Sunday, November 7, 2010

You know you're getting older when...



You attend a book fair and find someone who has done a small book on your high school that is titled: Birth Of A Hawk - Proctor R. Hug High School Remembered. It was the last word that caught my eye - what do you mean remembered?

Wasn't it just 1968 and I was attending a brand new high school in Reno, the first in some time? One that had the community in an uproar because for the first time it would have white children bussed from all over the city to actually attend school with black children? It now seems so laughable.

I was drawn to the title and sure enough - I found myself in the very first picture taken of the students assembled in the school square. There was one of my girlfriends - wearing one of my cute pink dresses - which she borrowed constantly, as I remember. There was my first love and high school sweetheart, who died at age 20 of a drug overdose in San Francisco, standing next to me. My name is printed in the back as one of the first students to go all three years and graduate from this new high school.

I guess you know you're home when you can attend a book fair put on by the Historical Society and talk to an author from Austin, Nevada, who said your uncle met him every day out in Kingston (about 30 miles from Austin), to collect his mail. This, of "The Loneliest Highway" fame. Yes, the author was also the mailman. Or talk to a lady standing nearby that says she is a cousin of your nephew's father, and knew your father and uncle well.

I came home with a big bag of books, and the feeling that maybe, just maybe, I will somehow end up staying in this place where I was born. That serendipity pulled me back after only six years for a reason. Maybe I was only meant to leave for a while. Whatever fate has in store for me, maybe it's in the place that my family has lived for five generations.

Either way, it feels good to be somewhere where  'people know your name.'

21 comments:

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

that is awesome! i sometimes feel the same way when i go visit KC and run into people i went to school with. here - i have no history and it's sometimes a bit sad. no one here knew me as a child, or even a young adult.

Joanne said...

What a nice tribute to your high school. I like to think that your post title can read ... You know you've made a difference, or you know you've mattered, when ...

Hilary said...

What a wonderful feeling that must be.

Amy said...

Nancy, See you CAN go home again! I get the same feeling when I visit San Francisco, though I don't think I'd ever choose to live there again. I attend my high school reunion every 5 years, but we're just a bunch of aging women who have very different lives. We have a common tie as most of us spent 13 of our formative years together.

Have you noticed that there are quite a few books, both fiction and non-fiction, that are set in the 60's? Hence, your post title! I really enjoyed this post.

DJan said...

I GRADUATED from high school in 1960! The chance that I, an Air Force brat, would ever see myself in a picture like that are astronomical. I think it's wonderful, but yes, I know I'm growing older when... I read something like this and smile in recognition of things that are now so commonplace and were once so newsworthy.

Brian Miller said...

nice. it does feel good to be somewher that people know your name...and there is a warmth that is found no where else...

Grandma Nina said...

Isn't it funny how you don't feel old until something like that brings it to your attention.
I live in a small town that my parents, grandparents and my children were all raised and everyone knows our name. It used to bother me, but the older I get, the more I appreciate it.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Terrific post! What is it all the esoteric teachings say? Love where you are.

Natalie said...

Did you get your pink dress back?
And a very big hug re: first love. :(

Rob-bear said...

So nicely sentimental, and wonderful, Nancy.

I graduated from University in '68, got my Master's in '71, moved half a continent away, and never made it back to what was "home." Of course, only a couple of years after I moved, my parents did too, to a little country cottage almost the middle of nowhere. So I guess there was never really a home to which I could return.

Besides, I like our city of 225,000 better than the city of three million that I came from.

Deborah said...

Five generations!! Them's pretty deep roots, Nancy. I can well imagine your feeling of but-wasn't-that-just-yesterday?

Was he still your love when he was 20? Sad story - so many young lives were lost that way.

Linda Pendleton said...

Ok, Nancy, now I'm curious. Five generations in the Reno area. Did they come for the Gold Rush? Or because of it? Or was it a little later?

Gaston Studio said...

This so resonated with me because my daughter and I are returning home next year to Savannah... and I can't wait!

Jayne Martin said...

It must be nice to live someplace where you have a real sense of family roots.

Jayne Martin said...

It must be nice to live someplace where you have a real sense of family roots.

Pat said...

Must have been a great feeling to talk to people who knew about your past AND knew your relatives.

ds said...

Yes, I do understand that feeling of returning to your roots, the sense of connectedness and completion that it brings. My parents live on the farm that has been in my mother's family for 5 generations (my bro and I are generation 5); it is a powerful pull.

So sorry about your first love. Such a terrible waste.

Marguerite said...

My family has been in Cajun country for 6 generations, so I know what you mean! I've tried living in other places but there is no place like home and where your roots are. It is a wonderful feeling to be so connected to your community.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

beautiful post, nancy - seems we can go home, and in many different ways!

Angella Lister said...

So poignant.

California Girl said...

I enjoy looking at my high school year books occasionally, and hearing from old school mates via FB or classmates.com or email. I try to get home to CA every year for at least 7-10 days so I may see my oldest and best friends. Sounds like you had a very warm and wonderful time.