The forty year slap

Perspective is a beautiful thing but once in a while it really kind of slaps us. This was the case for me recently while I was reading a short story on social media. The author drew a conclusion which caused me to reflect and like a slap in the face, for just a moment the conclusion really had my attention.

The author stated in writing that the graduating class of 1982 had been graduates for forty years. Forty years, I thought and quickly did the math mentally. Holy crap people, that is correct. Forty years. Forty years. The impact was stunning like a Will Smith slap across the face and like Chris Rock I just stood there for a moment thinking. I even said to my lovely bride can you believe that this year I will have been a graduate for forty years? She looked at me with a, “Duh” expression clearly displayed on her face. You see she is my junior by a few and hasn’t gotten that forty year slap yet. I know there are some of you that are 50, 60, and maybe even 70 years slap recipients and you are likely thinking; “punk kid” right now. But please hear me out on this one, I think you may enjoy.

I thought about it for a few minutes remembering the last few days of school with many of my class mates and friends with whom I had endured 12 years of instruction drudgery. Ours was a small school and we knew everyone very well and were comfortable together. In the drudgery, the bond was forged and is strong to this day.

Like all graduates, we felt we had the world by the tail. I remember a teacher who was our class advisor telling us at the taking of our graduating class picture that this would be the last time that we would all be together at the same time for the remainder of our lives and that we should look around and remember that moment. I did so but at the time, as many of my classmates did, I remember thinking how full of crap that statement sounded. However; I get it now, the advisor like most of the time in those days was correct. Soon we found out that a couple would move on and leave this world just a year or two after that prophetic statement was made. Some others have moved on through the years and I try to make a mental note and think of each at that time.

Still, many of us tarry on and I associate with some still after all the years. This despite the fact that our little class of graduates has spread across the world now. When I see one of my old classmates we will normally greet and smile at our common beginnings. It has been a grand adventure for me and continues to be each and every day. Time goes fast and I must say what a wonderful journey it has been.

I recovered quickly following the forty year slap and returned focus onto tomorrow and what will be. It is good to remember and stay connected with where we are from but the excitement of life remains as it was forty years ago. It is in tomorrow, and the next, and the next after that. I’m looking forward to seeing some of you again as our paths may cross and we will laugh and catch up on goings on in our lives.

I know now just as surely as those young kids of 1982 marching proudly out the front door with wonder in our eyes, we still have the world by the tail. I hope to find you hanging on tight and running at a full speed forward just as fast as you can. Go Wildcats!!!

To that graduating class of 2022, get ready folks. Lace up your Vans, 2062 sounds far off, but it will be here quicker than you may think. My hope for you is that your adventure will be as grand as ours. It may seem like a stretch to you now but we are more alike than you know. Because you see, way back in the day, we wore Van’s too.

“Off the wall”, my young friends!!!

Free from

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