Confusion of Uniting or Loss of Memory
I was reading a local blog that chronicles events from Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Most of the items are about people, places, or events. Those mentioned jostled my memory, but there were few things that were from times earlier or later than my years of attending high school. I was a mountain kid and somewhat separated from the places and occurrences in Connellsville proper.
I used to tease the “city kids” that I lived so far back in the mountains that we pumped the sunshine in and the moonshine out. Or I when I was harassed about living in the mountains, I would tell them, “We have signs in our bathrooms that say, ‘Flush twice. It’s a long way to Connellsville.’”
I started to write today’s blog when I saw obituaries of men and women that graduated a year before or a year after me and yet were complete strangers. Even some that graduated the same year I did, I didn’t recognize their face or by name. The year I graduated 1967, two school systems were thrust together, Connellsville and Dunbar. It was a traumatic time for all. A new school mascot, new school colors, new sports teams; both groups had to adjust and there was only our senior year to do it. It was wham, bam, and no time to think or say thank you, ma’am.
When we should have been concentrating on studying and making good grades to graduate, we had to learn how to fit together and remember new names and faces. I was never good at remembering names, so I felt doubly challenged. So if you happen to remember my name and associate it to this aging face, more power to you.
I somehow feel guilty when a person in my high school, in a class behind me or the year ahead passes away and I can’t recall seeing them or ever hearing of them, but our class size went from about two-hundred and fifty to double that at nearly five hundred. Remembering two-hundred and fifty new names and connecting them to faces when I only saw them only in the halls or occasionally shared a class would have been a giant undertaking even for a memory expert.
Another thing are my Facebook friends, many I’ve never met and I’m unsure of whether I should wish someone a happy birthday, especially old people like me. I don’t want to wish someone a happy birthday when they’ve passed away. That would make me look more stupid than I am or that I’ve entered the first stages of senility.