my travel buddy, Leslie McBride who I've known since 2nd grade, fell as they were locking the door to the Fellowship Hall and severely broke her left arm. They took her to Lubbock by ambulance and she had surgery on Sunday, putting in two steel rods. One in each forearm bones.. Her daughter who she lives with in the Hill Country near me came to Lubbock and brought her home. I had to drive back all by my self. Took me 7 hours from Lubbock because I stopped several times to keep my legs and knees from getting stiff. (Leslie is the one in the photo in the right front second from the end. She's, dressed in black and has white hair. I'm in the front row, second from the left end in white pants in case you aren't sure about me.)

Now there has to be a criminal tale about someone getting a broken arm at a class reunion. Maybe along the lines of "It was a dark and stormy night…"

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