For the last year I and two other high school classmates have been planning our 10 year reunion. It started actually back in high school when I ran for class president and lost. The guy who won never seemed to be the kind of "planner" person so I told my classmates, "You'll see in 10 years when he doesn't plan a reunion, I'll end up doing it." So last summer when Mr. President hadn't started any planning, I assumed the role.
I started by making a Facebook group for our class. It was very exciting to see people join and get excited about the reunion. Laurel and Scott contacted me and said they wanted to help, which was perfect because Laurel lives in Astoria and Scott is an organizational master and, oh yeah, I was having a baby in January.
After many emails, Skype meetings, Google documents, a trip to Astoria, and another week-long trip to Astoria, we pulled it off this past weekend.
Friday August 6 we had a barbecue at the high school which included a guided tour by the vice principal Mr. Jackson because the school has undergone major renovations and additions since we graduated. Everyone who attended seemed to like it and it was fun to see people's kids. Afterward there was a bonfire at the beach which I skipped out on because I was worried the car would get stuck in the sand and/or I'd feel uncomfortable around buzzed classmates. Instead Bill and I went on a mini-date a a local bar/restaurant. (I got a little buzzed...)
Saturday we had a no-kids, cash-bar, formal dinner at the Astoria Country Club. Being the planner and person most-easily talked into things, I even gave a little speech. Bill coached me a bit and told me to start with a joke, which I did, and it made the rest of the speech a lot less nerve-wracking for me.
"So the Stomper (high school mascot), goes into a bar, and he has a ship's wheel stuffed down his pants. The bartender says, 'Dude, you have a wheel down your pants!' To which the Stomper replies, 'Aye, matey, it's drivin' me nuts!'" Laugh laugh laugh OMG Addie Bales just said NUTS!
Saturday's dinner ran into a few hiccups such as the kitchen only making food for 40 people when we'd confirmed 65 were attending! Thankfully the kitchen staff was easy to work with so there ended up being plenty of food. And although we'd expected 65 people, 76 showed up! This was both good and bad, meaning we got paid more at the door than we expected, but also had to throw together two extra tables. Thankfully most everyone was understanding and patient, perhaps in part that the drinks at the bar were ridiculously inexpensive so people just visited and sipped on their Cosmos longer than originally expected. We also coordinated a class picture which was so fun! We also had trivia questions and raffled off several prizes, mostly donations from local Astoria businesses. We also had a memorial table for the only classmate who has passed away, Courtney, and on Sunday presented the vase o' memories and a few other things to her father, which he appreciated very much. Scott put together a slideshow of people since high school, which was very well-done. And nobody did anything embarrassing or got really drunk, which was my primary worry. A week prior I'd had a nightmare that I was standing on a scary ledge in the high school auditorium and broke the ladder and fell off of it. I'm so thankful that didn't really happen, I stayed on two feet the entire time!
Sunday we had a picnic at Coffenbury Lake and it was a low-key, less-attended event but I think it was a nice way to end the weekend. It seemed like over half (maybe even 75%) of the classmates we invited attend one or all of the events, which was really encouraging. It was also a blessing that the three of us planners were able to be reimbursed our initial expenses and our class was able to donate money to Astoria High School.
This was my big project for the summer (and the year!) and I'm glad it's over, and even more glad people had a good time. GO Fishermen!