There was an all class reunion at the highschool all my siblings and I attended back in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Yeah, there were a lot of us. All my kids are graduates of the same place and most of Jay’s siblings, too.
Once, many years ago, we figured out that since Jay’s oldest brother, Jim, went there and lots of our kids and their cousins, there had been a Pivec or a Hubbell (or some iteration thereof) at Southwest High continuously for nearly 60 years.
Yeah, there are a lot of us.
In that time, the school changed its nickname from the Indians (my era) to the more politically correct Lakers (my kids’ era). The school went from a state powerhouse in cross country, hockey and girls track and field to a national powerhouse in chess. Times change.
Jay was president of his class, way back in the dark ages. As a gift upon graduation, they gave the school a mosaic of our school mascot which went into the middle of the floor in front of the main entrance. Horror of the insensitivity of an earlier age caused the school to cover the mosaic with a mat for the last 20 years or so.
Apparently, the mistakes of the past can never be used as a teaching opportunity: they must be covered up and destroyed.
I suspect, based on no evidence whatsoever, that the need to remove that tile floor is what prompted a complete overhaul of the school. This major remodel was just completed and an open house was the heart of the all-class reunion.
So Margy, who was never invited to any of her own class reunions*, flew into town for it. She and I visited the school to see the changes, which are numerous and significant. We barely recognized the classic, dingy old school of our past. Instead of a dank, brick hall way linking what used to be the late 60s era junior high with the classic 40s era senior high, there is now a massive, three story atrium, which includes the relocated cafeteria, a soaring open staircase and the new library (media center; libraries involve books which play a very small role in today’s mode of study, which I find kind of sad and scary) which hovers off the stairway, suspended between the second and third floors.
The rest of the school has also been revamped over the decades since we attended. Science labs are bigger, brighter and technologically compatible. There’s several large, beautiful studios for dance, music and theater. There’s a giant, very nice weight room filled with exercise equipment we never saw the likes of back in the day when we were state contenders (girls track) every year. By ‘we’, I mean our team, not us personally. By ‘our team’ I pretty much mean the Wahl girls. By ‘Wahl’ girls, I mean Kathy.
The halls of the school all seemed much wider than I remember. Several classrooms have been eliminated off of each floor to make room for study lounges. Big open spaces with tables, couches etc. There’s even a place in the center of the school called The Cove, which looked like something you’d find in a student union on a college campus, except for the signs warning “NO students allowed after school hours”, which of course, you’d never see at college.
All in all, a much brighter, cheerier, more inviting place than it was back in the mid-seventies.
If it had been like this back in my day… I still would have hated it.
My problem with school wasn’t that I wasn’t good at it, or it was boring, or I got picked on, or I had no friends. My problem was me.
I’ve never liked having my time structured. As long as school dictated when and where and how long I had to be at any time on any given day, I was going to hate it.
Even now, taking painting classes, which I love, at the Arboretum, one of my favorite places on earth, a part of me chafes at the fact that I’m expected to be there at a certain time and day.
I don’t even like having fun things marking up my calendar. Parties, weddings, concerts, plays…to me, they’re just marks on my schedule and therefor oppressive.
It’s me. I deal with it.
We ran into a few of our old classmates at the school, so that was fun. A few of Jay’s classmates were there. They wanted to know where he was. (He was at home, planting flowers.) Jay spends so much time in high schools, looking at recruits, the last thing he wants to do I his down time is hang out in one with no game going on.
There was a party Uptown afterwards. Margy and I picked up Katie and MJ and went. Seeing all the Hubbell sisters together is not something any of our individual classmates was used to, since our era spanned nearly 20 years. Not many remembered that I’d had a baby sister born when we were juniors. Someone asked me if Katie (8 years younger than I) was my niece. At least no one thought MJ was my daughter. That wouldn’t have been a new experience, either.
I could have brought my daughters! They’re both grads and they’re both old enough to drink. It’s kind of awesome when all your kids can go to bars with you.
After cocktails, my sisters went out for dinner and Jay picked me up: he and I went to the Medina Ballroom to see Ronnie Milsap in concert.
I don’t remember if I’d ever seen him before, but I’ve been a fan forever. He’s 74 now and can’t hit all the high notes but he still knows what he’s doing and the fans know the words to all 40 of his #1 hits.
He took a brief break in the middle of his set so his guitarist and back up vocalist, Rhonda, did a couple of Patsy Cline numbers. It was great!
He finished the night with Smokey Mountain Rain and America the Beautiful.
We couldn’t have had more fun!
she figured prominently in her older brother’s 10th reunion. The organizers did a survey asking among the questions “Who was your secret crush?” Margy won the survey,** which, let’s face it: explains a lot.
** Not actually being in that class disqualified her from the survey and the crown went to our sister in law, Heidi.