Class Reunion Planning

That time is rolling around again.  Class reunion — I cannot believe I am even in the planning stages of this.

I graduated from high school in 1966.  It doesn’t seem that long to me, but it has been 56 years ago.  Where has the time gone?  Our 55th reunion got postponed due to Covid, so now we are planning a 55+1 for this October.

Actually COVID-19 postponed it!

I have the spreadsheet of my class from the alumni association.  My first round of notifications is for those with email.  We have a date selected but not a venue.  The venue will depend on the attendance.  The first email that is going out is to see how many are interested in attending and if they are coming with a spouse or friend.

There were 426 students in my graduating class.  I had only 247 email addresses.  Of those about 10 were no longer good addresses.  I also have 94 home addresses of those without emails, or at least with unknown emails.  There are 45 classmates with no contact information.

The hard thing about home addresses and email addresses is the fact that people move.  Many folks used their work email, and of course we know people change jobs, and more likely in the case of my classmates, they retired.  Those are no longer working emails.  A lot of people use an email address that is connected with their internet service, so if they change providers, that makes their previous emails unusable.

I do not plan to send letters in the mail to those with only mailing addresses until we have a venue established and registration ready to go.  At fifty cents postage per person, not counting paper and envelopes, it’s a bit costly to do a mailing, especially since the majority will not respond.  The only mailing will be done is for the final registration.  I already know many of those letters will be returned with no forwarding addresses.

All these numbers don even count for the number of deaths over the years.  I just read that, at a 50th reunion, on average there is one death for every 5 students.  Here I am planning a 55+1 reunion, and I have a list of only 63 deceased classmates.  Statistically, we should have a number around 85.  Of course, there are 45 with no contact information at all, so many of them may be deceased.  

I found an article online about a 60th reunion class of 1958 from Iowa where all 14 classmates have survived—it said the odds were like winning the lottery.  The chance of that class all surviving to their 60th reunion was 1 in 177 million!  Our class isn’t as fortunate.  We lost our first class member shortly after graduation.

I think that those of us who attend will be so blessed to be 73 & 74 years old and still enjoying each other’s company.  One of my classmates will not be coming because she will be white shark cage diving off the coast of Mexico.  Good for her!  She also raised a chimpanzee in her home years ago for the Cincinnati Zoo.  The chimp was tested by the local university and was shown to be the first chimp to understand the concept of zero.  I think if I was capable of shark cage diving, I would also pass up my reunion! For the rest of us who won’t be having that kind of adventure, it will be wonderful to see everyone again.

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