A Storyby Adam Prince
On April 18 at the Yarley-Woodward Country Club, we hold our fiftieth reunion. Seventy-three attend, half our original number. “Half,” we tell each other, proud of our longevity. “Half,” we say, to explain how important our identity as the South Pasadena High School Class of ’57 has always been. Waiting at the entrance are name tags that include our senior class photographs. We wear them good-humoredly, chuckling and shaking our heads at those former selves as we might at a kitten pouncing a sock.
The men of ’57 are broad in neck and chest and gut, with heads that bulge from buttoned collars like fingertips from tightly wrapped Band-Aids. Our faces, already pink with age, have gone sheepish red as the result of complaints we’d been making only fifteen minutes earlier about coming to this thing—complaints nearly forgotten now as we greet our equally hot-faced friends. We wear navy blue or gray sport coats; our ties are tasteful and subdued, except in the case of Class President Jerry Riggs, who sports a yellow tie with the word Viagra repeated hundreds of times in capitalized blue. And then there is John Mink, a small, chalky man who has just been saying to his young wife in the car that this ought to be a nice event but who now stands apart, ungreeted, running his hands over the jacket of his five-thousand-dollar black tailored suit as if to smooth it beyond what is possible.