A Trojan & A Spartan

Preface: Remember the Trojan War that started when a Trojan prince went to Sparta and abducted their queen? Well, this is kind of like that; except this time the Trojan was a college boy and the Spartan queen was Miss December.

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You have to have a union before you can have a reunion. Feel free to quote me on that.

Typically when I think of a reunion, I think of a group of people striving to be thinner, healthier, happier and appear more financially successful than they really are. You know, kind of like in Facebook World. But, as I discovered this weekend, that is not always the case.

Late last week, around the office, people were asking, “Big weekend plans?” You know the routine. My answer for this past weekend: “Why yes, we’re going to my Amazing-Missus’ high school reunion.” Typical reply: “I bet you’re thrilled about that [wink-wink].”

Actually I was looking forward to it. This was not my first gathering with the Bixby High School Class of 1972. This group reunites relatively regularly, and although I’m an outlier of several sorts, I’ve always been welcomed. Of course, why wouldn’t they, I am married to their Miss December (no centerfold involved), according to the 1972 Spartan Yearbook. And I am happy, blessed and humbled to say, that Miss December and I hold the title of being Married The Longest to the Same Person among this cohort.

 How Miss December got out of the house without her mother seeing that dress...?

How Miss December got out of the house without her mother seeing that dress...?

I am a few years older than these youngsters; proud Senior ’69 and only a few years away from being a 69 year-old senior. Not only am I older, but I didn’t even attend their school. Worse yet, I attended their biggest rival—the school just across the river. I was a Jenks Trojan.

If you’ve ever been around an Oklahoma University football fan, you know that if they see someone in a red shirt they will holler, “BOOMER!!” in hopes that the person will respond, “SOONER!!” In that spirit, if a Bixby Spartan hears the word “Jenks”, they reflexively reply, “Jenks Stinks!!”

Although it’s been many years since I attended a Jenks football game, as we gathered for the first of the reunion activities, a tailgate party at a Bixby Spartan football game, I couldn’t help feeling somewhat creepy and disloyal; like I might feel at a Re-elect Trump rally.

But this had nothing to do with old school rivalries or the fact that Bixby beat Jenks in football this year for the first time in 40 years. This was about re-unioning, re-membering, re-calling tales of simpler days; basically re-collecting.

In the last event of the weekend, a few of her classmates picked up guitars and provided a soundtrack of sorts for the reminiscing. And as a bonus, these guys were good, really good. I thought to myself, “I wish I had brought my drums.” One of my favorites of the night was Eric Clapton’s “Old Love”, somehow apropos for such a time as this. 

At one point, in that last event of the weekend, as they were scanning yearbooks of their youth through their bifocals, I thought about standing and admonishing them to remember the words of the Old Testament:

“Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

Or, for those who don’t speak King James:

“Don't long for ‘the good old days.’ This is not wise.” —New Living Translation

But surely it can’t hurt to reunite every few years and rekindle, can it? Sitting as an outsider watching the Bixby Class of ’72; NO, the answer is no, it can’t hurt a thing. After 45 years these people weren’t worried about waistlines, bottom lines or goal lines. They were just humans being human for a few hours.

As my Amazing-Missus said her good-byes and we left the reunion, I thought of this Beatles song, and her, and me, and Spartans Class of ’72, and the Trojans Class of ’69:

"In My Life"

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more