"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

40th High School Class Reunion ~Makes My Heart Hurt On Reflection

This past Saturday I attended my 40th High School Class reunion. Who knew, or even thought about such a thing when they graduated? I took this picture minutes before I left for the reunion , to attend it with my husband's sister who graduated the same year, same high school. The high school where I met my husband. Yes, I did marry my high school sweetheart, and am still very much in love with him, and very happily married!

I did not know many people there, I attended Mount Tahoma High School in Washington for 2 years, and before that attended Hayfield High School in Virginia. I received invitations for that 40th reunion too. Two high schools on opposite coasts of this very big nation. Two perspectives, very different from each other, the mind-set and expressed values of each side of our nation , two Washingtons, also very different.

I began high school ( 9th grade) in Alexandria , Virginia when Martin Luther King was peacefully marching for civil rights. I saw and lived in parts of the country where racial segregation was the law of the land, and it puzzled me, because I was from the Pacific Northwest where this was foreign to me.I was an Army brat, and saw my father play his guitar and sing along with his fellow brothers-in-arms on our own lanai in Hawaii, share meals with them,the men he fought along-side, who were of all races, only to see they were not allowed to drink from the same water fountain as us ,or attend school with me, in the south ( Fort Polk, Louisiana). I saw first-hand the burning and trashing of Alexandria in the late 60's, the destruction of much of Washington D.C., the encampment around Mt. Vernon ( home of George Washington) and the utter pollution and vandalism of the Potomac and surrounding areas by so-called "civil rights " groups, witnessed by my sisters and me  as my father would steer his boat down the Potomac River past Mt. Vernon. My sisters and I saw all this, and we were of an age we did not realize we were seeing America at a crossroads, for better or worse.

I still have our local newspaper from Washington D.C. excitedly proclaiming "Man Lands On The Moon!" This was my reality in the late 60's and on into the 70's, and I did not know it was nation-changing history.What I did know was my father was being sent to Vietnam again, and his 2nd tour was during a time I saw and began to resent my fellow country-men & women.( This was my perspective in the 70's )I saw my father return home only to have to NOT wear his uniform to & fro in this country without fear of violence from his own people..and to this day I have few kind thoughts toward these people, many who betrayed our nation & rule our nation now.The ones who showed little  honor, ( sorry, this is my blog & I'll say it plainly for once) defected, and left a generation of honorable men and women to fight, die, be imprisoned, leaving  these very rebels to rule and ruin in these days.Bad judgement from our leaders caused the loss of so many at such a young age who chose to honor their country's laws. ( please know I am not defending the war ). I have seen honor scorned & mocked, the good betrayed by the very people they fought for. Those returning from war were demoralized and even broken, not by enemies of our country without, but enemies within. I truly believe this nation lost many of the best and  most honorable during these years .

My high school reunion was pleasant. I was not going to go, but in the end attended with my husband's oldest sister. We graduated the same year. I talked to a few of the people I knew, but did not share the history with them they shared with so many others.I did not grow up in any one place, and I really felt that. Mostly I wanted to ask the people I knew,"How is your life?"  "What makes you happy?" "What have you learned to value after all these years?" But, I did not,wish I had. Seems after all these years that silly high school intimidation and fear sets in...soooooo  high school of me! May I ask you,after all these years, what would your answer be to these questions?

Well, there, I have shared things that have been on my mind for years. I just might delete this post if I think too much about it, but probably won't. I want to share these things with my children & grandchildren. I still don't know what to do with some of these feelings,and they remind me of how much I hurt for my father, he was honorable, and he suffered the scorn of countrymen he truly believed he fought for.Honor seems to have turned into a "situational ethics" show, and the deeply held values of generations past seem to hold little import for so many, again, offered up for ridicule & mockery.But I know God takes care of this, in His time.May we examine our hearts, our loyalties, and think for ourselves, asking for God's wisdom & discernment. Please? "But as for me, I trust in Thee , O Lord, I say "Thou art my God". My times are in Thy hand;" Psalm 31: 14,15


Keetha Broyles said...

I just went to my 40 reunion also. I had a very similar experience of only knowing a few and other than conversations with those few, I just greeted and smiled at the others.

My vantage point for the civil rights struggle was different than yours. I lived in Central Wisconsin in a city where there were no blacks, so what I saw of that struggle was on a black and white television screen. But as I saw the images of people being dragged away by police, sometimes being bashed in the head - - - I DID realize it was a monumental event. I couldn't believe we could treat other humans with such disregard.

And about landing on the moon - - - which actually happened in the 60's - - - I remember watching that on a small B & W TV too. And years later while teaching 8th graders in Earth Science I was SHOCKED to find that many if not most of them don't even believe it really happened. They think it is a huge hoax orchestrated by the government. They all saw some documentary on TV which gave them those negative ideas and what THEY see on TV seems more real to them than what they hear an old teacher like me say.

KathyB. said...

Keetha, I do remember the landing on the moon ( yes, the 60's) was very exciting for me. I followed the stories about it as closely as I could. I used to dream about being in a Star Trek kind of universe, my fantasy, ( I am a closet Trekkie)and until I lived in the South, I could never have believed such differences and opinions regarding the races existed. Really.I saw my father over the years change his long held beliefs about these issues probably because he fought alongside so many men of different races.I do not judge any of the men & women from these eras...and am so thankful such ignorance and prejudice is no longer tolerated. What hurts me even to this day is the way our men & women in arms were treated then, and I am seeing it re-occurring now. As the mother of a Marine, the daughter of a soldier, this hurts more than I can express.

I have wondered who the people are that think the moon landing is a hoax,and you know people who believe it is a hoax? I am flabbergasted!You always have the most amazing things to say..and I know my husband would be so impressed you love football and want to blog about it!( I can't let him read your blog...he might expect this of me. :> )

BTW, are you insinuating t.v. isn't always accurate? At least you did not cast doubts on the truth of the internet...we all know everything on the net is the truth, right?

Farmgirl Cyn said...

My 40th would have been last year, but I do not think there was a reunion. I think I would want to get personal with those I hung out with in high school...ask them about eternity, which weighs heavy on my mind. Knowing that wide is the path that leads to destruction, and many there are who travel it, I would ask what road they are on. I am burdened more and more for the souls of others...and seeing where our country is headed right now and the unrest in the world makes eternity very real.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I just saw your comment on folks who think the landing on the moon was not real...Sheesh! Where do they come up with this stuff????

A.K.W. said...



Pondside said...

Kathy, this one is right from your heart - like all your posts. We are close in age, so my memories are like yours. While we didn't go through the civil rights struggle you had in the US, we watched it on the news every night. Draft dodgers came up here and many of them settled and became citizens. Some came due to conscience and some out of fear. Even after all these years I can pick them out.
My husband was a 28 year air force member. At one time, in our capital city, members were advised to think before wearing their uniforms if riding the bus to HQ. The military in Canada has never had the support I see in your country. Canadians would like to see our military deployed only in peace keeping - I think they've grown complacent.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Kathy, I am thankful for your father, my uncle, husband, brother-in-laws, friends of mine and those I don't know who fought in that horrible war. I, too, am appalled at how they were treated upon their return home.

I too grew up in the PNW, and though we are not racism free, it never has been as bad as in the south. Racism hurts us all, and I appreciate reading your thoughts on everything that you wrote here today. I hope that you don't not delete it, and it IS YOUR blog ... you can say whatever you want to whenever you want to.

I have things that I have been thinking about certain subjects that won't make it onto my blog, but at least having my blog helps me focus on the good things in my life.

As far as the reunion goes, I am FB friends with many of my high school friends, and when I went to our 35th, I had fun. I always had friends in all the groups so it wasn't very intimidating to me.

As far as answers to your questions ... I took the long way around, but yes, I am happy!

Kathy M.

KathyB. said...

Farmgirl Cyn, I have been thinking about such things too. How can I serve Him more.The direction I see our country, (and the world) going is what tells me also that things are dire,and people desperately need God, and His wisdom & discernment for their lives.

I had heard about people who don't believe we actually landed on the moon but Keetha's the lucky lady who knows some! :)

KathyB. said...

Pondside,thank-you for your thoughtful comment.I suppose I should mention I admire people who live out true, heart- felt convictions.But the draft-dodgers I hear about simply did not want to go to war and fled. They receive great public support from many, which makes it all the more sad for those who lost so much by obeying the laws.That is kind of what I am talking about, honor, or the lack thereof, flaunted with pride . 40 plus years is a long time to me, but seems such a short to me for so much to have happened, especially in our countries.

KathyB. said...

Oregon Gifts of Comfort & Joy~ "horrible war" is right!War is always heart-breaking to me, and the loss of lives on both sides is such a waste, such a loss.

After so many years of life after high school, happy is a very good place to be, content with the life God has blessed us with, in spite of struggles.

LindaSue said...

"How is your life?" "What makes you happy?" "What have you learned to value after all these years?
Life is incredibly painful and lonely. What makes me happy? memories, cookies, my pets, dear friends, feeling useful.
What have I learned to value? oh my goodness - life - every stinkin' painful, wrought out of the mess which is our country moment - L'Chaim - To Life!
Never went to a reunion - I felt so little connection with the people in school - I marched in civil rights demonstrations at college, antiwar demonstrations (although being daughter of a military man - I KNEW it wasn't the men and women in service who were doing evil - it was the leaders of our country)
Wow you touched a nerve with this one but it is good - our generation has scabbed and scarred over our outrage. For too long.
About it being the South where discrimination took place - well it was overt here - but look how long it took for the military to be fully integrated, to elect different racial groups to public office -- there is something deep in our sinful nature which wants to divide world into "them and us"

Deanna said...

Hello Kathy. Beautiful scripture. Wonderful post. I graduated from High School in 1973! I was camping in Colorado when the landing on the moon took place and listened to the auto radio. As they shared this event I remember looking up at the moon thinking that I could see the men on the moon. Haha....imagination was active.

A great deal was going on making history. Fascinating.

I had 4 cousins in Vietnam. 3 came home alive and one didn't.

The things that make me happy these days is so different than what made me happy when I was a teenager. Thankful I have more in depth feelings about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Enjoyed your post and agree with much of what you are saying.

God bless you and may you have a wonderful rest of the summer. Glad you went to your reunion. Mine's coming up.....will I go?


KathyB. said...

LindaSue, I agree with you! On reflection, every stinkin' minute of life we're granted is precious. And yes, discrimination & prejudice are shown & experienced in many ways, everywhere, but until we moved to the South, I had never known anything like that. And I know, like you, it is not the military men & women , but the leaders of our country who made the decisions, but I do remember the way so many good men & women returning home were treated. I watched the news and saw such hateful behavior from my peers towards good men like my father...and it did make me angry.I'm way over it, but the whole era is a dark time in my memory. The best thing about the 70's for me was my marriage to my husband and the birth of our 3 children, and Jesus saving me! L'Chaim, to life!

KathyB. said...

Deanna, thank-you.The things that make me happy now are very different than what I would have considered way back when.

I am so sorry to read one of your cousins did not come home alive from Vietnam. So many young men did not,and so many more came home broken. I am grateful we as a country learned from this and our new generation of war veterans are given better consideration & treatment.

Dolores said...

Kathy..... I love the beautiful picture of you. You are truly one of those people who are beautiful inside and out!!

I've never been to any of my high school reunions. There was between 2 and 3 hundred in our graduating class.
It's good you had your sister in law to go with. I would go if I had a friend from the past to go with.