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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Monday, February 23 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Reunion syndrome

Some thoughts about reunion syndrome, a term that I may have just invented.

I've been to only two high school reunions, both since I turned 50, but probably the most positive surprise they had to offer was how quickly the participants got back into familiar territory with people they hadn't seen since they were "just kids," 30, 40, or more years ago. Though one take on that might be, "but of course, you've known them for over half a century and even grew up with some of them." But still, you haven't until the reunion known those people as adults. And when you were high school kids, if you were at all like me, you couldn't have imagined that you would remain "you" over the span of 30, 40, or more years. Yet not only has that happened to you, even more suprisingly it's happened to "kids" you knew under what now may be thought of fairly embarrassing circumstances (being "kids" can be generally described as embarrassing).

I suspect, moreover, that we members of the Class of 1960 are more like "ourselves" today inside our sixth decade on the planet than we would have been in, say, 1974. I still have some of the 1970s clothes and shoes (remember disco platforms?) I bought, held onto so my kids and grandkids can use them as costumes and/or accessories for Halloween. Chances are that, if you're of a certain age, you were more unlike your 1960 self in 1974 then you are here in 2004. Not considering superficialities like waistlines and hairlines or -colors, or wrinkles, of course, but the basic wardrobe, attitudes, and the values you represent. I suppose that could be because you're easing closer to your second childhood, but I prefer to think it has other explanations.

Of course there are lots of "reunions" in life that involve many people and kinds of people besides high school friends. Family reunions present their own syndromes. Meeting people we've known through indirect knowledge, like reading their letters or hearing their stories from mutual friends, are another. Maybe we'll unpack some of these later, and you're welcome to make input.

There's an opposite syndrome to the high school reunion one that comes to mind now, too. It's "toddler strangeness." When my first niece and nephew were, say, three and 16 months (and I was nine), my parents and I couldn't wait for their next visit. But when they got to the farm, though the folks and I felt we were right where we'd left off with the end of their previous visit a year earlier, it took a while for them to get to know us again, or at least get comfortable enough to be secure with us.

When my first son was a toddler and I had to spend a week at a seminar in Toronto, my big fear was that he wouldn't feel comfortable with me when we were next together, that he might react the way many little ones do when being passed into the arms of a new acquaintance. But that reunion went off without a hitch; we were immediately father and son again.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Steven Wrightisms

9. All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Lenten thought for today

Lent begins today in the Orthodox Church and on Wednesday in the Catholic Church and those Protestant churches observing Lent. As has been our practice for several years,when Eastern and Western Lent overlap so closely, the inspirational thoughts from now through Easter will be chosen for their content appropriate to the Christian season of repentance and spiritual growth.

The difference between punishment and persecution, is:

Punishment is what good people do to us when we are bad.
Persecution is what bad people do to us when we are good.

— Adrian Rogers
Sent by Rich Dilling  

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