- Last Updated on 07:53 AM 03/03/14
- BY The Gazette-Virginian
Almost 10 years ago, former South Boston resident Michael Williams and class of ’74 alumni of Halifax County High School, left his home in St. Louis, Mo. to endure a 15-hour drive back to his alma mater for a 30th class reunion.
He had a “fantastic time” and now 10 years later, he promises to return for his 40th reunion to be held Saturday, Oct. 18, at The Halifax Country Club.
The fun he had during his 30th class reunion made the trip back seem so much shorter, and after returning home he said he felt the need to put his experience in writing. So, he wrote a piece of poetry about the event and shared it with many former classmates.
His poetry became a way for him to encourage people to attend their class reunions, and he has since written pieces for his 30th, 35th and 40th reunions.
Williams had previously attended his 10-year reunion, but relocating for his job caused him to miss the 20th reunion, so when the time came for his 30th, he said he knew he had to make every effort to be there.
He had heard attendance at class reunions were “light,” and that concerned him.
“In a time of harsh politics, threats of terrorism and mayhem, in a time of reality shows, soap operas and sitcoms, when science and science fiction talk of black holes, worm holes, star gates and discovering new galaxies, we have the ability to break away from all of that, if only for an afternoon or evening,” said Williams.
“Through these reunions we have the ability to renew old friendships, rekindle old flames, and even more, make new memories.”
Williams feels these reunions gives classmates a chance to see how everyone ended up, whether they gained family additions or if high school sweethearts lasted. The results could be endless.
“There will be those whose lives have taken them to other parts of the world and back again. There are those who have found careers and relationships that have taken them to many places. Families have grown near and far,” said Williams.
Every reunion gives each attendee a chance to share all of their life’s experiences, good or bad, as well as memories of those who are no longer with us.
Those at William’s 30th reunion shared a moment of silence for the 25 classmates and friends who had passed on.
Overall, the stories, the pictures, the laughter and the smiles, the hugs and the tears that they shared made the reunion a memorable night.
Those attending made a pact that night not to wait another 10 years, but to have a 35th reunion instead.
Five years later, they met again to “flip out the grandchild photos of some and even great-grandchildren photos for others.
“Because of the distances that have come between us, these reunions are our way of catching up, reconnecting old friendships and occasionally rekindling old relationships,” said Williams.
Those who could came together for the fun, food and fellowship that night.
Now Williams would like to encourage those who graduated in the HCSHS class of 1974 to attend their 40th high school reunion.
“Don’t miss all of them. Take those trips, meet old friends and make new memories,” said Williams.
For the 40th reunion, Williams will be in charge of setting up a memorial table for those classmates who have died since graduating 40 years ago.
Out of a class of 550, they have lost over 45 of their former classmates.
Not only does Williams want to see his classmates at his reunion, but also he hopes to encourage any person to go to their reunion when the time comes.
“Whether it’s the 10th, 20th or the 50th reunion, go and experience the emotions shared at these gatherings. Share the stories, the pictures, the laughter and the smiles, or maybe even a tear. The hugs and tears are those new memories we come together to create.”
If the timing is right, schedules do not click, and if the economy is no issue, Williams would like to see those people make that extra trek to their reunion.
“Come together for fun, food and fellowship that only old friends can share in a special way,” Williams concluded.