When I initially sat down to write this entry I thought I would do it in the same satirical way that I had written all previous Oaksegami posts leading up to last Sunday at Renault. But after it was written it just didn’t feel right. I was being sarcastic when all I wanted to do was tell each person who attended, thanks.
Personally, I had an awesome time and hope you did as well. Regrettably, the time flew by and I wasn’t able to have the type of conversations with all my friends that I wanted to have. Sorry I missed you Gary, Bobby, Jodi, Ginger, George, Jeff, Karen, et al.
I have been incredibly lucky in that my entire life – from my roots in Absecon to my current home in Maine – has been full, exciting, rewarding, and challenging. But it was my four years at Oakcrest and the life long friends I made there that I think about most often. You made an indelible impression!
In early November of last year I made a trip to SJ when I heard through the grapevine that Bill Petuskey would be in the area visiting his family. It turned out to be his last trip east. I surprised him at the Crabshack in Somers Point where his family was having dinner. Billy was a pretty great guy and good friend in high school and frankly, he only got better as life went on. He and I had communicated via email often during his fight with cancer but when we saw each other again it made me think that our whole class might do well if we all reconnected. At Bill’s memorial celebration last May several of our classmates confirmed my sentiments and our Unofficial ’73@40 fiasco was born.
From there, you did the rest. You spread the word, called the newspapers, volunteered to help, followed the website, made your RSVP …. and showed up. To be quite honest the finished product was far better than I ever anticipated. My wife remarked that it was patently evident that we actually liked each other as she listened to conversations begin again where they left off years ago. There was a family component that was missing from her high school experience.
So … thanks again for making the event a success and for considering our friendships important enough for you to make the effort to attend.
All right now, enough of this sappy stuff. We’ll do it all over again someday. But next time we won’t wait 15 years.