I think that it was on this date forty years ago that I graduated from high school. I’m not sure; my diploma just reads “given this month of June, 1971.” I guess the school had generic diploma blanks so they didn’t have to get them re-printed every year.
I was the class speaker at the graduation. I got the job by default. We didn’t have valedictorians or such, so the administration asked if anyone wanted to speak, so I volunteered. We were a small class — 47 students — at a private school, and I’d been in school with some of my classmates since Grade 3. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote — and I doubt anyone else remembers — but I do know that I ended with a quote from Bilbo Baggins from the first chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
I still keep in touch with some of my classmates via Facebook, but we’ve all pretty much gone our own way, and there are some I haven’t seen since that warm June night in Toledo. We’ve had a couple of reunions since then, and the school is planning a 40th reunion for us in September. I doubt I’ll go; I’ve already made plans for summer vacation and I’m tapped out.
So, if I don’t get the chance then, here’s to you, MVCDS Class of 1971.