On a sultry summer day, members from the Valparaiso High School Class of 1985 were arriving little by little at the cultural and historical center of downtown Valparaiso, the Memorial Opera House. With people milling around the front of the building and outside, it made for an intimate and cozy space for long-time friends and classmates to re-acquaint and catch up. Many conversations were filled with excitement and enthusiasm as people were enjoying their drink or snack catered by Pastimes. Not a lot of people attended the initial gathering at the Opera House, but the people who did attend seemed like that they had at least a couple friends that they were close to. Steve Massa, owner and president of Golden Technologies, organized the event and was planning many other opportunities throughout the weekend for the Class of ’85 to gather at. “We're doing a little slice of history here since we are getting together for nostalgic purposes at the Memorial Opera House," explained Massa. "Then, tomorrow night we have a little bit more formal but still pretty casual event at Pastimes."
Most attendees of the weekends’ events had come to previous reunions, and I had a chance to talk to some of them to hear about their memories of high school and their friends.
"We had a lot of great memories from high school. Between clubs, friends, going to football games, just doing all kinds of stupid stuff we did when we were young, ya' know." "And, it's cool to see all my 'ol chums from high school." - Melissa Daniels (Indianapolis) and Ree Grivetti (Valparaiso)
"It's more shocking to see how little some people have changed, how much they still look like they did 25 years ago. And, you recognize them even though it's been 25 years since you saw them." - Jeff Barber
"I live in London now so one of my favorite memories is my 19th century British Literature class, and my teacher was Mrs. [ ]. And, she would have cucumber sandwiches to celebrate Sheets and Kelly, the poets. So now I live where Sheets and Kelly used to live, and I look back to that class. And it was just fun. It was something different." - Woman from London
As I was talking with the former high school classmates, some people asked me if I was a part of the class of 1985. This question caught me off guard very much each time. Not only have I barely graduated from a traditional college, but I am barely 25 years of age. And I didn’t want to be too boisterous, but I was actually born in 1985, which made those questions all the more bizarre. But, there is one thing that I believe holds true. Time flies. And if you don’t take hold of what is here and now and right in front of you, you never may. And that’s what reunions are all about. Taking time to treasure and unite once again the memories, friends, and happiness that, in this case, occurred twenty-five years ago. So make the most of your time while you have it, because time really is our most precious commodity.
To see more photos from the reunion, click here.
To see a short video, click here.