I’ll be on my way to Hobart, Oklahoma this weekend. It is time for the 60s high school reunion. My wife is coming with me this time, a first for the Hobart reunion. Not that she doesn’t like reunions. She attends her own high school reunions with me in tow and enjoys them immensely. But the folks at Hobart welcome me with open arms, even though I did not graduate from the Hobart High School.
I did attend Hobart public schools from the second through the eighth grades. During that time I had a host of friends and a pretty happy life there. Then my parents dragged me to Blackwell, Oklahoma, where I graduated from high school. But that turned out okay, too.
It was in Hobart that I learned much of what I know about community, friendship, and family. I suppose I was like any other boy who grew up in a small town. I had ups and downs and everything in between. It was my friends that I leaned on to bolster my courage and get me through the disasters of childhood.
When I became a writer, I started thinking about a lot of things I didn’t used to think about. Well, if you write about something, you certainly end up thinking a great deal about it. Like my life in Hobart. At the time I never thought much about it. Hell, I was just a kid and kids don’t think about that stuff anymore than they think about where their next meal will come from. It always seems to be there. Everything is taken for granted. That’s what kids do.
Now that I’m a long ways from being a kid, I am doing some serious writing about my life experiences. When I started along this path, I was intimidated by all of the feelings I had and more so by the feelings I had forgotten. It was the embarrassing and evil ones that gave the the most trouble. But you know what? I’m at the point in my life that I don’t really care about that anymore. Actually, when I look back at all the rotten things I did and the disconcerting positions I was in, it’s funny. Well, it is now, anyway. So I threw caution to the wind and let the muse bare all.
What I have come to realize is that my time in Hobart was my preparation for what I’m doing now. I still have some dear fiends there, although we don’t correspond that often. And I still have strong feelings for the folks in Hobart and the town. And that is what I enjoy about these reunions. I get to see them again and discover the wonderful things they have done with their lives. It gives my own ego a boost to have shared part of their lives.
Twenty or even thirty years ago I wouldn’t have given a hoot about a high school reunion. But that’s when I was a lot more shallow than I am now. It’s friends and family that get you through life and the folks in Hobart have been supportive of my foray into writing. A lot of them actually bought my first novel. How great is that?
So, Hobart, here I come. See y’all there.