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Old 08-14-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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I've found an awful lot of things I like about FIRE, but none better than the get-togethers with old friends and our spouses. I just returned from a brief trip where 3 of us - all college friends who have kept close touch over the years - had dinner at one guy's house. An added bonus was that the guy hosting the dinner had recently run into a guy in his town who was a high school class mate of mine and he (the HS classmate) was invited.

I also link up with people from my Navy years whenever there are reunions or other get-togethers. I've found that with many of them, I can just pick up where we last left off, even though it may have been 15 - 20 years since our last meeting. Next fall, I'm hosting a get-together of 4 Navy guys who periodically get together to tell sea stories, eat, drink and solve the world's problems - I'm really looking forward to it. In April, I hope to go to a big reunion of people who served at a particular Navy command in Florida.

The only time I've missed college reunions is when I've been deployed/overseas.

Do others have the same experiences in retirement?
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:00 PM   #2
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The only time I've missed college reunions is when I've been deployed/overseas.
Do others have the same experiences in retirement?
We have shipmates passing through all the time. Always fun, always easy to pick up where we left off.

I haven't been to a college reunion since... um... college. Too crowded. OTOH it hasn't been too bad at the tailgaters for Navy's away games.

Our 10th high school reunion was fun, but then the 25th didn't happen... nor the 30th. Maybe the 35th?
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:53 PM   #3
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An added bonus was that the guy hosting the dinner had recently run into a guy in his town who was a high school class mate of mine and he (the HS classmate) was invited.

Do others have the same experiences in retirement?
In my case, among the closest people I count are my high school classmates, both males and females. Ever since many of us have started retiring, we have gotten together several times in different cities in the U.S., and occasionally abroad on trips. Our HS was a lab school-type, and we sorta grew up together. There were only approximately 135 of us in our graduating class and approximately 85% keep in touch because of the internet. Not the same feelings when I meet up with my college mates or post graduate professional school mates. I guess that time of our adolescence was more fun and innocence with little pressure except to graduate in 4 years, then go on to college.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:37 AM   #4
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very similar experience as mgyog. grew up in relatively small jersey town though right outside of the city (nyc). people didn't move so much back then. schools were local, not regional. there was a central park where everyone played. parents weren't afraid to let the kids out of the house. we walked everywhere. we matriculated together from preschool to highschool (i left town during high school though). growing up i had one of the major party houses (latchkey kid) besides that we had a ton of friends anyway and three tons of acquaintences.

i can look at almost any year book or class picture k-12 and know the names (first & last) of probably 95% of the kids. a year or two ago my sister-in-law was visiting with her friends down the keys and my old town came up in conversation. they mentioned knowing a florida cop originally from jersey and as soon as sil mentioned the name of her friend's cop-friend, i was able to tell her who his brother was (also a cop) and which classes we shared. freaks'm out every time.

though i wasn't in jersey for senior year as my family left town, i still attend those events and not the events of later schools. at our 30 year reunion, we had 80 of the original 150 of us show up and everyone totally loved it. we even met last year for our 50th birthday party.

i'm friendly with all of them when we see each other. i still have about 10 or so friends i stay in touch with about yearly (about another 10 have died) with six being very good friends who stay in continual contact. it is wonderful to still be friends with people with whom i played in the sandbox.

i even have a friend who i used to take baths with. she works at an internationally known magazine. her mom & mine were friends from when they were 14 years old and so now we are friends our entire lives. when my mom was alive and we'd all go out for lunch, we four (mom & her friend, me & mine) represented about 100 years of friendship. i've inherited my mother's friend and we still always cherish our time together.

i'm the guy in the first row without the jacket or tie (of course). left of me is good friend retiring early and moving down here. behind and to right (facing) is good friend who is an amazing musician. next to her pointing is my friend from the sandbox. the second girl over from there with huge smile was my 2nd grade science partner. etc etc. i've got stories for probably every person in this picture.

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Old 08-15-2008, 09:54 AM   #5
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I just had dinner with my high school girlfriends last night. We unfortunately had to go to a classmate's wake together. There were only 35 in my graduating class (private), and we've had one reunion, but it was an all school reunion five years ago. Hard to say if another one will get off the ground--the school is closed now (in a moment of huge irony, it has been turned into a police station and traffic court--the cops spent so much time there that they decided to call it home!).

Lazy, I'm glad that you are able to stay in touch with so many from back then. I seem to have some rather large memory losses from that time period and so I couldn't say much about who was in what class...I wonder why... I can remember the parties, though.

Congrats to those who manage to keep up with old friends!
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:56 PM   #6
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I still see and visit with a lot of my old school chums and 'sandbox' friends. When I was growing up going to school we had the same classmates from kindergarten through 6th grade. Then in Jr. High they mixed us in with kids from the other grade schools in town to form 8 new groups, so each group still had 4 or 5 of the original grade school gang. In high school, I had very few of my grade school chums in any of my classes, but we still congregated together every day for lunch and to go to basketball and football games, and stuff like that. We still see each other from time to time, and in the grocery stores and restaurants.

I've gone to a few of our HS class reunions, and have skipped a few as well. I'll probably go to the next one.....our 35th in 2010......just to look at all of the old people there......er, I mean to see all of my old friends!
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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Seven of us from college get together every summer at a lake house and bring our family. We have been doing this over thirty years. We come from 4 different states and the best description of our get together came from one of my friend's son who was overheard saying, "it's a bunch of old guys sitting around drinking beer talking about when they were young guys sitting around drinking beer." We brought our families until the kids grew up. We have lost one of the guys to a heart attack and one of the wives to cancer. Old friends are hard to beat.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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I have a high school class reunion next month. It'll be a huge beer bash just like the old days. Good thing its a mile from my house.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:36 AM   #9
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Many of my old high school classmates are scattered to the wind. I still manage to stumble on one or two who never left town when I visit the hometown. But most are still w*rking, have kids in college, etc., and have a different life than me...

I missed our ten-year reunion, but made the twenty-fifth. Hadn't seen many of them since graduation.

I went to community college for two years, then night school at a university. So, not much bonding like you might experience living in dorms together.

Still, I keep in touch with one or two classmates from HS, and hope to rekindle at least a few old friendships, once I have the freedom to do so...

"All my rowdy friends have settled down", as Hank would say...
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:15 AM   #10
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Mostly with friends from work, where the tightest bonds were formed. When your lives depend on each other that happens. There's a monthly breakfast meeting that I rarely make it to - I have to be up and showered at 5:00 AM - but the annual dinner I've never missed.

The few close friends I had in HS have scattered to the winds, two have passed on.

Like HFWR, I went to a community college while working part time and then night school so the bonding in that environment just didn't happen.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:47 AM   #11
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I just got back from a company trip with my old friends and work buddies. I'm surprised they still invite me since I don't work there anymore, but they still throw me a bone. And it sure was a fun trip. One guy there, I knew from high school and college. Most I worked with for over 20 years. Good to see old friends.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:24 PM   #12
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I just got back from a company trip with my old friends and work buddies. I'm surprised they still invite me since I don't work there anymore, but they still throw me a bone.
I've been to a couple of cookouts with my former co-workers (most of whom were friends). A couple of weeks ago I was contacted about a steak fry they were having last week, and I opted out.....decided after 16 months it was high time to cut the cords. I'll still keep in touch with a couple of the guys, but hanging out with the whole clan is too 'work-like'.....I don't really need any reminders of that past life called 'work'. I still get together for cookouts and that sort of thing with my other longtime 'non-work related' friends though!
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:38 PM   #13
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As I've mentioned before: I border on hermit.

Went to 10 year high school reunion, didn't go to 20, don't remember if there was a 30, this year would be 40 but have seen nothing (class of '68 was 75 people).
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:39 PM   #14
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I've been to a couple of cookouts with my former co-workers (most of whom were friends). A couple of weeks ago I was contacted about a steak fry they were having last week, and I opted out.....decided after 16 months it was high time to cut the cords. I'll still keep in touch with a couple of the guys, but hanging out with the whole clan is too 'work-like'.....I don't really need any reminders of that past life called 'work'. I still get together for cookouts and that sort of thing with my other longtime 'non-work related' friends though!
I understand what you mean about cutting ties. But several of the guys I played golf and lived in the same sub-division over the years. They were not just work friends. So I have no plans to cut ties with all just because I don't work at their company anymore. Some are true friends. But the time may have come to put a halt to the annual company golf/fishing trip. Just stick to non-company related functions with the guys.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:11 PM   #15
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But the time may have come to put a halt to the annual company golf/fishing trip. Just stick to non-company related functions with the guys.
That's pretty much what I meant.....cutting out all of the 'company' stuff (along with a couple of dimwits), and hanging onto the 'non-company' friendships/outings.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:36 PM   #16
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We unfortunately had to go to a classmate's wake together....I seem to have some rather large memory losses from that time period and so I couldn't say much about who was in what class...I wonder why...
that's one of the disadvantages of keeping old friends, losing them. the other thing is you also get notices when their parents die, which we're getting a lot of these days. or just last year an old friend, my science partner's brother's kid committed suicide in college. so you get to share all that extra pain as well.

as to memory, that's a real curious thing. i love how we all held onto specific memories that others forgot. it's always interesting to participate in these conversations where you find out what experiences you shared but forgot and then share with the other person what they forgot. sometimes the memory comes back like a brain cell awakening after a long sleep. sometimes the memory has just died. for most of a reunion your brain feels like popping bubble wrap with all of these thoughts coming to the surface which had been covered up by so many years.

i had one awkward experience at a reunion where i met, after some 30 years absense, an old friend who i absolutely did not remember at all. he was apparently a nice guy, well liked, and i'm told we were at one point in childhood good friends. i still to this day have no idea who this guy is and it bugs the hell out of me when i think about it. he came right over to me, recognized me after all these years. fortunately i was so elated over the entire event that i think i faked well knowing him with some generic "oh my god, i can't believe this" greeting.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:15 PM   #17
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We just moved back to my hometown after living in our state's capitol for 43 years. We bought a 1950s-style ranch house on an acre and we love it here. I've hooked up with some of my high school girlfiends and we get together at least twice a month. One of the girls was my best friend in junior high; we hadn't seen each other for over 40 years and when my mother died, her husband was the realtor who sold her house. The realtor was recommended to me by a friend and I had no idea he was married to my BF in jr. high. Anyway, we met for coffee one day and it was like we'd been friends all these years.

DH found a couple of navy buddies through peoplefinders.com. They call each other quite often. In fact, one guy lives 45 minutes from our new home. Wonderful!
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:16 PM   #18
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I graduated in a class of over 400 (in 1966) and I never see any of my old classmates, even though I only live 2 towns away from where I grew up. Even my ex brother in law (who divorced my wife's sister) is persona in abstentia around the area now! I did go to my 25th reunion and it was only moderately fun. Most of the guys I hung around with didn't show up, so I had to pretend to enjoy the company of those whose company I didn't enjoy in school. I'm hoping my 50th (in another 8 years) will be an improvement.
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