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Class of 1957

    Others' Thoughts

This page is for those bits of humor and wisdom that we find out in our world, the things that tend not necessarily to circulate widely on the Internet. They come from the pens and keyboards of folks other than ourselves. They’re often anonymous, or have become so by the time we’ve found them.

We share them when we can because they have some meaning for the lives we have led.

A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT YOUNG MEMORIES AND OLD EYES

(With a warning about language for those with more sensitive current eyes)

Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, "Surely I can't look that old!"? Well, then, you'll love this one.

My name is Alice Smith. I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his DDS diploma, which bore his full name.

Suddenly, I remembered that a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 40-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then? 

Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Morgan Park High School. 

"Yes. yes, I did. I'm a Mustang," he replied, gleaming with pride.

"When did you graduate?" I asked.

He answered, "In 1959.  Why do you ask?"

"You were in my class!", I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely.  Then that ugly, old, bald, wrinkled, fat, gray, decrepit son-of-a-bitch asked, "Really! What did you teach?"

Submitted by Ed McDevitt

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from John Updike’s “My Father’s Tears”

Updike’s story appeared in the February 27, 2006 New Yorker. In it the narrator is relating how we see ourselves and our remembered friends as the years progress. He has just attended his 55th high school reunion.

    But we don’t see ourselves . . .as lame and old. We see kindergarten children -- the same round, fresh faces, the same cup ears and long-lashed eyes. We hear the gleeful shrieking during elementary-school recess and the seductive saxophones and muted trumpets of the home-bred swing bands that serenaded the blue-lit gymnasium during high-school dances. We see in each other the enduring simplicities of a town rendered changeless by Depression and then by a world whose bombs never reached us, though rationing and toy tanks and air-raid drills did. Old rivalries are rekindled and put aside; old romances flare for a moment and subside into the general warmth, the diffuse love. When the class secretary, dear Ann Mahlon, her luxuriant head of chestnut curls now whiter than bleached laundry, takes the microphone and runs us through a quiz on the old days -- teachers’ nicknames, the names of the vanished luncheonettes and ice-cream parlors, the titles of our junior and senior plays, the winner of the scrap drive in third grade -- the answers are shouted out on all sides. Not one piece of trivia stumps us: we were there, together, then, and the spouses . . . good naturedly applaud so much long-hoarded treasure of useless knowing.

Submitted by Ed McDevitt

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HIGH SCHOOL REUNIONS: a poem

Every ten years, as summertime nears,
An announcement arrives in the mail,
A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand;
Make plans to attend without fail.
 
I'll never forget the first time we met;
We tried so hard to impress.
We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars,
And wore our most elegant dress.
 
It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel.
We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined,
And everyone thought it was swell.
 
The men all conversed about who had been first
To achieve great fortune and fame.
Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses
And how beautiful their children became.
 
The homecoming queen, who once had been lean,
Now weighed in at one-ninety-six.
The jocks who were there had all lost their hair,
And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.
 
No one had heard about the class nerd
Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon;
Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain;
She married a shipping tycoon.
 
The boy we'd decreed "most apt to succeed"
Was serving ten years in the pen,
While the one voted "least" now was a priest;
Just shows you can be wrong now and then.

Submitted by Joe DiNunzio.

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They awarded a prize to one of the guys
Who seemed to have aged the least.
Another was given to the grad who had driven
The farthest to attend the feast.
 
They took a class picture, a curious mixture
Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties.
Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini;
You never saw so many thighs.
 
At our next get-together, no one cared whether
They impressed their classmates or not.
The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal;
By this time we'd all gone to pot.
 
It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans.
Then most of us lay around in the shade,
In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.
 
By the fortieth year, it was abundantly clear,
We were definitely over the hill.
Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed,
And be home in time for their pill.
 
And now I can't wait as they've set the date;
Our sixtieth is coming, I'm told.
It should be a ball, they've rented a hall
At the Shady Rest Home for the old.
 
Repairs have been made on my old hearing aid;
My pacemaker's been turned up on high.
My wheelchair is oiled, and my teeth have been boiled;
And I've bought a new wig and glass eye.
 
I'm feeling quite hearty; I'm ready to party,
I'll dance until dawn's early light.
It'll be lots of fun; and I hope at least one
Other person can make it that night.
 

--Author Unknown

THE WAY WE WERE . . .

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitch hiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.  Of course this was especially “interesting” during the Polio scare.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no text messaging, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We played with worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them!

CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to s hare this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you’re at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

Submitted by Charlotte Long Jensen, via Pat McCormack Lindsey

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