A 50th high school reunion beckoned me home to NJ.
100 + class members attended. Some came with spouses others without. Many still lived and worked throughout the state. Others traveled from NY, CA, SC, FL, OH, VA, MA, VT, and CO to join in the festivities.
What surprised me most was the instant connection we made with one another. Seemed like yesterdayÖOh sure, a few years may have passed, gray hairs sprouted and an extra pound or two found its way to intrude, but still present was the same zest for life. One success story after another brought a sense of pride for these old friends who so aptly represented East Side High School out in the world.
Good food, lots of fun and rekindling of friendships…fantastic. DJ played “our” kind of musicÖRock ën Roll of the fifties. Lots of chatter, laughing, singing and dancing! We let the good times roll!
Next day after the reunion breakfast I was on the move.
I drove all over NJ to visit with several high school friends who couldnít make reunion, college friends and family. I scouted old jaunts, rode by homes we lived in, WALKED, really walked, the boardwalk in several beach townsóSeaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach, and Belmar. Oh the memories generated in these places!
Sand dunes, salty air, ocean waves caressing the sandy beach, sun bathers tanning on colorful towels and blankets and small boats cruising the shoreline were a welcomed sight. Amusement rides for adults and kids, including the carousel and its magical calliope music, drew children of all ages who, with ticket in hand, waited their turn. Hawkers at the game stands challenged the vacationers to take a chance at winning a prize. Carnival type food, pizza at Tomato Joeyís, salt water taffy from Jenkinsonís Beach teased and pleased my taste buds. Miniature golf, fun houses, souvenir shops and the fun filled arcades still lured the crowds. Aside from a few upgrades, the boardwalk hadnít changed much. And how could I not mention the spicy, Lobster Diablo dinner I savored while sitting at a window table watching the boats come and go along Shark River? Nothing like melt-in-your-mouth fresh seafood to top off a wonderful trip.
So happy I went because Helen Pepsin (maiden name) rose to the occasion and uncovered/rediscovered her old self, the one from a lifetime ago…LOL. She was and still is lots of fun. I wonder how she got lost in being Mrs. Eddie and Jimmyís mother, Andyís mother, Matthewís mother and Amyís mother.
Gone homeÖyou bet I did. What a trip! A true blast from the past.