I attended my 35-year high school reunion last weekend in San Marcos, Texas. Going back after all these years is like waking up to a world where everything changed overnight. At least, that’s how it felt to me.
People and places are frozen in my memory just as they were in 1974.
We moved to Austin right after high school. Without having my parents as an anchor in town, I rarely had the excuse to go back. Life moved on. Three and a half decades passed. I went to one reunion long ago. I don’t even remember which one it was. 5-year? 10-year?
When I left:
- Southwest Texas State was a small party college in town.
- Aquarena Springs was a vibrant vacation spot.
- The San Marcos River drew tubers from all around Texas.
- Neighborhoods looked much the same as decades before.
- First Baptist was a church near downtown.
- Estrella, the horse, lived next to the Sac ‘n Pac. (I named her for the star in her forehead. I don’t know her real name.)
When I returned:
- Southwest Texas State is Texas State University.
- Aquarena Springs belongs to the University and looks like an abandoned property.
- The San Marcos River is the home of endangered River Rice and looks like a swamp.
- Texas State ate up neighborhoods, reminiscent of the old Pacman game.
- First Baptist Church, the building, is now Sanctuary Lofts apartments.
- Estella’s place is now Palmer’s restaurant.
- Sac ‘n Pac is still there. Whew! Now that’s a relief.
It’s not like it all happened overnight. Decades passed. I’m sure the changes happened slowly…except in my mind. How odd to be the one coming back telling the stories about what once was. And it was a long time ago, after all. More than a lifetime to many who will read this. Maybe I’m like Rose, the elder version, in the movie, Titanic, when she tells the story of the fateful voyage to the crew who discovered the shipwreck.
Don’t worry. I have no plans of jumping in the San Marcos River at the end of this blog — especially the river rice overgrown part.
Let me jump to work issues for a moment:
What happens when we venture further out, where the journey takes years and the mission lasts a decade?
What will it be like returning home to Earth? Think about it. I’ll bet they experience the time warp sensation I did upon returning to San Marcos after all these years. People and places will have changed. They themselves will be different. Their journey will change them — just as my life’s journey changed me since I left San Marcos.
Fun to ponder, right?
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of some iPhone pics of my high school romps: San Marcos, Wimberley, Austin.
I’ve gotta’ say, though. I really miss Texas. No way to catch up on 35 years of living in one single weekend. That’s where Facebook comes in. I’m thinking we need a San Marcos High School Class of ’74 fan page, where we can all post our stories. (I know, I know…it’s on my to-do list.)