Lucinda: Mistress to the Mob

Official website of the in-work novel…..



             Class reunions – what a wonderful idea! My wife and I have been busy with them this summer, as for each of us it was our 30 year anniversary since we left that wondrous time of life called high school.

             Mine came first, in the first week of June. I was told to be prepared to speak that night, so I wrote and rehearsed a speech in advance. It turned out to be unnecessary. Some of the thoughts that came to me for that speech are useful now, as I chat about this past weekend’s festivities – from my wife’s class gathering.

             As I prepared to speak to my former classmates, I recalled my own history. My family moved from the Chicago area to Cincinnati in July 1978 – just before the start of my senior year. My last night living in Illinois, I received a counseling session from a lady-friend. During that talk one thing that always stood out to me was her explanation that, as the medical world understood at that time, males reach our peaks around the age of 18 and ladies wait until around 27.

             As I pondered this memory it struck me: for us alumni attending the gathering, we have all now surpassed the combined peak for both male and female! What a sobering thought! It means we’ve climbed the ladder and are now on the slide going down – the fun part of the ride!

             Maybe that’s why we suddenly get more interested in organizing and attending such things as class reunions.

             My reunion was quite the blast! The after glow lasted several days and the old fears and feelings of teenage angst were finally exorcised fully that night. (Something that wasn’t completely true after the 25th.)

             Then came her parties! They occurred last weekend (24 and 25 July) – with Friday night being an informal meet-and-greet in an outdoor pavilion of a golf club. Saturday’s festivities were held in a restaurant/pub and were a little more upscale, but still casual.

             Rhonda and I are all-but tea-totallers. We usually have a couple of drinks of fire water on New Years and that’s about it. We’ve learned that it’s more fun to be in control and be able to remember what we’ve done. At our age the old inhibitions have kind of flown out the window, anyway. So, the fact that she chose to really let loose that Friday night caused me to have opportunity to use a term coined at my gathering a few weeks earlier: she got Zinked!

             This proved to be a bit of a liability because at the Friday party we learned that one of her classmates fell over dead two days earlier. The funeral was Saturday morning, right around the corner from our house. So, early Saturday she drug herself out of bed and I provided her something to hold onto in order to walk upright into the funeral home. The realization of our mortality that this brought to the fore may be another reason we hold reunions.

             Then came the Saturday party. The event started at 7 p.m. and was a packed, full house. In fact, our children and daughter-in-law crashed the party – bringing our new (almost 4 month old) grandson in – so she could show him off.

             Around 11 the group decided it was time to migrate to the basement of the establishment – where the DJ was. That area of the business was where another school was holding their 25th reunion party – at the same time.

             Us older classmen descended en-masse on the lower level, but many of us quickly departed: the music being played was hip hop, as a younger crowd had also invaded the class of 84’s space.

             Shortly after retreating to the patio, one of Rhonda’s classmates came outside and began recruiting us back to the dance area. We complied.

             When we entered this time, the DJ was playing Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till you Get Enough” – something from our day. The class of 79 dutifully filled the floor for him. But when that selection concluded he went back to hip hop and the dance floor emptied.

             But kudos to Dave the DJ – he was wise enough to pay attention. He understood the class of ‘79 was there, so he went back to a 70’s disco selection; and the floor filled with screaming and dancing nearly-fifty year-olds!

             We were the last class to graduate from that wild and woolly decade known as the 1970s. We were known, in our day, to be raucous partiers and to be nearly uncontrollable for our educators and administrators. Of course, a lot of classes hold this reputation; but having gone to three different high schools I recall it having been said to all three of my classes. Rhonda heard the same about hers. So, I guess it was in the vibration of our year, to be so universal.

             Dave the DJ went back-to-back 70s, and the party was on! Screams and a full floor began prompting the 20s and thrity-somethings crowd to vacate. The remainder of the class of ’84 were looking on in dismay, as well.

             It then struck me as ironic: the younger crowds were all either watching from the sidelines or leaving while the dance floor was overtaken by a group of nearly fifty year-olds! The class of ’79 still knows how to party, and were showing their youngers how to do it!

             Dave played disco for us for probably 45 minutes. By the time he moved to something more modern, the class of ’79 largely left the floor, and the spirit of party left the building. But the damage was done: the oldest farts in the building showed the rest of the crowd how it was done. I’m sure they will never be the same.

             I know we won’t.


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