Monday, September 22, 2014

Reunion Recap Part II

After over eighteen months of preparation, the evening finally arrived.

We entered the ballroom, and the overall effect was even better than we could have imagined. The school colors of blue and gold were prominent. In the center of each table sat an iconic centerpiece.

Months before, I had posted a photo on Facebook of the small ceramic figurine I had received at the senior luncheon. Some of the grads hadn’t attended and never got one. Most of us who received them still had ours.

Scarlett, the gal who had volunteered to coordinate the decorations, spent months and months sourcing, coordinating molds and samples, ordering, and then sweating over the final delivery of replicas. In addition, she had larger versions made as vases to center the arrangements and as gifts for the committee members. And she preordered color-coordinated flowers for the arrangements.

When it all came together, the completed centerpieces far exceeded our expectations.

As a bonus, the lady who had made the original figurines is still alive. A classmate volunteered to deliver one of the centerpieces and a thank you card, signed by many of the attendees, to her the day following the reunion. She reported the woman was very touched at how we still appreciated her gifts to us after all these years. She read every signature on the card and enjoyed the lovely arrangement.

The evening began with a touching invocation by one of our class members, a greeting by the chair, and introduction of the committee. Unfortunately, a snafu left us without adequate audio, so those at the back of the room were unable to hear.

I was introduced by the chair and presented her with an engraved photo frame as a gift from the committee. Then I was given an amazing bouquet of fifty pink roses. I felt like a pageant winner just holding it. In addition, I received a lovely engraved pendant based on the designs of the Alhambra in Spain, for which our town and school were named.

We enjoyed a fabulous dinner, prepared by Chef Pedro, accompanied by sixties music played by the band.

During the evening, a photographer took portraits, a videographer filmed special moments and interviewed many of us, and our classmates snapped candid shots. And everyone laughed and talked and shared memories. What a joy to see smiles and hugs in all directions. Grammar school friends reunited, and several groups posed for photos together.

Joy permeated the room and spilled out onto the terrace.

During the evening, quite a few of our classmates won terrific prizes, most donated by other class members and the school ASB. In addition, several valuable items were offered for silent auction, including some of the centerpieces.

Each alumni was given a nonwoven bag with the school logo, perfect for groceries, a pocket-sized logo notebook for collecting contact information, one of the little Moor figurines in a padded bag, and their nametag on a lanyard with the school name and logo. The school also gave us over one-hundred large t-shirts with the school name and mascot, so anyone who wanted one took one home.

Despite my best efforts, I discovered I had missed seeing a couple of the people. With over 190 people in attendance, speaking to all of them proved a daunting task, but I did my best!

The measure of an event’s success is how long the attendees remain, and nearly everyone stayed until the band played “Save the Last Dance for Me” just before midnight.

Rumor has it that a group continued the party in the bar until it closed early the next morning.

I had a fabulous time, and the evening was far too short. I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much.

Next week I’ll tell you about the Sunday morning get-together.