High School Reunion – Friday Morning

Day One.   I step out of the airline terminal into the perfect weather of a southern California summer.  The temperature is 72 F, the humidity is low but not desert dry,   A gust of nostalgia brushes through me, remembering a youth when shorts and a t-shirt were my wardrobe, and orange blossom scented the air in spring. What greets me now is miles of cement and skyscrapers and traffic. 

My companions are arriving later, so I hop on  the shuttle to the Marriott Irvine.  They don’t have my reservation.  My confirmation number is in my suitcase.  Five o’clock in Raleigh was a long time ago.  This is, after all, my 50th high school reunion, which means a spring chicken I ain’t .  A pleasant young Hispanic man gives me a room on the twelfth floor at the group rate, even though he does not find my reservation, so all is well. 

Yvonne and Joan ring me at 4:00 pm or so, and we meet downstairs for a drink and chatter.  We have met up before, in Nevada City a couple of years ago, so the changes time has wrought in our bodies is not a shock.  The relationships between us hasn’t changed much at all – we find plenty to talk about it. 

Yvonne and Joan have rented a red Chevy Impala.  We take off in grand style to our old haunts in Santa Ana.  The three of us lived in the south side of town, and we find our homes were within blocks of each other, though we didn’t know it until Junior High School. We wonder how our families managed in these tiny, one bathroom houses.  They seemed bigger back then. 

The drive-in where we used to hang out is tiny and shabby.  I swear it isn’t where I remember, but am outvoted by Joan and Yvonne.  It doesn’t spark many memories because it is so dilapidated, and the big, warehouse type building next to it sits on what was once a parking lot.  (I think).  It was called the IN N’ OUT, nothing to do with the current chain, but I always think of this one, our Mecca,  when I pass one.  It was the ritual Friday night hang out, or any night when we could snag our parents’ car and  cruise past on Main Street to see if the current indispensable boy- of- our- lives was there.  If he was there, we never stopped for a coke, just shrieked and hid our heads. 

2 thoughts on “High School Reunion – Friday Morning

  1. Jeanette Bean

    Beautiful! Never thought of putting it in writing. I took pictures, however, and will send them to you! Loved your reminiscing. My plane was late getting in Friday, so I didn’t make the Marriott until 7PM. You were gone by then, but some of my best “visiting” was Friday evening.
    Keep in touch. (Photos coming.)

  2. Joanie ORTIZ Smith

    Hi Kay….what a great idea putting this on paper….it sounds like you have it right so far..now you are going to continue aren’t you?….
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends…I went to Las Vegas to have Christmas with 3 of my 5 kids…it was great…we celebrated at my condo/time share…one of my sons, Steve, who lives in Las Vegas brought me a 4ft. Pointsetta plant and I put some white twinkle lights on it…and it looked great…had it for our Christmas tree…will continue doing that year after year….really looked festive.
    Talk at ya later…Hugs, Joanie