50th Roswell Senior High School Reunion 2007

by Larry Goodell

Football heroes aging on canes or stooped when they holler
Stand up & yell! and others slow to move, celebrating their past
as all have entered the limelight of retirement,
as we all move around, looking around to find a resemblance
to someone we know, that person we used to say hi to daily
buried within, now budding out in full maturity of gracious age,
all those memories of setbacks & jumps forward
finding again someone who was so good at what they did.
That facial resemblance never leaves as it changes,
the talented still seem so, the vibrancy still on fire
as she belts out “How could you believe me when I said I love you
when you know I’ve been a liar all my life?”
Also the awkwardness of looking at tags to renew the face
we find in front of us: I can only speak for myself –
I looked in vain at a hall of tables full of people.
Where is Molly, Jeannine, Terry, Harold, Mel, Eleanor,
Betty, Louis, LaNita, Lyman, John, Lee Ann, Sal, Bruce, Sally
and on & on, or, someone pointed out someone
and I was in the middle of shared old friends again
that I haven’t seen in forty, fifty years –
a social high school, a social town comes flooding back
in skits, clubs, picnics, games & games & games, practice, band trips,
assemblies, music, dances, dinners, societies, acts, tunes,
favorite night-time restaurants, studies, teachers, some
still with us. Halls in the mind brought back the busy-ness,
the cliques & the embarrassments, the pain & the loves &
the growing up. But all that familiarity now so distant:
I’m looking at it in the mirror of my early life, my hometown
solidity, chock-full of talent & potential in the flowing
flowering kidding notes to each other in bound soft annuals,
now spilling over in my mind, as somehow there is only
this large room, all these people, so little time to get to know
what I already know. It’s time to eat together and leave
and look at pictures of who we really are, grateful
to be above ground, appreciative of a vibrant jitterbugging era,
a truly generative past, an utterly friendly early 50's hometown America
it seems. When it worked, it really worked, can it ever again?
The truly comprehensive American high school?
A salutation.
larry goodell
for all of you