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.