Last weekend I attended my 50th high school reunion at Ozark Academy in rural Northwest Arkansas. About eighty percent of our class returned to the school and it was a wonderful event. Most of these people I had not seen for fifty years, and most of them I will never see again in this life. I had a great visit with Reggie Bland, my first roommate in 1965 in the basement of the old Baker Hall, long since demolished and replaced. Reggie was also my last roommate during our senior year of 1968-69. I recited to Reggie the story of when we were both working in the bakery in the back room of the old country store down the hill from the academy. That would have been our sophomore year. Reggie showed me how to take the rectangle of cardboard, the one used in the package rolls, and toss it like a Frisbee through the exhaust fan. It made a wonderful buzzing sound as the fan shredded it and blew it out to the sidewalk. Reggie says he doesn’t remember doing that. How could he not remember that? Seriously, it was a great prank and I actually did it successfully myself.
And my friend Robert Strickland was there. Rob told me about a mandolin that he had at that time, and that it was a bit worn and in need of refurbishing. He told me how I refinished it, took all the strings off, redid the finish and even repainted the little stripe around the edge. I hope I did that, but I don’t remember doing it. How could I not remember something so significant?
Well, I remember all our family home phone numbers from the time I was seven years old until I finished high school. But I don’t remember my phone numbers since then.
I wrote all this down so I wouldn’t forget it, and then I whiled away a pleasant three and half minutes watching a YouTube video of the Paul R Tregurtha leaving the harbor at Duluth. My God, what a ship.