A column I wrote in Friday’s Ledger & Times …
Ten years ago I didn’t have an e-mail address and barely knew about cell phones.
Stamps cost 32 cents and the idea of being married and having a baby seemed a world away.
Those were the days when Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” was heard often on radio stations and you probably saw the Titanic sink on the big screen.
And those were the days when University of Kentucky lived up to its tradition as a basketball powerhouse. One NCAA championship banner was hung in Rupp Arena in 1996. The Wildcats made it back to the title game the following the year and then brought home another national trophy in 1998.
Oh, 1997. In most ways, it sounds so long ago, but sometimes it doesn’t feel so much in the past.
Now, I am addicted to checking my e-mail and keep my cell phone near. In fact, I have two e-mail addresses I check regularly and no landline phone number to speak of. I haven’t heard Eric Clapton in a long time and I don’t make a habit of watching Leonardo DiCaprio movies.
Meanwhile, a certain Kentucky basketball coach forgot how to recruit to a school that should basically sell itself and its hardwood. I do hold out hope that the times are changing there.
In 1997, I was graduating from high school and making the decision to come to Murray State to major in print journalism as far away from Oldham County as I could get without leaving the Bluegrass State.
Yep, 10 years ago. Oh, how the times have changed.
And for that I’m certainly thankful.
My husband and I went to my class reunion. Some of the 254 people who made up the Class of 1997 at Oldham County High School reunited for a few hours. And that was plenty of time.
Throughout the years, I’ve kept in touch with a small handful of high school friends, mostly thanks to the e-mail address I check in a slightly obsessive manner. (Seriously, it’s a habit I formed not long after high school graduation when my enrollment at Murray State came with an e-mail address. My parents would say it wasn’t a free address either after all those tuition and housing payments.)
Two of my good high school friends are married so that’s two of the 254 with whom I keep up. Then there’s another friend who I ended up luring to Murray State from UK.
Then there’s a couple friends with whom I reconnected while our reunion was being planned. I’m certain that 10 years ago the Class of 1987 wasn’t organizing their reunion through a Web site and automated phone calls with reminders of the event.
But we did. And I’m sure we Colonels aren’t the only ones using high-tech party planning strategies.
So I spent three hours last weekend reminiscing with some old classmates while my husband spent most of that talking to the friends of mine from those days that he knows now in our life together.
There weren’t any real surprises. Nobody was surprised I write for a newspaper in my grown-up life. I did, after all, get my start in that crowd as managing editor of The Clarion Colonel.
My first boyfriend seems to have a nice family. A childhood friend and I exchanged motherhood stories. A high school classmate who doubled as my first college roommate made a trip for the reunion from New York.
The food was mediocre. The conversation seemed surface — not shallow but quick blurbs that somehow seemed to cover a decade. The memorabilia from our time capsule that got wet in someone’s basement provided some laughs.
And at the end of the night, I left the room knowing it was important to remember some of those people influenced who I am today but thankful for the 10 years since those days at OCHS.
It was worth recapping a decade in a few hours, even though summing up the 10 years that have passed really isn’t that simple.