This coming weekend marks the 40th anniversary reunion of the Lee’s Summit High School class of 1979.
I am not able to attend.
My four years in high school were delightful in many, many ways. From my perch 40 years later, I recall some very fine teaching from dedicated professionals who opened my eyes to history and science and literature in particular. My music education was superior, both at school and in private piano lessons.
I excelled at music, and found a home of sorts as one of the geeks who did stats for the basketball teams. And I lettered in both music and sports!
Coach Matuszak, Mrs. Simpkins, Mr. Berlin, Mr. Voss, Mr. Ballentyne, Mrs. Ford — these are names and faces I remember with fondness and affection. Several other faces flicker in my memory, but the names have now escaped me.
I was part of a group of music/drama types who generally got along well. Many of us were church people too. My tightest group were classmates with whom I had gone to elementary school, or who were church-mates at First Baptist Church.
I was picked on by some of the upper crust, but never bullied. I despised a few of the athletes, and didn’t understand the kids who smoked or drank. But I generally got along well with others.
I was pretty pure back then. Alcohol didn’t touch my lips until I was 23 years old.
My high school activities included choir, band, orchestra, drama, basketball statistician, and newspaper.
Lee’s Summit was a safe place to grow up. The memories of my days of formation in that town, and at Lee’s Summit High School, are overwhelmingly positive.
Sadly, my schedule doesn’t allow me to be gone this weekend, with alumni weekend performances at Webster, a full day of teaching on Saturday, and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra performing Mahler on Saturday evening.
I wish my classmates well, 40 years on!