I had some designs on actually attending this significant University Reunion a number of years ago. I did know it was on its way. A pandemic covering the world put a stop to that.
But, since my graduation year hit a milestone, I decided to see what was going to happen online. I fully accepted that the lobster boil was not going to be on the menu.
When all is said and done, this past weekend’s events were fine enough. Zoom takes one to sundry places and I heard a couple of talks, and saw a tour of the campus. Not greatly different – I knew where I was. One residence built in my graduation year has since been totally renovated. I have not.
I was /was not surprised by the number of participants at the class reunion of my year. Twenty (20) to start the hour, seventeen (17) at the end. One of whom I actually knew. I said my two cents worth in passing.
I regret not sharing this story at the time, but didn’t want to hog the hour.
I had gone to a couple of earlier reunions , one where I was told by a server of the lobster boil: “I like your style.” I believe I was being praised for my gusto.
It was at my first reunion that this event happened. Tables were set in long rows, filling a hockey rink surface. Each table (and in certain places, a number of tables)had a large sign announcing the year of graduation. My year had three tables end to end, the year on each of them. I’d guess seating for 50 -60 folk. All the place settings were there, and each table had three bottles of unopened wine present. What was lacking were members of my graduating class. I would say there were fewer than a dozen.
And even they started to trickle away, I assume a few went to sit with friends. I know a number went to sit at the table where Anne Murray was seated. She was getting, I believe, an Honorary Degree (and a literal carved wooden chair). She was a legitimate graduate from years before, in Physical Education.
So, shortly before the food was served, I was left by myself at my Graduating Class table. But with most of that wine (some folk scooted off with a bottle or two). Decent hefty red – Marechal Foch.
I believe I finished two bottles.
At the end of the meal, there were ceremonies. I believe that is when Anne got her chair. However, there was something called “The Roll Call of the Years” I quickly discovered that, when each year was announced, all the folk from that year stood up at their table, by their year sign, and were applauded by everyone present.
I sat alone at my table.
I did not wish such attention paid me, but I had a dilemma. What was most obvious, to keep sitting (for everyone could read the class year), or to stand on my own?
Ladies and gentlemen, it helps to have two bottles of Marechal Foch giving you good cheer.
I rose from my seat at the announcement of my year and clasped both hands over my head, waving enthusiastically. I was cheered to the rafters.
I was even asked by a couple of other tables if I might want to join them.
There were still unopened bottles at ‘my’ table.