My 30-year high school reunion will take place this year—if it hasn’t already. But, sigh, I have no high school where to return. During my junior and senior years, my mom moved the family from the town where I grew up to Maine’s second-largest city in the south. While other kids wallowed in the memories, I walked the hallowed halls like an odd duck. I was a stranger among strangers. I left my memories and friends 300 miles away, in the town where I was born and there the school system that educated me. No memories. No prom. No graduation parties. No fun.
I regularly cut classes in the new school, which was quite unusual for me. I had bulked up on extra classes through junior year and was one-quarter credit shy of graduation going into my senior year. I only needed to sustain grades for college.
Ah, college. There was one school, which name I don’t recall, in California that would have taken me as a graduating junior. Given the abysmal senior year, I often regretted not taking the early admission. Not that it would have been easy. I would have entered college as an exceptionally immature 17 year-old.
I never faulted my mom for the move, despite the catastrophic upheaval to my walk down senior memory lane. She had four kids to raise, alone, and there simply wasn’t much gainful work in my home down. Down south, she would find a job and more hope. She made the right decision, and I encouraged it.
But, now, three decades later, I am orphaned. The high school where I graduated holds no meaning. My hometown school, where there were friends and memories, is asunder.
It’s strange to think of 30 years. I recall, being 17, looking ahead to the millennium, when I would be 41. The Year 2000 seemed so far away and 41 would be so old. My mom was just 35 when I graduated high school.
The millennium has passed by six years, and I wonder: When did 30 years go by?
Photo Credit: Jeremiah Sjoberg
Editor’s Note: Photo later resized larger from February 2007 original of Caribou High School Cheerleaders