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|Sometimes I Go Back
|The title of this page was suggested by something New Orleans poet, Jim Metcalf,
wrote many years ago about class reunions. You'll find it further down on the page.
I looked through his books to locate it recently after my husband received an invitation
to his high school reunion. They have these gatherings every five years, but my
husband has never shown any inclination to attend. My own high school doesn't hold
reunions, so, to the two of us, most of the people from that time period are, and always
will be, the youngsters we remember. That thought is what reminded me of Jim
Metcalf's "Class Reunion," his case for holding on to school days as they were, so that
sometimes - when he wanted to remember what being young was like - he could go
back in time and all the people and places would be just as he left them.
There's something to be said for that. Memories are precious things.
|Most of the photographs on this page are from the Inner and Outer Hebrides,
there are a few from the mainland Scottish Highlands.
In answer to an invitation from the High School Homecoming Committee
to attend the upcoming class reunion.
I regret that I will not be able to be with you for the homecoming celebration. I
must be frank and tell you that it is neither the press of business nor the lack of
time that precludes my being there. Rather it is the fear that something precious
to me might be destroyed...memories of those days, filled with the magnificent
bewilderment of youth, when we were eager, naive, summertime-free and
hopelessly in love with living.
I like to pretend that the people and the places are still there, just as they were
when last I saw them. And sometimes, when it's important that I remember what
being young was like, I go back in memory to those days.
If I were to see them now, the people and the places and the changes time has
brought, my game of make-believe would be over. It would fade into the world
of reality that is, I believe, too much with us. There would be middle-aged
people where children were supposed to be.
And the places...the vacant lots...the gridirons of chilly Saturday afternoons in
autumn, baseball diamonds under July's burning sun...they would not be
vacant now, for progress would have grown in places that had felt the footsteps
of our youth. There would be plastic booths where tables with wrought iron
legs and marble tops once held the wondrous delicacies from the soda fountain
at Old Man Peters' drugstore. Gone would be the drone of wooden overhead
fans that mingled with the talk of English Four and who was going steady.
So, if you will, give my regrets and tell all that I'll be thinking of them. And when
you hear them tell each other how they've changed, tell them that, to me, they
haven't. And they never will.
-- Jim Metcalf
|You might like...
In Some Quiet Place - the poetry of Jim Metcalf