The Daughters, old What’s His Name, the New Guy, and I all were invited this past weekend to the 50th birthday of a friend of ours who was a member of the Peabody High School class of 1980. He hosted the party right here in Peabody and oh my, what an event it was! Many of his classmates showed up along with their spouses, parents, siblings, and children, as well as some of his own family members and numerous other local folks.
It was one of those Peabody moments, you know?
The birthday boy and I worked together in the local clothing store when he was in high school, and he was a kid I enjoyed. He also was a member of the Peabody bands from fifth grade to graduation and was one of the school’s most dynamic and popular drum majors. The Mister always appreciated his talent, dedication, and pizzazz! I always appreciated the fact that he was willing to mark whatever clothing tags I told him to. What a guy.
The party was a nice event and I had some great conversations with “kids” I hadn’t seen in 20 or 30 years. I am still friends with many of their parents and keep track of them that way. It was interesting to talk to them as adults. They all seem to have done well in their worlds and they have filled a plethora of career descriptions. I doubt that many of them left here thinking, “Hmm, I hope I can find a job moving oil field equipment and supplies on a moment’s notice to places that need them.”
There were some obvious changes for many of them gathered Saturday night — graying hair, glasses, a few wrinkles, and some added weight, but they all were smiling and laughing with a sense of well-being. I didn’t get a chance to talk to all of them, but among them were teachers, medical people, good parents, small business owners, people in law, marketing, sales, construction and, and yes, even someone who moves oil field equipment at a moment’s notice. I wish I had stayed longer and talked to more of them. It was a pleasure to find out about their lives, families, and careers.
School starts next week at USD 398 and the criteria are different for students now than they were for the children in the class of 1980. However, the students in 1980 were recoiling from the rebellious 1960s and the permissive 1970s. What did we think of them and their chances for survival; not to mention their eventual contribution to society? I don’t remember, but I bet we had concerns. However, they have done just fine. My guess is that the class of 2013 and those lined up behind them in our district will do as well.
Thank you, Galen Roberts, classmates, friends, and family members for the reminder that our schools have produced some really terrific individuals. We are proud of all of you!
— SUSAN MARSHALL