|Colby College Chapel|
|Colby classes '63 and '65|
I wanted to reconnect with those who'd shared four very impressionable years with me...the years we morphed out of childhood and wiggled into adulthood.
New buildings scattered along the dazzling, closely-trimmed grass were unfamiliar to us. New wings on the art museum housing remarkable multi-million-dollar collections were unfamiliar. The downtown area where our drinking hangouts had been demolished was unfamiliar. Our collective memories were not.
We'd lived together through the turbulent sixties.We remembered a wall erected in Berlin and missiles in Cuba aimed at possible targets like New Orleans, Houston, Miami, Cape Canaveral.. We remembered the exact spot on campus where we heard the news of President Kennedy's assassination. We remembered those who left to march in Washington, D.C., and Selma. And we remembered those who left to be "advisors" in Viet Nam, a place we hadn't been able to identify on a world map.
|Our newspaper editor-in-chief,|
Jan Parsons, leads us in the parade
Colby, a liberal arts college, required courses in English, the sciences, languages, and the arts to graduate. Even the scientists among us had to write essays coherently. We were a small freshman class - only 346 . Around one hundred ten of us returned - survivors who'd tried to influence change. Isn't that what all graduates try to do?
|With new Colby President David Greene|
At the reunion there were no facelifts among us, nor designer jewelry. We wore jeans, sweatshirts, and jackets against the stiff wind of early June. We didn't talk much about our professional careers or accolades, although there were some who'd become household names and some who were still engaged in their fields. There was talk of hip and knee replacements, heart bypasses, and cataract surgery. And world travel and hobbies that had become obsessions. And involvement in the community. But mostly we talked.of kids and grand kids and how far away they lived from us. And professors who'd influenced us and coaches who'd gone on to glory and fraternity parties before Colby banned them and long-term marriages among us. And deaths.
Only a few tried to relive the glory days in a time warp, last to leave class headquarters with a drink in hand, heading downtown to postpone morning. A few searched out the bands playing on campus to work off their dinner. Most of us were happy to read in bed.
My reconnections would continue - during another reunion day; during a visit to a classmate's home on an island "down east"; through emails, letters, and get-togethers.
Sometimes a look back at what shaped us is a good thing.