Class Notes

Shock and Awe Redux: 35th Reunion Thoughts

June 14, 2012

As I walked away from the festivities under the tent on Saturday night after saying my goodbyes, wandering off into the night in search of my car, and again as I drove down Route 2 towards Boston on Sunday afternoon, I was struck by a bewildering sense of melancholy not dissimilar to the feeling after graduation in 1977. That time, however was overcome by a sense of urgency and angst looking towards the future, to college, to a career, and on into the ether. And it was certainly better than the strange sense of anxiety I felt in the weeks leading up to the reunion weekend!

Passing the farms and houses along Route 2 on the way up to Logan Airport, I thought about what the past few days meant to me. Was it possible that the friends and happenings of 35 years ago still had such a strong emotional tug on me and my life now? Although I had often thought fondly about my time at Deerfield, and had grown up in the Pioneer-Pocumtuck Valley, I was struck by how much that time had shaped me, and how many friendships I had made, and how the experience still coursed through my being, even now. Although the friendships had not endured in terms of day to day contact, they had clearly remained imbedded in my unconscious. I had been ensconced on the West Coast, far removed from the coming and goings of most of my classmates, keeping up to date only through the class notes, and on the occasional and serendipitous crossing of paths. And then all those memories came bubbling up in a dizzying stream of conversation, laughter, drinking, and fun. Some of it shared with classmates I had known only peripherally while at school. As a day student I didn’t partake in the entirety of the Deerfield experience, but I still felt a tremendous kinship.

I was in awe of our collective personal and professional experience. The potential that we had all exhibited in those formative years had burst forth in front of me like a supernova; I was struck by the diversity of our experiences and accomplishments both personal and professional, in the intervening years. I’m sure we only scratched the surface in the presentation by Ed and Dave. Remembering you we were, and seeing who we had become was stunning. But mostly I found it amazing how quickly we were able to pick up where we had left off; even with those I had known as classmates for a year or two, or had shared a single class.

Thanks for sharing such a wildly enjoyable weekend. Particular thanks to Tucker for his enthusiastic perseverance as reunion Grand Poo Bah, to Jack for the Red Sox and golf outings and Wayne for hosting the pregame libations. I’m sorry I missed brunch on Sunday morning… I went to an antique car show in Bernardston with my nephew, who at age 6 is obsessed with cars. I had such a great time and look forward to reunions in the future. Although it would be naïve to say “let’s keep in better touch” than I have over the last 35 years, I hope the last few days may rekindle friendships in some way. Please know that if any of you find yourselves planning to come to San Diego, that Cameron and I would love to hear from you.

Jim Gilmore Class of 1977