Central High School Reunion: The End (Maybe)

This isn’t my favorite photo of the weekend, far from it. It’s a mediocre image from a technical standpoint, but it’s the one that caused a wave of deja vu to wash over me.

It was the end of the evening. The crowd was starting to drift away. A few couples got up to dance. I climbed up on the stage for a higher angle and stood there holding my camera and waiting for a photo to happen.

Suddenly I was transported back forty-plus years. It dawned on me that my life had come full circle. I was the same kid I was in high school who was AT the event, but not part of the event.

He’s got his photographer’s face on

Shortly after my youngest son, Adam, married Carly, we went to my niece’s wedding. I’m not big on socializing, so I grabbed a camera and started walking around shooting candids. Carly turned to Adam and said something like, “Wow, I’ve never seen your dad with his photographer’s face on.”

I’m not sure exactly what he told her, but I assume he assured her that it wasn’t something that ran in the family.

How to be invisible

I worked a long time at being able to disengage when I’m shooting. One of my favorite photo stories was of an old barber in West Palm Beach who stayed open just because he was lonely. On a good day, he might get two customers, all as old or older than him.

After shooting pictures of him holding up a parking meter in front of his store and greeting one customer, I pulled back and started shooting detail shots around the shop. Eventually, he became so unaware of me that I shot him fully stretched out asleep in his barber’s chair. I figure that was the ultimate test of invisibility: to get someone who was starved for company to tune me out.

Enough self-analysis. You guys want to see photos from the reunion on Saturday night and a lunch for the Class of 65 (which was crashed by folks from other classes).

She still has the same freckles

Nancy Froemsdorf came up  to me looking almost exactly like she did at Trinity Lutheran School in the first grade. I don’t think she’s added or subtracted a freckle. OK, she’s better looking than she was in first grade, who am I kidding?

Where was Pam?

Pam Taveggia promised all the way back in October that she was coming to the reunion so she, Jim Stone, and I could hook up with Ernie Chiles so she could “hug the stuffin'” out of him. First, Stone emails me on Thursday saying he couldn’t make it because he had to save the world or some other lame excuse, then Pam bails.

Sherry with her top down

I’ve already recounted how Sherry Huff Swanson led me to believe that this year’s reunion was going to be memorable when we got out to her car. I have to concede that she didn’t tell me any falsehoods, but the encounter, to steal Paul Simon’s words, didn’t “meet my sweet imagination.”

Here is Miz Sherry ensconced in Louise.

Terry Hopkins cleans up real good

Since I’ve poked fun at Terry Hopkins this week, I guess I should even things out by showing him resplendent in his tux. “I only have two kinds of clothes,” he said. “Shorts and a tux.” Who’d have thunk it?

Previous reunion stories

Photo Gallery from reunion and lunch

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to step through the gallery.

We’re headed back to Florida Wednesday, so it’ll going to be sort of slow here for a few days.

There are a couple of more stories I’m going to do about folks I talked with at the reunion. I had lunch with a fellow I wish I had gotten to know better when I was growing up.

Some things in the works

Some of you have asked about getting copies of the photos. When the dust settles, I’m going to upload all of the photos to a site where you can download higher resolution copies of everything I’ve posted from the reunion.

I may also create a CHS Reunion fan page on Facebook where you can tag the photos with names. Give me a couple of weeks to pull all that together.

Thanks for all the kind words over the weekend. You all are as much a part of this blog as I am. Without readers, I’m just some poor fool standing on a tree stump shouting out at the forest. I love to hear your echoes.


14 Replies to “Central High School Reunion: The End (Maybe)”

  1. Ken thanks for sharing…we didn’t get to attend but have enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from CHS…

  2. Ken, you weren’t invisible to me in high school and definitely aren’t now. I always recognized you as a guy with an incredible talent who would go far with it. What I didn’t realized in high school was what a sweet, sensitive guy you are, but we will keep that under wraps! You and Lila are the best!

  3. Thanks Ken – I hope the Facebook page happens so folks can put names to the faces because I don’t recognize many people – maybe the class of 63 wasn’t well represented at the reunion.

    Pam Taveggia – I would love to hear from you. look me up on facebook – Becki Dahlstedt (you’ll remember Whitler).


  4. Since my memory fades so quickly, it is helpful to have all your wonderful pictures to go back to for a refresher. Thanks.

  5. Ken, You have described it! It was a wave of deja vu! Only for me it was a FLOOD of deja vu that swept me back to the 60s! I can’t believe it is 45 years later and we have done what we set out to do and we are at that age we thought we’d never get to. Thank you Ken for preserving our memories both in high school and now. You have enriched the whole experience for all of us. Oh, and one more thing, it may be 45 years later but I’M NOT DONE YET!!!!! See you in 5 years!

  6. Dearest Kenny, You have just nailed it all around. You are one hell of a photographer. You need to do that book and soon. You have given me moments to cherish forever. Be safe and continue to flouish, my friend….as always, Charlene

    1. I’m OK at creating content. I’m lousy at selling. I’ve yet to pick up an ad for this place. (The one for Annie Laurie’s Antiques is a freebie for my wife’s niece, a really nice gal who is doing very well in a crowded market.)

      The book idea is intriguing, but I’m already giving it away the content here. I’m not sure there’s much market for a book that you would actually hold in your hands.

      We’re a small group in a small town operating during a small window of time. I don’t know how universal that is.

      Wanna be my agent? I’ll cut you in for a share. Let’s see, if we split profits, you already owe me $5,233.27.

  7. Let’s round that off to 5G and run. I’ll take it off of here to discuss but a small town writer (if sincere) can go further than you might think. Try a number of your business people in town for sponsors AND take how many were at the reunion(?) for a ten year span and multiply that by $20-25. and you might come out ahead. Kenny you will learn a dream can last a long time and take you alot of places….Pokie

  8. Ken,

    This reunion was like a hurricane–the stories from it may move into the morgue, but the memories will remain. Your efforts will help keep those memories fresher.

  9. I love it when the press misquotes me…I said,”The only long pants I own are on by tux!” but the indea was correct. These shots are great…and I like the idea of you having a online collection…

    Oh Oh …I have an idea…why not add pcitures for others taken at the reunion…send out a request for pictures and then make one GIANT collection…Wath do you think…I a sure there are ton of shots out there…why request others to siend you what you have and you edit them all and make BOOK!…
    These are very nice..

  10. I’d be happy to contribute pics from class of ’62 if you decide to incorporate other classes. Ken-we used to live next door to your aunt and uncle on Cecilia St.

  11. thanks for capturing all the great memories,it was so much fun and i love seeing all of my long time friends.there was just not enough tme to talk to everyone…thanks again kenny for all your time on the job!!!!!see everyone next time…betty

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