I attended my 50th college class reunion this past weekend. The two basketball teams I played for were inducted into the Hall of Fame. A very humbling experience that I never expected.

After graduating from high school in 1961 I was offered basketball scholarships to three universities. I selected Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. There are several reasons for selecting this particular school.

One, it was one of the top five academic schools in the nation at that time. Most schools have a GPA (Grade Point Average) based on a four or five point scale. An “A” is 4 points; “B” is 3 points and so on. Kilgore had a 3-point system. You didn’t get any points for being a “D” Student.

Two, it was a two year junior college that would immediately give me more basketball playing time than I would have experienced at a four year school. And three, Kilgore is the home of the World Famous Kilgore Rangerettes Girls Drill Team.

Class Reunions 101

Usually the first reunion you will attend is your ten-year reunion. You still know everyone, old boyfriends and girlfriends are just starting to put on weight and have a little less hair. Most are married by then and divorced as well. The majority of conversation centers around what a great job you have and how your kids are doing in little league or how smart they are. This is the one that a few people will get overly drunk, rekindle old arguments, and make fools of themselves. Very entertaining for the crowd, unless you’re the one being the jerk.

A lot of people will miss the 15th class reunion. First of all, it’s too close to the last one and people are beginning to scatter to the four winds. It’s getting tougher to find who lives where and contact them.

The 25th reunion is better attended because by now the kids are in college and out of the house. And the topic is travel or the work done to the house or the volunteering. Jobs are still a hot topic because this is where some of your classmates start leaving others in the economic dust. Here is where the doctor’s, lawyers, and professionals are beginning to see the big paydays. It’s the “show off” reunion.

The Big 50

The 30th through the 45th are usually attended heavily but those who still live in the area. Our lives get so busy, and these off years just don’t have the allure of the big
FIVE-O. If your last reunion was the 25th and you now find yourself at your 50th, the first thing you are going to realize is — you are going to have a hard time recognizing some of these people. It’s not weight, hair or cosmetic changes — age makes you look different. Once you reconnect with the person you can see bits and pieces of the younger version peeking through. I don’t want that to come across as a negative and I’m sure it probably sounds that way. I don’t mean to infer that people physically change and look bad — Just different. What will be the main topic of conversation at your 50th reunion? Health — cancer, knee and hip replacements, various operations and ailments and grandchildren.

Some Final Thoughts

So what will be the next big milestone for me? Sixtieth? Seventy-fifth? I guess that’s anyone’s guess. But if I make it that far I’ll be sure to take good notes to prepare you for whatever topics take center stage. Great grandchildren? Which reunion do you have coming up? Are you on a weight loss program? Clothes shopping on your “to do” list? Got a reunion story you’d like to share?