Going To My 40th High School Reunion by Kathy Brodrick
Why is it every time you go back home to a high school reunion you start feeling like a gawky, dorky teenager again? Tomorrow I will go to my 40th class reunion & it's starting already. I'm positive I got on the airplane (albeit huffing & puffing thru those wretched security lines) at EWR as a full-grown (yeah, all right I've padded on some poundage since 1965) adult on the brink of near senior citizenship, complete with grey hair & that frightful menopausal gutt. But here I sit zooming over the clouds thru the sky towards DFW feeling so small & regressing by the hour back to those days of adolescent insecurity. What shall I wear? What will they think? How will I look compared compared to all my schoolmates?
Of course I know intellectually that none of this really matters. Im happier now than I ever was back in Richardson, Texas. But even still, my inner lost child that teetered on the coveted cusp of coolness in the 60's is raring her teased (dare i say ratted?), sprayed, bleached - blonde flip! With what used to be big wide, brown eyes blinking with innocence, I now sit squinting thru tri-focals & wonder what I've gotten myself into! I've come a day early so there is plenty of time to rent a car & find my way thru the maze of highways, expressways, & toll ways that not only weren't here when I left in '68, but are delayed with slow, eeking, bumper to bumper traffic complete with total roadways closed due to construction & detours leading in circles, or at times to nowhere. Much like parts of my life back then. The first thing that strikes me is the BIG SKY in Texas, oh WOW! I forgot how it just goes on forever! Then there is the air, that sweet, wafting breeze that winds it's way thru my psyche & tugs at my heart strings reminding me that I am HOME...! I easily find the old neighborhood, the familiar avenues, my old street Beechwood Dr. & there it is! The house I grew up in!! What a beautiful sight! That gorgeous, sprawling rancher with jagged bricks & an Asian grillwork at the front steps. Those little baby sticks my parents planted are now huge, beautiful, graceful swaying trees! How is it possible that I only wanted to escape home when growing up here? I always wanted to be out, going to Deuback's Skating Rink, to the movies, to the Dairy Queen, around the corner at my best friend Tina's - ANYwhere but here! It was safe to be a kid back then, & it looks as if it is still safe around here now. But times have changed & so it seems have people. Or have they?
To be continued tomorrow