Friday, June 16, 2006

We're all bozos on this bus. --Firesign Theatre

I survived my high school reunion just fine. I guess Cheryl (who didn't show up after telling me ten years ago she would) was right: it takes about twenty years before people mature enough to be tolerable. I figure this is because most of them have gotten married, had kids, and potentially have grandkids by that time... those things will grow a person up. But we also discovered that this isn't a cure-all; the people who organized this event discovered that half of the people in our class are still in or within 20 miles of town, yet not many of them showed up. Someone speculated that people have busy lives and so forth, and I said "Maybe so, but at this moment Johnny (who told people the reunion was cancelled!) is over at Richard's house getting stoned. They are not busy." cherries - Zillah, WA The total number of people who showed up was around 20, which out of a class of 90 -- and as said, many of which are still within a half-hour's drive -- isn't so great, but as I told Lori who was venting about how much work went into trying to get folks to attend, she held up her end and it was the rest of the class that dropped the ball. To avoid blathering on about people you don't know (or maybe do) I'll take the full discussion of the reunion to the Daybook of Say Something Cryptic. I'm a month and a half overdue on writing a monthly entry there anyhow, and will get around to that sometime soon. To follow up on what I said here last week... The people I was wary of seeing either mellowed out or didn't attend. The people I wanted to see didn't attend, but I had fun nonetheless. And that girl must have gotten over that phase because she's now married with two kids. The coppers in the old home town didn't notice me because there was an ABATE motorcycle club event downtown -- welcome to Sturgis, Washington!! The coppers of the next town over did notice me when I was going from my parents' house to the cemetary where my esteemed forebears reside, but that's because I had a brake light out, which I didn't know about until they informed me! The party ended around 11 p.m. (but was scheduled until 1 a.m.) so I drove the 200 miles home and hit the sheets around 2:30 a.m. Sunday -- and outside of maybe six hours (being social with visiting in-laws, a visit to the auto parts store and the turning of a star-head screwdriver, dining on Mexican food) I stayed in bed until 9:30 a.m. Monday. And a public apology: I'm sorry I didn't call you, Alene, but I told you I would be roaming around and couldn't commit to hooking up with you... as it turned out, had I seen anyone along the way -- and I did try to visit my parents, who were elsewhere in their RV -- I wouldn't have made it to all the places I wanted to go before sundown.

I did go on the photo spree I had hoped for, taking that segueway... There's a backroad between Yakima and Ellensburg that snakes along the Yakima River, and decades ago it went through this tunnel in the side of the hill. Somewhere during my lifetime they closed off the tunnel and followed a lower path, but you can walk up the old road (there's a parking area at one end) or, as I am prone to do, climb up the hillside, to get to that tunnel. I snapped some pix, and my legs are rather sore right now from the slide back down the hill. I also took a trip out to the Pioneer Cemetary in the Wenas Valley above Selah to visit some folks I could never have met, and took a few pictures... reshoots of some stuff I'd put in a gallery in 2003, but not the entire set. And I found some ghost writing in downtown Toppenish I had never seen before -- you live in place for 20 years and you think you know where everything is? -- plus did an update of the postcard as you see below:
Downtown Toppenish 2006

I enjoyed your post about the reunion. And am sad that I never made one of mine (because of the overseas distances). That photo at the end of your post looks like it could be Endicott, New York. What they called "Downtown" (Washington Avenue).
What's amusing is that the postcard faces the downtown but is not itself what most consider "on the main drag", just an extention of it. Downtown Toppenish is sort of a four-way stop: from the south you go past all sorts of businesses, the actual downtown is to the northwest (thus not a straight line from the card's vantage point), the north fork is one block long and only contains city hall and the police station, and the photo was taken from the east.

I'm curious whether those folks who were nearby but didn't come ("half the class" according to the organizers) have any remorse about that. I mean, sure, they see some of their classmates all the time but what about the others who moved across the state, across the country, or across the world?
Mushy, please believe me, there are people that are just happy without ever seeing their classmates. :-P
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