I really don’t know where to begin. We have been in Kip’s hometown of Laramie, Wyoming since Thursday afternoon, and it’s been a fun whirlwind of activity. That is, as much as one can whirl when they’ve been out of high school for over fifty years. This reunion was for people who graduated from Laramie High School in the years 1960 – 1965. The average class size was around 150 students.
As class reunions go, the format is always basically the same. There is usually a meet and greet on Friday night. Here’s how Kip’s went.
We arrived around 6:15 and quite a few people were already there. I felt slightly intimidated, which surprised me since I couldn’t be expected to know anyone. I didn’t have to discreetly look at someone’s name tag to put the name with the face.
Right inside the door was the sign-in table. The lady at the Mc -P table, said, “Hi Kip, I haven’t seen you in a hundred years.”
The first awkward moment…Kip didn’t have the slightest idea who she was and she didn’t have a name tag on. He said, “We came to the thirtieth reunion in 1992, but that was twenty-five years ago. I haven’t seen anyone I went to school with since.”
Kip must have uttered those exact same words forty times that night and a few times the next day. The lady handed him our name tags and pointed us in the direction of the pretzels and cheese puffs. Kip saw a guy he recognized and made a beeline for him instead. The guy knew Kip, but not until he said something. Kip has a very distinct voice. Anyway, they visited for quite a while. The guy must have sensed that Kip might stick to him like glue the remainder of the night, because he excused himself and disappeared.
I said,”You two must have been good friends.”
“No…I dated his sister for a while,” Kip said.
It wasn’t too long after that when Kip got into the groove and his memory kicked in. He stumbled onto a good method. He would talk to someone for a bit then say, “Hey, is Larry Smith here?”
Sometimes he had to drop two or three names, but eventually the person would point out Kip’s next victim. He remembered the names, but couldn’t figure out which face in the room it belonged to. It worked beautifully.
I was tickled to see Kip and his old buddies talk about playing baseball, school activities, pranks they pulled and what they ended up doing for a living. I was surprised by how many girls Kip had dated in high school. The next day we drove around all the neighborhoods and he showed me where they all lived.
I have to backtrack and tell you about our trip to Walmart Thursday night. Kip told me he was nervous that there might be some classmates in the store and he wouldn’t know them.
Then he said, “Do you see that lady checking out with the long grey ringlets?”
“Oh my goodness,” I said.
“I dated her in high school,” he whispered in my ear.
I ran out the door after the lady, hoping I could get a picture of her beautiful long grey ringlets, but she got away from me. When I got back inside, Kip was laughing. I didn’t fall for that again.
On Saturday we played a fun game called a parrot run. We had a list of all the old haunts from back in the sixties. We had to find them and write in what business was there now. It was a great way to see the town, and it brought back many fun memories …especially to the ones who hadn’t been back home in quite a few years.
Kip would drive by a place and tell me what to write down as it’s current use. He got most of them wrong, but he couldn’t be convinced that the spudnut shop he remembered so fondly was over on the next block. I wondered if he really knew where his old girlfriends lived.
The meet and greet was scheduled from six to eleven, but when we left at nine, most were heading for the door…bedtime.
Kip, the 1962 Homecoming Queen’s husband, and the 1962 Homecoming Queen
I’m going to stop right here. Tomorrow, I tell you all about the dinner dance, the jail experience and all about this guy.