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Rebecca’s High School Reunion: Reflections from a Spouse

My wife—AKA Becky—went to her high school reunion: rah-rah!
to which she invited me, avoiding hints of complicity. (ha ha)
To Kansas City on Southwest Airlines, via Las Vegas on the way,
we eventually arrived in Emporia, Kansas, all on the same day.

I learned that Becky’s school was not of the ordinary,
but a laboratory school and, as such, rather extraordinary.
Roosevelt High—that was the name—began so in 1920,
lasting for fifty years, a good stretch, until ending in 1970.

A laboratory school, so special, innovative teaching techniques,
exploring ways to reach students, recognizing each as unique.
Accessing special instructors, even a swimming pool, so cool,
the ratio of students to teachers small, thus easier to rule.

Friday’s daytime party, hosted by Claudia and John, their gift,
was agreed to be the Class of ’68 weekend highlight, a notable lift.
Saturday featured a banquet for all graduates of Roosevelt High,
food from Olpe’s Chicken House, memorable eatery to all—sigh!

A highpoint for Becky was giving a keepsake to Coach Slaymaker—
the banquet’s featured speaker, who delivered a veritable haymaker.
Becky bequeathed her basketball, to be enshrined for local display,
a memory from when she was her school’s Courts Queen. Hurray!

From Becky’s class of thirty, I met twenty and tried to blend,
with Bev at alphabet’s beginning to Tom bringing up the end.
Twins Donna and Ronna did bridge a whopping gap in between,
perchance arguing they’d homesteaded fifteen letters of nineteen.

So what did I make of that weekend’s bustle, such activity to relish,
as I observed friendships rekindled, heard stories ripe to embellish?
Many pictures were taken, documenting that weekend so memorable,
reflections of those intervening years long past, too often ephemeral.

Much had transpired in those in-between years—defined as the past,
when times were simpler, no iPhones existed, and life wasn’t so fast.
As I watched Becky revel, renewing old bonds with nary a misgiving,
‘twas like a time machine had returned all to their teenage beginning.

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2 Comments

  • Linda Beach says:

    Paul,
    I have read that there is no better way to feel young than to be with those that knew us when we actually were young. At this age we all need a time machine!

  • Camie Piccolo-Nicholson says:

    You did your wife’s reunion justice. Glad she had fun. 🙂

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Class of ’63 High School Reunion

Reunion Cover_26Aug18

I attended my high school reunion, it happened last week:
we’d graduated fifty-five years earlier, an amazing streak.
It was good to see friends from a lifetime long past,
when times were much simpler, and life wasn’t so fast.

I saw friends, I saw girls whom I’d loved from afar,
I saw those who’d been athletes, those who’d had a car.
I saw others who’d always been much smarter than I
and those who’d been outspoken and those who were shy.

We told stories, most of which were funny indeed,
from a time when our naïve minds rarely took heed,
when common sense too often flew way out the door,
until adulthood made us eventually appreciate the score.

But most of all we reveled in our friendship, our history,
from a period when ethics and morals were no mystery.
We were born from that synchrony, from that ancestral leg,
as if we had all hatched from the same primordial egg.

BUT (and this is true):

As one who came from afar, I credit our reunion team,
who arranged for our venue, to which we would stream.
At the local country club, our reservation we’d redeem,
on the eighteenth of August, two thousand eighteen.

But then the worst happened, we could not have foreseen,
when a younger reunion class did conspire, plot and scheme,
to invalidate our site that months before was our theme,
in their favor, so wrong and unfair we wanted to scream.

So what are we to make of this sleight of hand so extreme,
that a sister high school class could so lower our esteem?
Had values so diminished—ten years later lost their sway—
from when honesty and fairness were proudly our ‘63 way?

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4 Comments

  • Ed says:

    Paul,love this. The canter is awesome, I read it to Nancy and it was like reading Dr. Suess.

  • Camie Piccolo-Nicholson says:

    Did you really get ousted from your original venue? Wow that’s messed. We had our reunion in August and had to change venues a week before. I was part of our committee team and that was hard to do, kudos to your committee team. Enjoyed your poem.

  • Linda Beach says:

    Will there be another reunion rhyme from Roosevelt High? It will be from a different perspective, and not in the mirror that time has altered. See you on the yellow brick road in Kansas.

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The Heaven We Ignore

Sad Teenage Girl_12Apr18
I’ve made an acquaintance named Jayne—not her real name—
who’s seen troubles a plenty, that have set her life aflame.
She struggles to stay on course, to fashion a stable life,
but the curse of depression dangles over, a Damocles’ knife.

That’s not to say there have not been good times as well;
there have been, prompting joy, with happy stories to tell.
But too often follows darkness, many praying for a remedy,
family desperate for serenity, freedom from the misery.

So as a friend who’s lived through three score and ten,
who’s seen it all and then some, what is it I could pen
that might provide some philosophy, guidance, or hope,
from my lifetime of observation that could help her to cope?

I’ve seen beauty, selflessness, and I’ve experienced true love,
to the point where I question if heaven could be better above.
I say “Fight for it, Don’t give up,” try to push the demons away,
because the heaven God intends for us may, in fact, be today.

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2 Comments

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