Steve Sande circa 1974

Most of the friends and followers who read this site know that I am officially “older than dirt”, but they’d probably be shocked to know that I’ve been out of high school for a whopping 40 years. When I was attending William C. Hinkley High School in the early 1970s, Nixon was still president, we were still sending men to the moon and to Skylab, and personal computers were still a dream.

That photo over there is my 1974 senior picture, showing that yes, at one time I did actually have nice thick hair and was actually kind of skinny. I’m sure that the picture or something like it will surface at my reunion, which occurs this upcoming Friday and Saturday nights. The Friday night get-together is always … interesting, since it seems like more people attend since they don’t have to pay for a lousy meal, and everyone’s inhibitions are down. That latter statement means that people are likely to drink way too much. This year’s event, befitting the Class of ’74, is being held at some dive bar out on Arapahoe Road.

On Saturday, the more formal event is held. Hopefully by the time dinner rolls around, all of the people who participated in the previous evening’s revelries are sober or at least over the vomiting stage of their hangovers. Our event is going to be at a golf clubhouse on the south side of town, so the drive won’t be too ridiculous.

As with all High School reunions (this will be my fifth, having gone to the 5, 10, 20, and 30th reunions before), I’m attending with a mixture of anticipation and dread. The anticipation is for getting together with old friends who I only seem to see every ten years. So far, I also know that two people who have never attended a previous reunion will be at this one, so I get to see them for the first time in 40 years. One thing that’s quite different this time around is that I know what a lot of these people are up to, thanks to Facebook.

Now, the dread… No, I don’t care about the fact that I look a lot older — all of us do! But the same open world that Facebook has provided has also given me cause to dread seeing some of these people thanks to arguments that we’ve had online. Frankly, I am willing to forgive and forget for two nights, but if anyone brings up politics, religion, or something that we said to each other on Facebook in the heat of an argument, I’m walking away. Life is too short for that kind of crap.

The picture below is what my old high school kinda looked like back when I was there, although the “totem pole” and little shed building weren’t there. Now the school looks completely different after a massive renovation, part of which I got to see a few years ago.

Hinkley High School as it looked after I graduated

I enjoyed high school much more than I did my college experiences — the university life was too stressful, and most of my fellow college students scattered around the globe after graduation, so there was no reason to really even think about going to a reunion. High school is where I learned how to write, where I got my public speaking skills, where I learned to talk in front of a large group without fear. It’s also where I met my future wife, who went to the other high school in town. So yeah, I have a lot of fond memories of those years.

I can’t wait to see my buddies this weekend, and be sure to come back to the site next week to see if I have any pictures or stories to tell.