The joy and the pain

Posted 5/26/17

For a brief few hours each year my mind takes me back to a re-blooming of that ambience that never dies, those carefree salad days that centered on Port Townsend High School. For a brief interlude, …

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The joy and the pain

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For a brief few hours each year my mind takes me back to a re-blooming of that ambience that never dies, those carefree salad days that centered on Port Townsend High School. For a brief interlude, the weight of intervening years—in my case 70—will be shed in favor of that irresponsible hedonism of youth. Back to those years when our teachers (all departed now; bless them) stood bravely and did battle against teenage egos and hormones. 

The annual PTHS alumni reunion (June 10 this time at the local Elks lodge building on outlying Otto St.) becomes an ever-more-bittersweet affair as one ages. The greater part of my class of ’47 is gone and will never return to reminisce briefly with those of us who drew the long straws and still survive. The same goes pretty much for the classes immediately following ours, with whose members we were closely associated. The class of ’48—and to an extent ’49. My class graduated 56. I expect to see as many as 7 gathered this time out—quite unusual for a class so damned old.

But ’47 was never destined to be truly old beyond calendrical conception. Ours was ever a spirited existence, and that spirit doggedly survives. I have tried to fulfill my obligation as a role model of that exuberant era as the years have rolled by. My BFF Frank Weir and I, the surviving nexus of our high school “Kerchunk” gang, will be holding forth June 10 as a spark of inspiration to those who have come behind us. We will be held in check a little by our wives, themselves from the class of 1950, Yvonne Johnson and Jean Westall (who, it might be argued, actually deserve the credit for our survival).

Meanwhile, I will be silently grieving over many empty chairs. God, how I miss those people!

Alums wishing tickets to the year’s affair, if they haven’t signed in, should contact Mary Baker Crozier, alumni president, maryc@ptpc.com (or phone 360 531-0200). her deadline for dinner-ticket requests is June 5. Tickets also can be purchased on Brown Paper Tickets, event #2934262. Latecomers and non-banquet participants also may just drop in for the 4 to 6:00 cocktail hour at the Elks.

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