At Low Point High School, in southern Ithaca, New York, some members of the class of 1996 have mixed feelings about attending their 21-year high school reunion, which took place last Saturday. It seems that not all of the former students have wonderful memories of their high school years. In fact, several of them expressed disappointment that “times change, but people are basically the same.”1
The Flying News’ own roving reporter, Ryan Rocifero, crashed the party and interviewed several alumni/-ae about why they came and how they felt about the reunion. His report follows.
Sherry Clarence, age 38, was a cheerleader in her years at Low Point High School. She said she came
mostly to see if all the losers would show their faces. And they did. I was like, ‘Wow, they’re still losers.’ I mean, like, some of them still don’t know how to put on makeup. It was totally a bum party.
Meanwhile, Katherine Wilburson, age 38, who was a straight-A student on the honour roll, said she came “hoping that my classmates had matured a bit since then.” Now a happily married mother of three, working at a research firm in New Hampshire, she explained that the first thing the popular girls said when they saw her again was “Where’d you get that sweater? Wal-Mart?”
And they just laughed at me. It was terrible. I felt like I was 17 again, being rudely insulted by the same bimbos who always hated me. Ugh.
On the boys’ side, the class clown Robert “Bobby” Bean, age 38, said of his decision to attend,
I thought, you know, I always pretended I was having fun at school, but really I knew no one understood me. So I joked around a lot, you know, got some laughs, but of course I failed most of my classes. Coming to the reunion, I was just hoping maybe people would respect me for who I am. Maybe even the teachers would be pleasant to me, instead of sending me to detention like they used to do.
But when he arrived at the reunion, the now-retired principal, Mr. Sunders (who was also in attendance), asked him if he’d gotten any speeding tickets on the way there, and told him: “watch it, buddy, and don’t make any trouble.” Not only that, when Bobby cracked a joke about the DJ being “a little out of tune,” he was immediately told to step outside and “think about what you’ve done.” Bobby said he feels that he’s been typecast yet again. No one even cared to ask him how he’s doing.
Several football players (aged 38 to 42) from the Class of ’96 attended. They pushed several people out of the middle of the dance floor to call a “huddle” in which they cheered the school mascot and themselves, one after another. And, apparently repeating the tradition of high school days, their cheer ended with “Down with nerds/ Down with geeks/ Wipe their faces off the streets!” Gregory Wilcox, age 38, formerly a top player on the Low Point Chess Club and now a mathematics professor at Brampton University in Newfoundland, Canada, obviously felt slighted and took “one more drink than usual, just to dull the pain.”
Susan Ritter, age 38, known back then as “the quiet girl,” said that while she was thinking of staying home from the reunion, she finally decided to go at the urging of her husband. She’s still quiet, as introverted as she was in school, and doesn’t really like to dance. But as her luck would have it,
The reunion practically revolved around the dance floor, just like another senior prom. I hated the prom. I went because everyone else was going. It was like I had to. My parents said I should try to be like everyone else. The guy who took me didn’t really know me. He spent more time hanging out with his friends and laughing his head off, while I pretty much sat in the corner and watched everyone else dance. And that’s pretty much what happened at the reunion too. I mean, not the guy thing, but I was pretty much in the corner by myself, watching everyone dancing and talking, having a great time, and I was just wishing I’d stayed home with [my husband] Daniel, curled up with a movie or some quiet music.
Finally, the class Fat Kid, Herbert Lubber, said he regretted going
mostly because they didn’t have much good food,2 just like the old days.
He said while he knows he still feels like an outsider, he takes solace in his friends at the Society for a Fat America.