Saturday, June 13, 2009

It seems like only yesterday....39 years later!

This past Thursday was the 39th anniversary of my high school graduation, also on a Thursday. There were around 600 of us graduating outside on the athletic field, hoping to get the ceremony done before a thunderstorm began. We made it.

Lucky for my dad who was in charge of family photographs, I was seated on the aisle in the first row, easy to spot. Sadly, of the faces in this photo, I only remember the name of the girl who was seated next to me. With that many kids in a graduating class, I am pretty sure I never crossed paths with some of them.

The Sunday before graduation was Baccalaureate Sunday. Services were held at the high school and I think there were pastors from two denominations blessing the class. Attendance may not have been mandatory, but given the principal back then, I doubt many would have skipped, especially not goody two shoes types like me. Separation of church and state was much different by the time my sons graduated 20+ years later. Baccalaureate services were strictly church functions. My personal view on this is that is a shame. While I don't want someone dictating how to believe or worship, a moment of silent prayer can be spent as one wishes, and a blessing is always welcome and I don't care who delivers it.

For those of you old enough, remember how incredibly hot 100% polyester clothing was?!! Baccalaureate was held in the gym on a warm evening. Even though my dress was short and sleeveless, I was sweltering. Maybe that is why I don't remember anything that was said. Or maybe it was just a case of 'about-to-be-graduated senioritis'. I don't think a cure for that will ever be found.

If you were a graduate in or near 1970, you might enjoy remembering these facts:
  • "American Top 40", hosted by Casey Kasem, debuted in 1970
  • The Grammy award for record of the year went to "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" by the Fifth Dimension, album went to "Blood, Sweat and Tears" by the group Blood, Sweat and Tears, and song of the year went to "Games People Play" written by Joe South.
  • The Oscar for best movie went to "Midnight Cowboy"
  • "Love Story" and "M*A*S*H" were big hit movies
  • Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix both died of drug-related deaths, both at the age of 27
  • The Beatles broke up
There are many notable events of that year, including Kent State, but I'd rather remember the good. Not that the deaths of Hendrix and Joplin were good, but even then I wasn't surprised. I'm not mentioning the war, again too painful, or the discoveries in the world of science. Looking back at 17, did I have a clue what a floppy disk or LCD was (both were introduced in 1970)? No, but I could distinguish a Chevy from a Ford or Dodge going by with my eyes closed. I lived on a corner and the engines made a distinctive sound. Volkswagens were a class by themselves. My dad thought they sounded like high powered sewing machines!

Changing anything in my past would surely have altered who and where I am today, so I don't look back on anything with regret. Well, maybe one regret. This hair cut in my senior picture, taken just before the school year began leaves a lot to be desired!

Happy reminiscing to alumnae everywhere, and non-denominational blessings to all graduating in 2009. Blink two or three times and you'll be where I am, surprised at how quickly the years have passed. May you be as happy then as I am now.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh yes, well - I graduated in '73. My this brought back memories! Nice post, xJ

Blondie's Journal said...

LOVE this post. Wow... I just can't hit on every word, line or paragraph that touched me in some way.

I'm a bit younger but I consider myself an old soul (plus I have 4 older siblings) so I remember the 70's as you do. I don't think of it as romanticizing the decade when I say that there just wasn't ever and never will be one like the 70's.

Your pictures are wonderful. You have such cute dimples!!!