Time Passes

Last summer I returned home for my 30-year reunion. A high school reunion is really a chance to catch up with childhood friends. Some of these people I have not seen since high school, others I chat with on Facebook almost every day. I think of all of them as my friends. But I wonder how many of those classmates I can call friends. We just seem to drift apart.
I had six groomsmen in my wedding and only one of them was in my high school class. I have to admit that a second classmate attended the wedding. But that is a pretty high standard for friendship. Perhaps I should aim a little lower. Both the guys from my wedding missed our reunion. We do not stay in touch like we used to.
I thought about how many of my classmates are in my cell phone. The three people from my high school class who are in the phone are friends. Three friends are better than two. Two of the three made it to the reunion. I do not seem to stay in touch like I used to.
I have moved away and my life just does not take me back home very often. I can go years without getting home and some years I will make a couple trips. Every time I drive into town, things look the same. A new Home Depot is where the K-Mart used to be. They recently burned down the old Carls Jr. building. Strange how a national burger joint located right on Highway 101 can’t make it in our small town. Starbucks has a store now. Like a new sprout of grass on a barren lot.
There is one public high school for everyone that lives in Del Norte County and it is appropriately named Del Norte High School. The mascot is the warrior and has been for as long as I have been alive. The warrior was symbolized by an Indian head and our mascots dressed up as Indians. I suppose the politically correct term is Native American. Recently the HEAD was banned as being inappropriate. That seems to be the big change at my high school. The badges we wore at our class reunion featured the Head prominently. I am sure it was meant as a political statement or act of defiance. Nobody seemed to notice or care. We come from a different time. There was a time when giving somebody HEAD would have gotten you noticed.
I took a quick drive by the high school and things look pretty much the way I left them 30 years ago. My father graduated from the same high school 25 years before I did, back when it was the new high school. After 55 years most of the locals have gotten away from calling the two facilities the “Old High School” and the “New High School”. Our 55 year old new high school looks the same as when I haunted those hallways. The eight foot ceilings of the enclosed hall ways no longer have the asbestos tiles that we loved to punch out as kids. I guess that is a good thing. The floor tiles are probably original. The lockers and the locker numbering system is exactly the same. Alas, they changed the combination on my locker. Old locker number 1100 no longer opens to 36-24-36. The awesome mural that Rick Evans painted in the entry has been painted over. I am sure that people were offended by some of the content. Political correctness flies in the face of art. When did the locals start caring about these things?
I was able to spend some time with old friends and drive around and look at my old stomping grounds. I wanted to go to the Frontier Chuckwagon for breakfast and stop by McKevy’s for a milkshake. Time permitting I wanted to get the lunch special at the Stockade. I was a decade too late. Alas, Chart Room and Harvest Café will have to do for this trip. Time passes and everybody and everything remains the same, just a little worse for the wear.  The Tsunami of 1964 wiped out downtown Crescent City and lead to rebuilding, but 50 years has passed and it may be time for a new round of building and growth. Well I would settle for a fresh coat of paint.
I will be back. I always go back. I still call it home.

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