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My ’70s Show Revisited – 40th High School Reunion

My ’70s Show Revisited – 40th High School Reunion

You can go home again, and I did.

Last weekend I traveled to Roslyn, NY, on Long Island, for my 40th high school reunion.

No high school experience is perfect, but Roslyn and Roslyn High School in the 1970s were great places to grow up. I’ve mentioned Roslyn in passing before, in my post when Richie Havens died, how I saw him at the small music venue in Old Roslyn Village that attracted top talent, My Father’s Place.

The Vietnam war wound down just as I was entering high school, and the draft would be abolished just before I would have to enter. Selective service registration was not yet in place, so we were in that gap.

What I most remember was the freedom of movement. “Be home for dinner” was about all the parental monitoring we had. We hitchhiked, hung out at Jones Beach and the Roslyn Duck Pond, and once we got wheels, pretty much roamed around unencumbered.

We didn’t have personal computers (those were just a few years away) though some of my classmates were early tinkerers who went on to great success in computer science. We also didn’t have cell phones — those were more than a few years away, so we weren’t constantly monitored. Thankfully, we also didn’t have social media. Whatever normal cliquish and catty behavior took place wasn’t amplified as it is now.

That’s not to say we didn’t have the usual growing pains, including in high school. But all in all it was a great time and place.

Can you go home again? I felt like I did at the reunion.

As with any such reunion, there was some trepidation, but that quickly vanished as I met “old” friends. In many ways, it was as if nothing had changed. A little extra weight here, some gray hairs there, fewer or no hair over there… but it all brought back such fond emotions.

It didn’t hurt when a female classmate told me that she had a crush on me when we were in high school – and I’m like, you should have told me! If only I knew then what I know now, in so many other ways as well. Youth definitely is wasted on the young.

It was painful when a slide show was played of the classmates who had died, including someone I was only friendly with in high school, but who became my closest friend when we were law school classmates. For our 50th reunion, the list almost certainly will be much longer, and I think everyone in the room sensed that.

I’m surprised at the impact the reunion had on me. I really didn’t expect it.

And yes, the featured image is my reunion badge, with my senior high school yearbook photo. Completely decked out in my finest polyester leisure suit and wide-collared Saturday Night Fever-style synthetic fabric shirt.

Like I said, a great time to be alive.

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Comments

I went to my 45th a year ago. Yes, it was a great time to be young, and unencumbered. I’ve told several of my classmates that we were lucky. I think we came of age in one of the best periods in America’s history.

Well, the late 70’s got a little weird, but you know…

My 25th was a real disappointment. Nobody remembered me, the same old cliques of “popular kids” were still cliques, and none of my teachers showed up. I haven’t been back to any of the others since.

You were a cutie

My 70s show.

Professor, you inspired me to register with my alumni association. I have never been to a reunion, but the Class of 1960 probably is running out of time. In nearby Jamestown, NY the Class of 1947 just celebrated its’ 70th, so I might just make it. We are children of the 50’s, but old enough to appreciate hippie chicks from a mature perspective. Request: The Smiths’, “Baby, It’s You”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brj7WQr6Oec

קת A-WA באולפן וואלה!NEWS

Very swingin’ outfit, Professor — nice style!

I had good time at my twenty fifth.

I also graduated from high school in 1977, in Brooklyn, New York. It was, indeed, a great time to grow up. We were not over-scheduled and over-protected, the way millenials later would be, and without computers or cell phones, things moved at a slower pace. I remember going into “the City” with friends on the subway when I was as young as 14, going to museums, having lunch in Greenwich Village, rock concerts in Madison Square Garden. We had the benefits of being part of the baby boom generation, without the anxiety associated with potentially serving in (or seeing one’s friends serve in) Vietnam.

Perhaps the only downside was the extremely overcrowded classes — 1957 was the peak year for births, and my jammed-to-the-gills high school was on triple session. There were 42 nailed-to-the-floor desks in every room (in a 6 x 7 grid) and any extra students had to sit on the radiators or the extra chairs they finally put in the back of the room. One more downside — the clothes! Those 70s yearbooks are filled with the worst clothes ever!

But I do miss my high school years and high school friends. It was a great time to grow up.

Pun fully intended, Professor, but are you “Stayin’ Alive”?

Yep, being a kid in the 70s was awesome, despite the crazy economy and Jimmah Carter.

Nice.

But I’m sorta partial to the ’50s and ’60s to grow up in.

There were still some steam locomotives around, and my bike-riding buddies and I (4th grade or so) would be waved through the gate at Sandia Air Base in Albuquerque and would tool all over the place, including the flight line. Some mechanics even invited us up into a couple of cockpits.

High school? Meh.

Was sorta grown up in 1977, out of law school for three years. Successfully resisted polyester jump suits and wide collared SNF shirts, much to the chagrin of my wife who thinks I missed out on the worst fashion ideas in western civilization.

That is one helluva shirt. Probably be a real public menace in color.

My 40th Reunion’s Saturday. Yeah, I booked a hotel room. Not to get laid, but so I could have a couple extra cocktails, not drive, and sleep in. My 18 yr old self says: “Wow. Really? Dude”

You were four years ahead of me, but yeah, 1977 was THE year for leisure suits, I think. A goodly percentage of the guys in my 8th grade graduation that year had leisure suits. The girls wore floor-length long dresses – only one girl wore a dress with the hemline above the knee, and she was mortified at sticking out so.

The style was definitely something else, but at least it’s something we can look back at and laugh. I don’t know how many are going to be laughing with the “pants hanging down past the butt” style (for example)….

    At least those won’t show in the picture!

    Everything eventually comes back into style. I pray we miss the leisure suit revival. But some things never change. In 1968 it was “baby killer” and today I’m a deplorable. Obviously during the past 49 years I have been moved up on the list by the real baby killers. LOL!

I remember going to My Father’s Place on the Island in the early 80s with my friends in Astoria but can’t remember a single band we saw there. I also remember OBI(Oak Beach Inn)when I see a crime investigation show regarding the string of murders they had around there. Wonder if they will ever solve that one.

    I remember seeing Robert Klein at My Father’s Place. It was the place to go for “progressive”, or “folk/rock” music. For the loud stuff it was Rum Bottoms and Hammerheads.

heh heh
a kelso-hyde hybrid….

Loved your story. I am headed to my 50th in 3 weeks. As children in elementary, we had 50 kids in a class. Nonetheless produced a highly literate and numerate group of boys & girls & let them loose in economically free America.

My husband and I believe we lived in the “sweet spot” of America from an economic point of view. Since all the collapsing into very few hands of banking, media, global business, etc. America’s current young face a more stratified and difficult environment for successful enterprise. Wish we were wrong, but don’t think so.

    Arminius in reply to Serfin_USA. | September 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    As a former officer in the United States Navy, I can tell you that the youth lack nothing. They are as good as we are going to get. I was proud to serve with them.

2nd Ammendment Mother | September 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm

I’ve never gone to a class reunion and just don’t plan to. Nothing personal, while I loved my hometown, I didn’t like high school very much and my “good times” growing up didn’t happen there.

I moved back home 4 years ago, had the come to Jesus moment when I knew I had to let go of the past and realize I just didn’t care about the wrongs of the past…. I ended up getting to have a great life and get to make a huge impact on kids growing up here today. I do love the history and freedom of my little place on the map, but people come and go.

Bill looks like he was a “player.”

I’m Class of 1977, too. Our 40th reunion takes place next month.

I don’t think I’ll go. As a lonely conservative voice among leftist classmates on Facebook, I think I’ve been voted most likely to be persona non grata.

What was the aerial lift capacity of the collar on that shirt? =)

This coming from the guy who sported a mullet through high school.

Wow Professor. Same year as you, also Nassau County, also MOT.

We have to play Jewish geography some time….

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