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Somerville High School, 1954. We weren’t thinking about the future, only about the upcoming Class Day and then graduation. Later, a train would take us on a trip to a more serious place, a place where we’d begin the process of evolving into adults. It was waiting there at the station. Our teachers were aware of the train, they’d seen it come and go many times. So they continued to feed us huge spoonful’s of knowledge, hoping we’d digest enough of it to be prepared for our journey.
We knew the train was there, but we weren’t ready yet to leave the station. Not yet would we worry about what lies ahead. This was our last fling at being young. This senior year was the last of our golden days, our best of times, and except for childhood memories, this time would be the greatest of all. The sports, record hops, pizza and coke down at the local hangout and Saturday night dates with that special someone. We wished it would go on forever. But it didn’t, Class Day came and went, quickly followed by Graduation Day.
So we said our goodbyes, proceeded to our assigned compartments, and began our long train journey that would carry us on to our tailored future. Some to college, others to start a career in the business world. Friends were not forgotten, just put on the back burner for a while as we began weaving yet another section of the fabric of our lives.
This train would stop on schedule every so often to renew friendships and memories by celebrating our class reunions. We hadn’t changed that much, at least we didn’t seem to. No need to look at yearbook pictures pinned onto jackets, no need to try to remember names, we knew them all. We were still young.
Then this, our sixtieth class reunion. The train stopped again to revisit old friends and renew old memories. It was a scheduled stop, but only for a brief moment to allow us to return to 1954, at least in our hearts, when we were young.
This time though, there were less of us, a little harder to recognize, difficult for eyes to focus in on yearbook pictures pinned onto jackets. But we were persistent and quickly broke through the cloudy haze of past years and renewed memories with each other, laughed, danced and added new memories that night as well. But as quickly as it began, the last dance was danced, the final memory retold, addresses exchanged and then, the hardest of all, the goodnights.
We quietly got back on the train to continue our journey. Along, the way more of us will have gotten off at unscheduled stops. We’ll be saddened by the loss or our classmates because part of ourselves will leave us as well. But we’ll also be enriched by all the happy school day memories they left behind for us to relive over and over again.
Will there be another Somerville High School 1954 reunion? Possibly, but no matter. This paper and the printed words upon it will yellow and fade with time but the memories will never fade in our minds. We’ll always remember that special place we once attended, Somerville High School, that magical year, 1954, and that fleeting time, when we were young.