My old high school friend, Mary Ellen, contacted me on Facebook to let me know that she was helping to plan our 50th high school class reunion, which will take place in October. She wanted to let me know early because I live out of state and would need to make travel arrangements. I attended Mt. Savage High School in the state of Maryland, nestled in a valley of the Allegheny Mountains. It is a small blue-collar community with a population (based on the 2010 census) of 873.
I graduated in 1971 and lost contact with many of my high school friends as I left my hometown, Corriganville, MD when I was 18. A day after graduation, I moved to Washington D.C., where I began my career working for the federal government.
Mt. Savage High School was very small. When I was there, it housed grades 7-12 and there were just 79 students in my graduating class. Now that I have re-connected with Mary Ellen on Facebook, several other classmates have reached out. We are all grandparents now – some may even be great grandparents. Most of the photos shared are of their sweet grandkids (mine included).
Since it was such a small school, everybody knew everybody else and our house was a popular place to go. There was always a group of my brother’s friends playing basketball or football in the yard. We had a big mountain stream-fed pond where our friends would fish, ice skate, swim or just sunbathe on the big dock. There were horses to ride and mountains to explore. We would ride our bikes into town and buy penny candy at the little store inside the post office building.
Our school was so small, we didn’t have a football team. But we had a soccer team and a basketball team that became state champions. Go, Indians! I wasn’t very good at sports or athletics but I was great at cheering for the teams. Our Friday nights were spent attending any and all of the sporting events.
The last high school reunion I attended was our 25th and I had a great time catching up with old friends and reminiscing about the good times we had. By that time, I had moved to Michigan, was raising three kids and worked at the Social Security Administration. Now, 25 years later, I receive Social Security benefits, even though I am not fully retired.
I look forward to attending my 50th class reunion and intend to make a vacation of it, as I still have family in the area. I hope to explore the place to see how much it has changed and to visit my brothers who live near Baltimore. My sister, Kathy, still lives in the house where we grew up and it will be nice to see her again. One thing is for sure, it will be great to catch up with old friends. Fifty years have really flown by fast!