My dad played the drums. A little known fact that even my brother didn’t know until recently when we were talking about cleaning out junk in our respective houses. I mentioned that I had the drum sticks that dad had given me.
I remember it pretty clearly. Dad came across them in some hidey hole in the garage we were cleaning. Not real sure I was helping him as I don’t really see myself spending much time cleaning garages when I was younger. More to the point, I don’t see myself spending much time with my parents, it was more likely he was cleaning the garage and I just happened by at the time he found his sticks and was giving them a try. Okay now that we have the story straight, here we go…
I asked him where they came from and he said they were his. No way. My dad hip enough to play the drums? No. He was dad, not Ringo. Yes, Ringo, I am old enough to recall Ringo when he was just Ringo not the RINGO he thinks he is today. I need to stop the commentary.
So I asked dad to give me a sample of his par rump-a-pum-pum thinking he would rat-a-tat something like a two year old would do with a wooden spoon and a floor full of pots and pans. But he shot me his crooked grin and played the sticks on several things in the garage with a masterful hand and a beat that made my toes tap. I was amazed. Then I asked him if he could do a drum roll. The only drum talk I knew at that time. He wailed off a drum roll with his sticks on the top of an old plastic hamper. Again I was amazed. I didn’t see it then, but as I look back now I can see that he was living moments in his life like I live moments of my past life now. Like many people do, especially at this time of the year. The Fourth of July, when friends and families gather after a year or many years apart. The stories and memories flood the ground around your feet. Again, not to be too repetitive; it’s amazing!
In Ely, Nevada there is what is called an all class reunion over the Fourth of July holiday. Where graduates of all ages and classes of White Pine High School come back to do what we White Piners do best. Enjoy living. Meet, talk, laugh, cry, and remember.
Of course this is a party atmosphere that is not restricted to just this one Eastern Nevada town. It happens all over this country. I cannot speak of what they do in France or Costa Rica as I am not from France or Costa Rica. But in Nevada we have reunions with all the trimmings. Food, talk, drink, talk, water fights, talk, dragging Main Street, talk. Seems to be a theme here. With all that talking you would think that we all know everything about what happened in high school by the time we celebrate like 20, 30 or more years out of high school. But you would be mistaken.
Just like when I was a fledgling teenager finding out my dad played the drums, I still find out things about school that make me go, “Really!?” I don’t think I am alone in thinking that my class was the best class to come out of that school. Uh the old high school, not the new fancy one that I have never even been in. Now that will make one feel the tap of years on the shoulder!
There are classes close to mine that are nearly as good as our class is. I know people from classes above me and below me. What I find hard to swallow is the class of 2006 are having a ten year reunion. Really? But the class of 1976 having their 40th reunion? That one I can see. I keep asking myself, “Are there actually people who have been out of high school for ten years that graduated in 2006?” That is like meeting someone who was born in 1988. I was out of school for fourteen years by 1988. How are you feeling about the years under your belt by now?
I look forward to learning more each time I run into someone whose life has intersected with mine. To the newly graduated and those graduates from less than ten years ago I say hang in there you aren’t going to believe what you see in twenty, thirty or more years. So, come back home soon and often. And do talk about your school years with your kids. Metaphorically pull out your drum sticks and give them a show.
Trina Machacek, WPHS Class of 1973, lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Drop a note to her to firstname.lastname@example.org.