"You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory." from novel by Thomas Wolfe.
My family home was sold in 1993, my parents are deceased 15 years and my brothers are not living in Pittsburgh anymore. It really is impossible for me to go to a physical home in Pittsburgh. Thomas Wolfe was speaking about how we are different as we mature. Growing up in Greentree living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh for 42 years makes going back to Pittsburgh a homecoming for me every time I visit.
This visit was unique as I had an opportunity to see many of the people I attended Sts. Simon & Jude Grade School and Canevin High School for the first time in 36 years. Since I was 17 when I graduated from high school and this is our 36th year Reunion we have been apart more than twice the years that I was in age when we went out into the world to make our separate ways.
That's me in the second row standing to the left of Sr. Isabel with the other tall girls.
If you don't see these old classmates all the time may be best to begin with a warm up Pre Reunion dry run the evening before or a brunch the day of the Reunion.
Here I am standing in the second row left of Fr. Carey again with the tall girls
Sts. Simon & Jude the way we are now ;~)
Name tags with images from the yearbook are a nice touch. Even with the name tags there were still plenty of names and people who I never met while we were at Canevin for four years. I made a point to walk around the ball room a few times throughout the evening reading names to see if I missed anyone.
Dan Blankowski , Me and Ken Frazier
Karen Keane Janes and me, now facebook friends, share a quick picture.
Pat Topal Shank and I take a break from all the mingling. Pat a fellow Artist now a facebook friend said it was good to finally see me in 3-D ;~)
The 36 year Class Reunion felt like a cross between ourFreshman Mixer Dance and a Masquerade Ball. The Freshman Mixer was held at Canevin on a Friday night a few weeks after we began classes in 1970. During the Reunion I realized what an intuitive 13 year old girl I was. I was using the same skill, looking into each persons eyes to find nice people to speak with that night. It is said, "Eyes are the windows of the soul." Even if the person did not look the same at first as we spoke I could see in their eyes why some of those classmate I had chosen as friends in high school.
I'm in the middle again, second row, right of center, tall ladies are asked to sit.
I am seeing a pattern of me liking being in the middle of the group ;~)
Tips to make your Reunion or any social gathering more comfortable;
Wear something comfortable that expresses who you are. I chose plain black legging, a black tank top under my black bathing suit cover up. To dress up a very neutral canvas I accessorized my look with sparkley beaded slip on sandles, a vintage glass beaded glass shoulder bag and of course my own work by ricerafferty. Nouveaux Antique Gorget Style Silk Charmeuse Adornment Bib Statement Necklace is super light, comfortable and will make you memorable in any gathering.
Don't ask a lot of personal questions when you see someone after years of being apart.
Instead allow the person to open up like a flower blossom revealing what is comfortable for them to share about themselves.
Don't assume anyone has missed the opportunity to grow in 36 years.
Look into their eyes and allow them to share what is on their mind with you.
My husband was previously engaged for the day so I attended my Reunion solo. It is not a bad way to fly as you don't have to fill a date in on a lot of events they have no clue what you are talking about.
It is your Reunion don't be afraid to attend alone.
Relax, enjoy yourself and get to know old classmates in a new way.
Honestly, even if reunions are not your thing, all too soon the weekend will be over and it will be time to go back to the life you created for yourself.
Right now I am enjoying these images and the memories.
I look forward to helping Dan make our 40th a warm and welcoming event on July 19th, 2014 ;~)