My Devils Lake Central High School class of 1979 has had three reunions at the usual increments – the 10, 20 and 30 year mark. We have had a good turnout at each of these gatherings with classmates from across the country converging in DL for lots of catching up and reminiscing about our high school days. About 10 years ago, a couple of my gal pal classmates thought it would be fun to have a “just us girls” reunion. Planning ensued and in the summer of 2006 we gathered for the first Girls of ’79 reunion at one of the girl’s beachfront home in Long Boat Key, Florida. Five years later we convened in the Black Hills of South Dakota and in early October we converged in a beautiful cabin in Estes Park, Colorado, owned by another classmate.
The hallmark at all of these gatherings is laughter – in abundance. Following the most recent girl gathering, one classmate commented on Facebook that so much laughing should be illegal, and that she couldn’t wait to do it all over again. In addition to the fact that we genuinely enjoy each others company and that we always have a few comedians in the bunch, I think part of all the non-stop chuckling is that we allow
ourselves to revert to our youth and be more carefree and silly. We also giggle about some of our high school antics, including a taste testing some of my classmates and I conducted in a class to see if students could tell the difference between cat food and tuna fish. (What was that teacher thinking allowing us to do such a thing?!) And we become a little sleep-deprived, perhaps further contributing to letting our guard down, because the gatherings are one giant slumber party with non-stop gabbing going into the wee hours of the morning.
It’s not all fun and games, as we do allow ourselves to get serious, as many have faced health issues and other life challenges over the years. One of our classmates, who dealt with numerous health issues for many years, joined us at the first gathering in Florida, only to be gone when we met again in South Dakota.
Lots and lots of delicious food also is enjoyed at the Girls of ’79 gatherings with some of the ladies making some of their tried and true recipes that they have enjoyed over the years. Following the South Dakota gathering one of our classmates compiled and distributed some of the recipes shared in a mini cookbook. Some of the dishes that come to mind in the book are an addictive pickle dip and healthy and tasty couscous salad. At the recent gathering in the Rockies, some of the dishes we enjoyed included stuffed blueberry french toast, spicy risotto, grilled pork tenderloin and a 313 salad (from the former 313 restaurant in Devils Lake).
As a general rule, these gatherings are off limit to boys – of any kind – however in Colorado we were surprised by our host classmate who secretly invited two “Boys of ’79 to join us one evening, one who lives in Colorado and another who traveled from Idaho and entertained us by playing his guitar and singing.
I feel so fortunate and blessed to be able to share this time with such dear and longtime friends, and I am sure we will gather regularly for many years to come. We haven’t decided where the next gathering will be held, but as my classmate said I can’t wait to do it all over again!
(On a side note, the Estes Park area, along with other parts of Colorado, experienced severe and devastating flooding just a few short days after our reunion. Fortunately our classmate’s house was not damaged during the flooding, however many people in Colorado lost their homes due to the flood.)