Madd Maxx, M. and me started planning the event last fall, and it culminated with Saturday’s wing ding. For months, Maxx emailed and called from Louisiana with ideas. He would text over a worry about food or RSVPs, and I would text back “Chill” or “Dude, it will be fine.” He (thankfully) reminded me to check on various things, and I did. Well, except for that CD player I was supposed to bring to the reunion. He took it upon himself to locate each and every one of our classmates, spending who knows how much time on the phone and computer. He’s a whiz at tracking people down. He should work for the CIA. Or a repo company. M. works at a bank in our hometown, so she knows where people have been hiding out for the last three decades, too. She collected reservations and money. Together, we managed to gather together many of our classmates and teachers for a Labor Day weekend reunion.
There were people there whom I hadn’t seen in thirty-one years. We all looked a little older than we did in 1978.
For four and a half hours Saturday, we laughed and told stories of spankings and classroom antics. We laughed at ourselves and our childhood goofiness. And for a little while we got to relive our innocence and the simplicity of a time when our biggest dilemma was whether or not mama was going to let us buy a metal Tom and Jerry lunchbox. Or whether the boy or girl sitting next to us was going to circle “yes” or “no”.
As I was reviewing the pictures from the reunion, I realized a common theme: Madd Maxx. He’s in most of them. Now, when I’m taking pictures I just look for a good moment to capture. I don’t really think about how many I’m taking of one person or another. And there were plenty of photos of smiles.
But over and over again, there was Maxx.
During the school trivia game.
And the picture discussions.
And fellow classmates.
He was all sit by me.
And do you remember.
And while I think most of us had a really good time during that walk down memory lane, for him it was even better. It was a chance to relieve a very special time that came to a traumatic end when he had to move out of state immediately after our 1978 graduation. While he’s always stayed in touch with me and a few other childhood buddies, he has missed the 35 other kids he made memories with so long ago. It gave him a chance to catch up and gave the rest of us an opportunity to stop and appreciate how good we had it back then or finally realize how difficult of a time some of our classmates had at home then even though they didn’t show it. I now know life wasn’t all Mayberry all the time for some kids.
So Maxx, thanks for the fun during the last few months. I love ya’ more than my luggage. And thanks to my fellow Franklin Lancers for giving me an evening of laughs and smiles. More importantly, thanks for the nine years of friendship and life lessons.