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55th Reunion
August 10-12, 2012

The Class of 57 once again called a meeting to all known living members to return to Vestal for our 55th Reunion. A three day event.

  • Friday evening party at the Ward's house,
• Saturday evening dinner at the Vestal American Legion, and
• Sunday morning Brunch from 9:30 until noon at the Elks Club.

We had 72 attended; 46 were classmates. We had three first time reunion attendees. It was great seeing them. Some came alone, others with spouses, relatives or friends.

We had great weather, wonderful comradery, good food, lots of memory sharing, laughter, tears and hugs. We had a memory board with the pictures of those in our class who have passed on (35 that we know of).

Friday Evening "Re-acquainted Time"
Friday evening was "get reacquainted time" over snack food and homemade desserts, coffee, and soft drinks.

Saturday Evening Diner
Saturday evening at the Legion was the BIG HUG time. Many old friends seeing each other again for the first time in at least 5 years. It was wonderful. We had some fruit, veggies and crackers, and a cash bar.
Then, before dinner we all stood for the Pledge of Allegiance of the Flag and the blessing.

Dinner was family style with Roast Beef and Chicken, Green Beans, Baked Potatoes, Rolls and butter. We brought in a marble cake for desert. Then we all moved around and hugged and chatted. Yours truly gathered us up for Thank You's to the committee.. We got a very nice, warm round of applause.

We talked about where we are in our lives, who we have lost and who is in danger now. We talked about needing to LIVE, not just EXIST, as we grow older. There were some emotions, and we chose not to have any comedy that evening. We then talked and laughed and hugged more until closing time. A very warm, emotional, evening

Sunday Morning Brunch
Sunday we had the Brunch at the Elks Club in Vestal (Note: we always choose to keep all our events in Vestal). This went from 9:30 to noon. A great buffet breakfast with scrambled eggs, cinnamon french toast, pastries, home fries, bacon, sausage, coffee and orange juice. No one left hungry.

When people entered they saw 36 green and gold helium balloons over each table and around the room. Again, lots of hugs, sharing of old and new stories, and a much lighter mood (which is what we wanted). I talked to the group about getting the most out of each day and making sure you found some laughter each day. I shared stories of how one can create some laughter in your life and we all had some good laughs, and then went back to just talking with each other..

Concluding Ceremony
We concluded with a special ceremony with the balloons. There was a reason for the 36 balloons (Heart shaped balloons that you might receive for a special occasion, which this was): We know 35 of our classmates out of 174 have passed on. Balloon Ceremony 35 of the balloons represented them.. A 36th balloon was added for those who may have passed and we don't know that, We just can't find them.

Everyone who could, grabbed a string from one of the hanging balloons, and we all went outside together. We spoke of how we wanted to remember and honor those who have left us with this chosen expression of love. Upon command, we all let go of the balloons at the same time. They rose straight up to the heavens and staying close to each other, as our class always does.

Balloon Away It was a sunny day with some clouds, and we watched and cheered (as we wanted it to be a joyous occasion celebrating with them), until they disappeared high above us. Some could not help but be emotional, others with a warm smile.. Lots of hugs and caring ... Some left then, some went back inside ... a wonderful three days with our beloved classmates, who we may or may not ever see again in this life, but surely the next.

For those who missed it, you were remembered, and our love went out to you. For those there, more memories built up in our minds forevermore. I thank all who came and shared. I thank the committee for making it a reality. And for our whole class, live every day to the fullest, keep in touch, and know we will meet again.

Love forever and for always... Your Class of 57 Reunion Chair. Jim