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again, it is my extreme pleasure to welcome all of you
to our reunion — this, the 40-year reunion of Oceanside
High School’s Class of 1960 —
LAST GREAT CLASS!!!
When we gathered together for
our 20-year reunion in 1980, we were still in our thirties. It was astonishing,
then, to think that many of us had children in high school at that time.
But as we stand at the dawn of this new millennium, it is
indeed, to consider that it’s now 40 years — yes, 40 years since our Graduation Day,
that we are in our late fifties, and that some of us actually have
in high school. (WOW!!
As we look back
tonight and remember the brief but wonderful time we spent together at OHS, we
instinctively compare our own high school experience to that of our children —
and of the kids today, in this terrifying age of Columbine. And how many
of them will say that high school was one of the best times of their lives —
as so many of us do?
different it was.
When we were in high school, over 40
years ago, science fiction writers spun tales of space travel, the Russians had
Sputnik, and we amused ourselves with silly spoofs about flying saucers and a
purple people-eater — but we never dreamed it was possible to put men on the
moon in the same century,
much less just around the calendar corner in the
next decade. We were aware of
computers (very BIG
ones, that is) but never imagined
one. We certainly never heard of software, the Internet or e-mail — and
viruses only gave us colds or the flu. TV was just starting, and we had
situation comedies, not "sitcoms." Remote control channel
surfing was almost unheard of. We had no CDs, no wireless phones, FAXs, beepers,
answering machines or voicemail, VCRs or even Japanese cars.
how different it was.
There was no Viagra, Propecia or
Ibuprofin or Nutrasweet, or even bottled water, then. (How did we get to
be almost 60 years old without walking around with a bottle of water all the
time?) And no fertility drugs,
free radicals, fat-free foods or faddish dietary supplements (like ginko biloba). No one knew about cholesterol; we were told it was
to eat red meat and
"wholesome, farm-fresh dairy," and milk was delivered to our back
doors, remember? We had just conquered polio;
cancer was relatively rare,
one ever heard of AIDS. We often dreamed of doing the "dirty" deeds depicted on the dog-eared pages
of Peyton Place or Blackboard Jungle, and the fellas frequently
fantasized about fondling Annette Funicello, but having
real sex then (at least for the guys) was considered getting lucky — really
lucky — not risking our lives. And
we did get lucky, we used condoms (not pills) to protect against accidentally
a life (not ending
one). And the term "safe sex" meant
not getting caught by the girl’s parents.
how different it was.
understood back then that we were
responsible for our own actions. We didn’t blame them on addictions or
abuse by a "sexual predator" or "dysfunctional family"
(concepts we never even heard of). We also didn’t blame our misbehavior
— or our ailments — on stress. (Surely, we had some stress,
but the word wasn’t even in our vocabularies.) We never heard the terms,
"quality of life," or "family values" either, but we surely
had them, too, back in those days of the TV Cleavers, the Nelsons and the Andersons.
"We never heard the terms,
'quality of life,' or 'family values' either, but we surely
had them, too, back in those days of the TV Cleavers,
the Nelsons and the
Athletes and actors were just athletes and actors, heroes
nonetheless, but not political activists or candidates, and there were no
debates or demonstrations over spotted owls or fur coats, feminism or abortion,
gun control or gay rights. (Remember, back then, "gay" meant
Oh, how different
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