On Friday September 13, the Burton Bentley High School class of 1963 began a 50th reunion weekend. We started the fun at the lovely Midland Michigan home of Joanne and Barry George, who hosted us for a get together picnic in their back yard. Under a brightly colored tent, we conversed and dined on a great barbeque dinner. Folks, not seen by many for a long time attended and it didn't take long to seemingly slip back 50 plus years into old friendships and acquaintances. The weather was iffy early in the day, but the evening was just about perfect.
As darkness approached, we left the George's with the party mess and returned to the Bay Valley resort in Bay City. Some folks drifted away, but most gathered at the lounge for a night cap, cards, dancing, conversation, more night caps, sometimes too many. It was a great time.
Saturday brought a mixed bag of sight seeing, gambling, shopping and nursing some wounded heads. Everyone, however, was ready for the evening festivities that began at 5:30 pm.
Nancy Guelette MacKenzie, Laveda and Bill Evans did a spectacular job in planning and decorating. Not a thing was overlooked. It was indeed a festive venue for our gathering.
Nancy welcomed us all (since I finked out on her) and set the mood for the evening. Our DJ was Dan McPhail a BHS class of 65 alum who set us going with dinner music. The buffet dinner was outstanding and a cut above the usual dining experience. After dinner, a remembrance was held for those classmates who had passed away since graduation. The music kicked up a notch and folks took to the dance floor. Fast dances, slow dances all a mix. I found that slow dancing with a cane was awkward, so opted for a dance or two a bit faster. Kenda Barrett was nursing a healing broken leg and was on a crutch, but we managed a cane and crutch tapping number.
There was lots of visiting and catching up, as we moved about the room. We stayed until the lights came up. Some then ventured upstairs to the lounge for a few more rounds of chat and libation.
Personally, I found it to be the best reunion ever. Again credit to Nancy, Laveda and Bill for making it a special weekend.
Joanne and I were off very early Sunday morning on our long drive home. I am filled with the satisfaction that I had the privilege of being classmates and friends with so many great people.
Actuaries tell us that after a 50th reunion 20% of us will have passed away. After a 60th that number goes to 63%. I am glad I made this journey and hope we can do it again.