Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's on...

It's hard to believe that the past 8 months have gone so fast.  Our reunion team kicked into motion in December of last year, and now we are two days from the reunion.  Time goes so quickly.

I can't wait to see all of you again.  We were a class of almost 200 people.  Some of us were inseparable back then.  Some of us hardly knew each other.

But regardless, we all share a common timeline.  And after 35 years, that timeline links us together in a way that makes us all dear, life long friends.

When I think back about my past 35 years, I think of my struggles, my triumphs, and my ongoing journey toward understanding who I am and what it means to be alive.

And I am struck by the understanding that what we have achieved in our lives is far less important than what we have experienced.

And more important than anything are the lives we touch as we make our way through life.

I wanted to lose 10 pounds before the reunion.  I wanted to get a little tan on my feet (that haven't seen the sun in over a year).  I wanted to complete some of the very incomplete person that I am.

But really, none of that matters.  Shiny or dull, I am who I am.

And you are perfect as you are.  I am so excited to see you all again.

Please come, and let's celebrate and remember the amazing year of 1979.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why a 35th high school reunion?

(Originally posted on Facebook by Robin)

Why a 35th high school reunion? Good question, really. The person in the first photo (above) did not LOVE high school. It was not the "time of her life", but she has grown up and realized one important thing ... the people in the second photo (below) are the people she grew up with. 

Some figuratively and some literally. They are the people that walked the same path at the same time ... and had different experiences ... and now they're all grown up and gone their separate ways, and I'm interested not so much in revisiting who they were then ... but learning who they have become. Together we shared many firsts, and the lesson that I learned from my time with Steve Hooks is that you just never know when we'll be sharing our lasts. I hope to see you at the reunion ... let's catch up ... because these are the ongoing times of our lives!!! If you cannot come, please drop us a note and update us on your life. We will miss you!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Steve Hooks left us yesterday. After a surprise accident and routine surgery, he suddenly and unexpectedly perished, leaving us all stunned and saddened.

 It was impossible to not love Steve. He had a boundless spirit that lit up the room. He was loud, playfully provocative, funny, and a joy to be near. He treasured his friends and made sure that we knew it. His love of life was infectious. His unflinching embrace of the human struggle he shouldered was humbling.

 After reconnecting with some of our AHS classmates, I have been a more frequent lurker on Facebook. One night, I got myself into deep Facebook water by pledging to get down with my bad self and dance the night away with Robin. Knowing that I have no dance skills whatsoever, Robin mercifully has not called me on that pledge.

 But shortly after that exchange, 70’s disco and funk favorites started popping up on my Facebook timeline. Steve had appointed himself as my new minister of music, and had taken it upon himself to prep me for my dancing debut. From Shalamar to Joe Tex, and Kool and the Gang to Instant Funk, he diligently built me a library of danceable late 70’s tunes. His last submission was ten days ago; James Brown, “People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul.”

 That was Steve. He loved to laugh. He wanted to ride in every Corvette he saw. He made the people around him feel good.

 A while ago, Steve posted something that, paraphrased, read, "Don't wait and say nice things about me at my funeral …tell me now." Thanks to Steve being the person that he was, many of us did get the chance to do just that. That is comforting today.

 We have a limited time in this world, and our fortunes can change in a moment. Bearing that in mind, I will remember Steve for many things, but importantly for the lessons he taught me. Steve has helped me to value the friends I had forgotten. He has taught me about humility and perseverance. He has made my life more meaningful by including me in his.

 He always ended with, “friends for life.” Even longer than that, buddy. God bless you Steve.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Generic Blog Post

Here's a blast from the past.  Remember these packages in the grocery stores?

Starting sometime in the late seventies, these generic products began showing up on grocery shelves.  I did a little research, and found out that Chicago based Jewel Food Stores pioneered the introduction of generic grocery products into the US market, with a range of 44 items in February 1977. The program was so successful that Jewel Food Stores quickly increased its generic line to about 100 items.

About the time we turned 18, the generic rage was in full swing.  I remember thinking the beer was just about the funniest thing I'd ever seen.  It was nasty beer, too.  Especially the light beer.  Bleh!

Remember how all of the generic products were lined up side by side on their own store shelves?  

For a couple of years there, you could buy generic everything!  Then it turned into a joke...

Then suddenly, the novelty faded.  A couple of years later,  the packaging disappeared from the shelves and it was all over.  Amazingly, most of the people I work with today have no idea this ever happened.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sunday Get-Together

After our last reunion planning meeting, Leon Byrd took a few minutes to document our crowd, and then put this cool video together.  Nice job, Leon!

It's easy to see which of us was hard at work, and which of us was goofing off.  I have the distinct honor of being the one caught coming out of the bathroom.  I hope that doesn't count as my fifteen minutes of fame!

I think there were fourteen of us at the meeting.   There's a few more of us every time we get together.  Our next planning get-together is March 23rd.  If you are in the area, stop in!