We’ve Only Just Begun the Long and Winding Road…

6 Jun

Wildfires are  smoldering all around us, so in addition to the ongoing smell and haze, there are some places that are so smokey, they’ve had to relocate students to other schools.  We seriously need some rain.

I had one of the laziest weekends on record and I am still tired. C’mon coffee…give me a kick in the pants!

Yesterday I ran into my friend from high school at Starbucks. Actually, I didn’t run into her, she came there looking for me. Our former English teacher was in the paper–for a good reason, she won an award–and my friend figured I’d be at Starbucks at that time of day. so she ran right over to tell me about the article.

This conversation inevitably lead to an ongoing discussion she and I have been having about our pending high school reunion. She has mixed feelings about attending and keeps trying to convince me to go.

Apparently this past Friday June 3, was the 35th anniversary of our graduation. I remember it like it was, well, three decades ago. I was two months away from turning 18, which was a much bigger deal back then because 18 was the drinking age at the time. Oh, and you could vote at 18 too.

Our class had chosen The Carpenter’s song “We’ve Only Just Begun” as our Class Song. I remember at the assembly where they announced it had won, some girl behind me turned to her friend and said, “That’s a good choice. Because, if you think about it, we have only just begun.” Oh goodness, I hope so, I thought. I was 17 and I sure as shoot hoped life would get better than this!

I don’t remember the full list of contenders for class song, except I know “We’ve Only Just Begun”–clearly a song about getting married (which shows where the majority of my classmates had set their sights) beat out David Bowie’s “Fame” (‘Fame, what you like is in the limo/Fame, what you get is no  tomorrow…”), The Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road” (“You left me standing here, a long long time ago…”), and “My Way” (“The record shows, I took the blows and did it my way!”)

I remember one of our classmates sang “We’ve Only Just Begun” at graduation. When she got to the end of the song she said, “We, the Bicentennial Class…have only just begun.”

Again, God, I hope so–I’m only 17!” Plus, I was still a virgin. As countless teen comedies have shown us, no one wants to die a virgin.

The Bicentennial was a big deal that year. America was officially 200 years old about a month after I graduated. There were red, white and blue geegaws for sale on every corner. In July there was a huge celebration in New York. People came from all over the world.

While America celebrated, my high school classmates and I were busily just beginning. For some it was all about the “white lace and promises” Karen Carpenter sang about. For others, it was about college, trade school, the military, or who knew?

Now it is 35 years later. I blinked and here I was, sitting outside of Starbucks with one of the few former classmates with whom I am still in touch. And she is suggesting that I need to go to our high school reunion.

I am skeptical I will be attending the reunion, but you never know. So much water under the bridge since then–(Wait–was “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” one of the contenders for class song? I think maybe it was!) yet, not that long ago.

What a long and winding road it has been. Chronologically, I have not just begun, but theoretically, I am still very much a beginner. And, more or less, I did it my way.

But, at least I’m not a virgin anymore.

But I do have a job, so I have to go now…

Happy Monday

One Response to “We’ve Only Just Begun the Long and Winding Road…”

  1. Fred Lehman June 6, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    You should go. You know you will at least have one friend there and the two of you sit at people watch.

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