Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Well, THAT was fun!

I haven't been back to my hometown in many years. Wilmington, Ohio, is not where I was born, nor where I went to my early grade-school years. I moved there when I was 10, and graduated from high school there in 1969.

Forty-five years ago.

And my, my, how it's changed from the last time I was there.

Six rooms and one bath were all my family of five needed when 
I was growing up. I used to climb the maple tree in the front yard 
with an armload of books in the summer and read all day.
The library and high school are much, much larger, and one elementary school is completely gone, transformed into a park. It had the best sledding hill in town when I was a child, and was within walking distance of the house where I grew up.

Downtown has been spruced up while chain stores and fast-food joints ring the perimeter of the city. Wilmington College's campus is just as lovely as it's always been, an oasis of green grass and stately old trees, right before the commercial sprawl begins.

My classmates gathered on both Friday and Saturday evenings, and I was so happy to see old friends again. The differences in background and social standing fall away as we get older. All those things which separated us decades ago are distilled into one fact: We grew up in Wilmington. We graduated high school in 1969. We made it back to remember, catch up and, hopefully, stay in touch.

I got lots of compliments on how I haven't changed. My friends are so polite! We've all changed, a lot, but I was grateful for their kind words and name tags helped a lot.
Me, 1969 and 2014. BIG difference!
I'm so glad I went. It's a long drive from southern West Virginia to southwest Ohio, but it was so worth the effort. There's talk of planning an annual event from now on, and I'd certainly love to go if that happens. The reunion committee did a wonderful job. I can't thank them enough for creating more great memories.

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