Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Batesville High School Class of '85 Reunion

Had a great time at my 20th high school class reunion. People were just as fun as I remember. Started the trip at J. Crew the week before with my friend Dave who helped me pick out some reunion duds--"okay, these look successful without being pretentious," "that sweater is not you," "don't roll your sleeves up. You'll ruin the look." Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the outfits because I was behind the camera. But both sets of clothes were fun.

My favorite was for the Friday night football game, where the Pioneers actually WON (rarely happened when I was in school). I wore a watermelon pink shirt under a chocolate brown v-neck sweater with bootcut jeans and some brown split toe lace-up shoes. We went to my friend Rob's house before the game. His 8 year-old son, Hunter said he liked pink shirts, and that it "takes a brave man to wear pink." Something like that, Hunter.

We were late to the game. It was so fun and kind of shocking to walk up into the stands and see a bunch of people you grew up with all sitting in one place. After the game most of us went to Josie's at the Lockhouse, a local restaurant that overlooks the White River. Josie's is at the center of a huge town controversy because they sell beer and wine with their food (Independence is a dry county, but the ABC board approved their license). My former brother-in-law, a local attorney, is working to shut them down. We all did our part Friday night to keep them open.

Lindy Treat-Hopper is in the middle with her husband (also named Troy). She and Kim Gold (on the right) helped organize the reunion. Pat Malone is on the left with his mouth wide open. Behind him is Donna Butler. Donna and I talked about when we both went to Southside's prom our senior year (Southside was the town, you guessed it, just south of Batesville). A sweet Southside girl, named Kim had died a month before in a tragic car accident. At her memorial service they played "We Are the World," which became a kind of bizarre theme song. When a DJ at the prom played it, everybody in Southside's cafeteria formed a big circle, joined hands, raised them above their heads and swayed until the song was over, which believe me, was a long time from when the song began. I know it sounds mean, but I felt ridiculous. Was the Gen-X cynicism divide really just 7 miles north of Southside? Donna and I agreed that you would never have seen this same sight in Batesville.


This is Rex Knight and his wife, whose name I cannot remember (but she was very nice). Rex was my earliest best friend. He reminded me that we used to send each other presents in the mail back when we were in first grade--I remember gluing my "R", "E" and "X" wooden letter blocks together, wrapping them up and having my mom help me mail them to him. I think I tried taping the money for postage to the package until my mom saw it and gave me a stamp.

Rex was always very sciencey. As you probably know I've always had a soft spot for nice science people who have a little naughty side (see John). When we got to high school Rex and I were a part of a gang called the Grits. Our sole purpose was to drop any extracurricular activity that might be considered stereotypically cool. Instead, we decided to "add our spice" to the clubs that usually kept a lower profile. Kind of pompous now that I think about it. The Grits' finest moment was when Rex and a few others broke into the homecoming parade in his very large, very old, olive-drab colored Buick--Rex was so proud driving down Main Street in his non-descript float while everyone in the car waved like they were part of the homecoming court. They even threw candy. We thought we were the original iconoclasts. In high school you believe you are the first to do everything.


This is Rob Grace, Hunter's dad, Jennifer Watson, and Kim Goff. Kim looked great. She reminded me that I had written in her yearbook that I wanted to marry her. I said, "Aren't you glad that didn't happen?" She said, "Aren't YOU glad that didn't happen?" Oh, and Rob was fascinated by the red Mustang rental car I was driving. It was a concept car. He asked if he could drive it to the dinner Saturday night. I was happy to play "Make A Wish" but nearly wet my pants three or four times by the time we got there. At one point I glanced over at the speedometer and we were doing 85 mph through Batesville.


Vonda Kay Harper and I went to school together from first grade until we graduated high school. Look at her fabulous backless outfit! She told me she didn't have babies because she wanted to keep her girlish figure and didn't have a man because there wasn't room for his stuff in her closet. If she ever married she said he would have to rent his own storage. Vonda lives in St. Louis and said she comes to Indianapolis for Black Expo, so we are going to try to get together next year when she is here.

This is Amy Davis-Brown (left) and Stephanie Purnell-Klaypass (right). We had lunch at my mom and dad's house on Saturday in honor of all of the lunches we had there during high school. My friend Georgette drove in from Little Rock to join us. During high school we had an open campus, but only 45 minutes for lunch. So at 11:45 cars would roar off the hill racing to fast food places. Amy, Stephanie and I and a few other friends who didn't make the reunion, would usually run to J. C.'s Eastside Grocery, a tiny corner market that made really good sandwiches. J. C.'s wife also had a few racks of women's clothes you could browse through while you were there if you had time. We would take our food back to our house to eat and catch part of All My Children.


This is Elke Strecker-Vickers with Pat and Kim. Elke has a 19 year-old son and an 18 year-old daughter. She and Mike got married right out of high school and have been together ever since. Elke has always bragged about how her kids would be raised while she still had energy to do it. Then she and Mike had another kid two years ago. "I thought I was shooting blanks" Mike told me. He credits zinc pills with "reloading the gun."

Mike got me in trouble Saturday night. He was sitting by me when I was downloading the first set of pictures I took onto my computer. When one of the reunion organizers who is a little uptight came over to ask what we were doing he said we were looking at porn. To which she just said "Oh" and walked away.

Even with two nights of events there were people I didn't feel like I spent enought time with. Since some of you asked, people were very welcoming to John, which is a good thing (I would have hated to throw down in the Ramada parking lot). How could someone not be sweet to John anyway? Actually, most everyone had mellowed out. As Lindy's husband Troy put it, "If you aren't comfortable with who you are by now, you have a problem." I agree. I also believe that whether or not you are comfortable with yourself has a lot to do with how you treat other people. Fortunately, I think my classmates are pretty far down the road of self-acceptance, which sure made things a lot more fun for us all. We're looking forward to our 25th reunion which we hope to have with the class of 86 and the class of 84.


Blogger Cuz said...

Hey Troy, looks like you had a good time. I'm still debating about going to mine next year. Sorry I missed you and John while you were here in the boonies.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Hey! I think you may be the first blood relative to post a comment on my blog!

Yeah, I thought about stopping by the hospital when I drove through Heber, but didn't want to get in the way. We'll be out there for the cold cemetery tour in February. You, Susan and the boys have to join us!

You should go to your 20th. Take a camera and then send folks the photos. They will appreciate it.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Cuz said...

You should have stopped by. You would never be in the way! It is interesting seeing the pictures of your classmates. They look all look so much older than I imagine ourselves (he, he). Can you believe we are now pushing 40?

I will look forward to the cemetery trip. I always like going out to Center Hill and showing Susan her own grave stone...

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Kim Fleenor said...

Troy, This sure did bring back memories for me. The open campus for lunch. What good times we had in high school. Glad I stumbled across this. Love ya!

7:52 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

Thanks Kim. Hope you can make the next one!

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who did kim gold marry? Where is she now? Id sure like to find her. Along with all the other guys....lol..

11:18 AM  

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