Jacquie’s Corner: My Class Reunion—Do You Remember Yours?

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

Recently, I received an invitation for the St. Cecilia High School Class Reunion in Englewood, N.J., coming in September. It seems we just celebrated our last reunion 10 years ago. I answered the invite and offered to help. Where do I begin? I pulled out our yearbook and began going through pages of names, addresses, emails, etc., hoping we would be able to locate them. Our graduating class was great, and I loved seeing them again. Ten years ago, everyone looked fabulous, because we received our invite five to six months before the reunion, and we had time to stretch out wrinkles, take a gym class, have body treatments, facials, massages, cover the gray, and shed 40 pounds in five months. We all looked fabulous.

That evening I searched for a certain lad who sat in front of me in class back then. I spotted him from across the room and sauntered up to him and said, “Hi, remember me? I sat in the seat behind you in all our classes. You never turned around once.” I commented to myself, “Look at me now. I’m gorgeous,” and then there he was. As I got closer, he stared at me, thinking maybe he remembered me. Look around the room. We are here enjoying a moment with classmates who are the same age and on this side of the grass.

St. Cecilia High School was quite a distance from my home and quite expensive. My mom, bless her, made it happen for me. To pay for my tuition, I volunteered at lunchtime to clear the tables, wash dishes, and reset the tables for the sisters (nuns) during their lunch in the convent for four years until I graduated. One afternoon, I was looking out the convent window when I saw our football players practicing their game. Our team won most of our football seasons, if not all of our games. Let’s look back a few years—okay, more than a few. The powerful Vincent Lombardi was the football coach at St. Cecilia High School from 1942 to 1946. During my years at school, Vince Lombardi made time to visit our football players and work with them on certain days, known as the “7 Blocks of Dynamite.”

One lunchtime, I peered out the window of the convent and noticed the team was getting hot and tired. I threw out some delicious oranges for the team and quickly closed the window. The following day, Mr. Lombardi thanked our principal for the generosity she showed towards our football team with the delicious oranges. Oops, the sisters never knew it was me. She accepted his thanks.

Going to a reunion can be (let me think) pleasant, beautiful, happy, joyful, and a little sad. We shared a few hours together and many more words to express our time with our classmates. Before you knew it, the clock on the wall kept ticking, and you try to get all the words out you want to say to everyone and hear them laugh. It’s difficult to cram the last 10 years into maybe 24 to 48 hours. Who knows when you will meet up with them, as the clock on the wall has a mind of its own.