So here we are…… 50 years post our high school……we’ve survived and emerge in tonight as senior citizens eyeing our elder years on the horizon…….. 50 years ago we witnessed the end of a prior generation’s era that was marked by the death of historical notables like Albert Schweitzer, Winston Churchill, Edward R Murrow, and, ……..my favorite, Trigger….he was only 25, but I guess that’s good for a horse…..and the beginning of a new generation with the birth of Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Brooke Shields, Chris Rock and…….. the
Pillsbury Dough Boy “Poppin’ Fresh”……. In most ways we are no different than others who have found their way to a 50th high school reunion, but in one way that gnaws at my being and has shaped my perspective on life….. we are very different…….. Our formative years, our teens and early twenties, the time period when we came of age were the 1960’s. ……..A decade that in my opinion was like no other…..filled with change, turbulence, rift and life altering events that made our experience unique.
Let’s recount some of those realities.
In the space of 10 years………. while we grew of age……… our world was transformed. There was nothing subtle about the changes or the pace of the changes……many of the events at the heart of these changes were broadcast into our lives by television for us to witness first hand…..and interpret for ourselves……..many of these images are still vivid in our memories
Goodbye, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon……..hello to Neil Armstrong………. In July 1969 Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module onto the surface of the moon. It had taken mankind 8 short years to go from the first man in space to the moon. And we sat in our living rooms that summer evening and watched it happen.
In the 1950’s there was a TV show featuring Walter Cronkite that took us behind the scenes at major historical events. It was titled “You Are There!” Thinking about the 1960’s I can imagine him saying as he always did at the conclusion of the program, What sort of a day was it?A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times…….all things are as they were, except YOU ARE THERE!........ yeah, we were there and the experiences have influenced us for all time
Class President Tom Kennedy's Speech at the 50th Reunion