Last Saturday the Madera High School class of 1973 gathered at the Elk’s Lodge to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our graduation. Getting our education, we experienced 13 years of daily contact together until our commencement ceremony sent us out to conquer the world. Four decades later, we took time from our busy lives to revisit our childhood and the people who populated our formative years.
One of my greatest delights of the evening was the arrival of classmate Alice Tates. A girlfriend since kindergarten at James Monroe Elementary, she had a chemo treatment Tuesday and wasn’t sure she would feel up to a party. In my opinion, cancer hasn’t a chance if the way she was dancing and laughing on Saturday is any indication of her resolve to live life to the fullest and take whatever it serves up.
At the reunion, I had what I felt was a long over-due chat with classmate, Mando Bellinger. When we were in school, he would have won the best “Afro” hair prize. “Your fro came in the room five minutes before you did,” I said.
“You may not remember this,” I said, “but at my first 8th grade dance in the Thomas Jefferson cafeteria, you were the first boy to ever ask me to dance.” ...