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Rascals and reunions (08/31/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns
“Reunited and it feels so good…” The closest a senior citizen comes to reliving the mischievous, outrageous antics of youth is by sharing recollections with those they made the memories with.

On August 2, Pat and I attended our 45th Lewiston High School class reunion. As fate has it, most of us were born in 1945; there were 45 in the class of ’63, and most are 63 years of age. Pat and I won the prize for being married the longest (to the same partner.) After all these years, there was plenty of embellishing going on, to make the same old stories more outlandish!

There are certain characteristics that all class reunions seem to have in common. I’m not referring to any of my classmates, so please note: incidents have been altered to protect the guilty.

5 -Year Reunion: Well attended. Dress code: pre-Woodstock. The bunch is cliquey. (What’s new?) The guy most likely to succeed is bagging groceries at Piggly Wiggly. The most popular girl is now “the boy next door.” Beer flows freely; the rock band is far out!

10- Year Reunion: Putting on the dog. Sports jackets and ties, poly pantsuits, plastic hairdos, and stilettos. Too much beer and plenty of bull. Pictures of little tykes emerge from purses, along with conversations about baby talk, Dr. Spock, dysfunctional daddies, and temper tantrums (also Daddy.)

15-Year Reunion: A gorgeous mystery gal nobody recognizes turns out to be the studious class wallflower transformed. Jealousy fumes as the old boyfriend or the high school sweetheart get too chummy with their former main squeezes. Everyone goes home early and ticked off.

20-Year Reunion: This could be the year that nobody volunteered to be on the committee.

25 – Year Reunion: Graduated from beer to martinis and daiquiris. Casual dress. Relaxed atmosphere. Bored spouses not in the class tie one on together and have a blast! The first class divorcee goes home with the football jock, who has gone up a few X’s since his glory days, and it’s not muscle. A few diehards make a night of it.

30 - Year Reunion: Dress: Midwest yuppie. Everyone’s mellow. Grown up kids have all become experts, executives, and domestic engineers. The former shy guy came clean about a botched circumcision that had transformed his life.

35 – Year Reunion: All defenses down. Everyone lets it all hang out! Former “friends forever” live across town from one another but haven’t seen each other since the fifth year reunion. One is still struggling to find herself.

40 – Year Reunion: Dress: classy conservative. Attendance way down. (Many are in fanatical denial about their age.) Lots more singles. Health problems rouse plenty of whining. Bragging rights for grandmas and grandpas mean more pictures to ooh and ah over. (Here’s your sign!)

45 – Year Reunion: With soda or water in hand and name tags in place, talk of early retirement, hair transplants, and replacement body parts abounds! Completely drained of any self-control, the senior citizens greet old buddies with embraces and tears, careful not to lose their balance and tip over. The party breaks up before the ten o’clock news.

Our Lewiston buddy from way back, Randy Reps, has been encouraging me to write a “tell all or bust” novel about the indiscretions of Lewiston’s past nightlife and other unspeakable atrocities! As we share belly laughs over more than a few colorful adventures, we have agreed to let sleeping dogs roll over and play dead. After all, we have grandchildren! They don’t know that Randy was once the “leader of the pack!”

There always were those classic catchwords we shamelessly uttered in hilarious stupidity, like today’s infamous “Get ‘er done,” compliments of Larry the Cable Guy. Back in our time, a former tavern owner gave us, “Fire up! Let ‘er rip!” Our good times were all “Bop shoo bop shoo bop ramalama ding dong!”

It goes unsaid – in those days we were “just a ‘ swingin’!” I guess you had to be there. Fire up!

Janet Burns continues to reside in the small town she grew up in. She can be reached at:



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