Not too long ago on a rainy night early in October 2015, I found myself attending my 30th high school reunion for the RHS Class of 1985. Attending Revere High School was, like for a lot of young people, both a harrowing and amazing experience.
However, over the years, I seemed to only focus on the former, and had all but forgotten the latter.
It probably had to do with a less than pleasant personal life. My parents were split up, my family struggled to make ends meet, my social life was all over the place, my young romantic life was non-existent (not for lack of trying though), and I had no idea who and what I was or to become.
In fact, as it turns out, I had many, many friends in high school who reminded me of just how much they liked me, and still liked me 30 years later.
Quite a long time to lose touch with so many good people.
I basically avoided all the reunions until the last one like they were the plague. That couldn’t have been further from the truth.
What turned me around?
Believe it or not Facebook did.
Say what you will about this social media network being a huge waste of time and a banal wasteland of inane babble, Facebook allowed me to reconnect with my old classmates reminding me of just how great they really were.
A few people in particular, like Christine Ruberto (Berensten, her married name), really got me off my duff to come back to the fold and see everyone once again.
And I’m sure glad she did!
It was held at the Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus Mass. on Sunday October 4, 2015. Though the weather outside was rainy, the atmosphere inside was sunny and bright!
I took my wife, Sue, with me to this event because she is one of the best parts of my adult life and I wanted my old friends to meet her.
Not only did I have a great time seeing everyone, who also were having a great time as well; my wife too had a lot of fun meeting the very same people who were a part of my formative years.
One of these people, Charlene Lombardi (now Charlene Turgeon), was one of my best friends in high school. She and I had a tumultuous relationship, i.e. we were always fighting about something!
The interesting thing is, that over the years, I seemed to have forgotten all about the fights and only remember the good times we had as close friends.
However, in true Charlene fashion, she reminded me of the fights—from a looking back upon them fondly perspective! Hahaha!
If you look closely at the inscription I wrote in Charlene’s yearbook (in the picture here that she sent me), it’s true: we did fight a lot by my own admission back in 1985. Hahaha!
But we really cared deeply for each other as friends, and spent a lot of time looking out for each other—like brother and sister.
Charlene was there for me when I needed a friend who really understood some of the things that I was going through at the time—and she did. She helped me through some serious stuff in my teenage life, and helped me find the strength to mature and let go of childish fears, for which I will always be grateful to her.
Seeing her again was like seeing a long-lost sister after 30 years! It was so great to pick up where we left off and get totally caught up.
Both Charlene and Sue got along really well. In fact, my wife thought it was hilarious and charming when Charlene said to her, “So you’re the woman who married the trouble-maker.” Hahaha!
Anyway, it was great to see her again, and now not only are we reconnected through Facebook but also are Fitbit friends pushing each other to stay fit.
That’s the positive power of social media!
The event only lasted a scant 4 hours, but long after my classmates and I kept the reunion going on Facebook for weeks to come: posting pictures, videos, many thanks to the reunion organizing committee, musings about the evening of all kinds, and this poem below that I wrote called, The Winds of Time.
Read on and you will get a sense of what the evening was like for us all.
And to my fellow RHS Class of 1985 classmates, I will see all of you at the 35th reunion in 2020!
The Winds of Time
by Nick Iandolo 2015, RHS Class of 1985
Time floats upon the wind—like leaves in Autumn,
No one notices until many years does pass.
The faces may change and then some,
But comes the time to reunite the class.
Smiles shine like foam upon our beach’s rock,
Tears and cheers allay all fears in our hearts.
Hugs and heartstring tugs, memories unlock,
“Who was where and when,” the old stories start.
We are all time travelers, ever going forward;
And for one sweet moment: we went back.
How many times have we seen and heard,
Missed paths, lives on a different track.
A score and a half gone by so very fast,
Old dear friends with families and such.
And what did we find when together at last,
That the winds of time passed all too much.
How did it all go by—in the blink of an eye,
The days of our youth and immortality.
The games, the songs, of our school so high,
The parties, the loves lost, the lives so free.
We were all kids once like Pan’s Lost Boys,
Never to grow up…and yet we did.
The beauty of age among life’s noise,
With grace and wisdom no longer a kid.
Instead we basked in the glow of our thrives;
Shared images of our little ones and more.
We danced together, and remembered our lives,
All that time apart we warmly restored!
Knowing that time is unfairly aloof,
We vow that this is not the end.
We hold dear to one great truth:
That we ‘will’ see each other again.
Missing one another so very much,
No one wants to go when the bell does chime.
Friends forever, one last touch,
As we all float upon…the winds of time.