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From Senior to Senior

August 12, 2015


From Senior (in High School) to Senior (Citizen)


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



On one of my bookshelves, I have my mother’s Class of ’33 Old Gold and Black Clinton High School (Indiana)yearbook. Due to her being graduated during the Depression Era, her annual is half the size of the other old yearbooks that rest upon my bookshelves. Instead of a hardcover, the horizontally-designed annual is a soft-cover.


I do imagine that in 1933, the Class of “33 never looked ahead to their fiftieth class reunion. Nevertheless, in 1983, my mother worked on the committee to plan the fiftieth reunion of the Clinton High School (CHS) Class of ’33.


At that time both my sister and I thought that our mother was “old” to be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her high school graduation. Actually, the planning committee must have had some of the same feelings because the committee members voted that the fiftieth class reunion would be the last for the Class of ’33. Although I perceived my mother as relatively “old” at that time, I did encourage her to continue with the class reunions because I knew that she enjoyed the planning and the get-togethers. Of course, my vote did not count. Allegedly, due to age, health reasons, and number of deceased classmates–the 1983 reunion was indeed the last for the Class of ’33. At that final celebration, my mother was 68 years of age, soon to be 69.


Do you wonder why I am writing about my mother’s fiftieth high school class reunion? Well, I have an “older” sister whose Clinton High School Class of ’65 will celebrate its fiftieth class reunion on Labor Day weekend. During these dazzling decades that have zipped by, my sister and I have gained a totally new perspective on these middle-sixties ages. Now that we have arrived at these “senior” marks, we have learned that these numbers definitely do not define “old.” I imagine that all, or almost all, of my sister’s classmates from the CHS Class of ’65 would whole-heartedly agree. How quickly we evolved from CHS seniors to senior citizens! Of course, we do not feel nor act like senior citizens–except when being only a little shy about taking advantage of a senior-citizen discount at a restaurant, event, or store.


We do spend a lifetime of marking milestones by numbers.


From senior high school through her senior-citizen days, my mother was especially good with numbers; unfortunately, I did not follow in her footsteps, in regard to numbers. Nevertheless, I determined some noteworthy numeric coincidences. When my mother celebrated her fiftieth reunion of the Class of ’33, I was age 33. This year, when my sister’s Class of ’65 celebrates their fiftieth reunion, I am 65. There is more numeric coincidence. Of course, my mother was 68 at the time of her fiftieth party, and my sister is 68 at this time of her fiftieth reunion: my connection with the number 68 is that I was graduated with the Class of ’68 from Clinton High School.


In my mind, the number “65” was always associated with the year of my sister’s high school graduating class. Now, for about eleven more months, I have a another connection with this milestone number.


Considering some more important numbers, I smile to write that my sister and her husband have four grandchildren and one more to arrive right around the date of the fiftieth reunion. Earlier this year, I marked 25 years of happily working with my three guide dogs. A good day now is when my Leader Dog Zoe and I can walk at least fifty blocks. On this senior stage, these numbers are the ones that count now.



PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS: An upcoming blog post will focus on senior (high school) cords. Do you remember this attire?



Enjoy each stage of life!

Alice and Zoe


August 12, 2015, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Fran Rayce permalink

    Hi, Alice and Zoe,

    As a fellow member of the CHS Class of 65 I find myself a bit anxiously (and, because of a vocabulary test challenge from Mrs. Harriet Baldwin I find myself using that word carefully), looking forward to the soon to occur event. I had thought that I was not going to be attending and had put all thoughts aside but find myself now wondering who will be there. I still remember a story Mary recounted from one of our earlier reunions when your mother questioned her wardrobe choice for the evening, thinking that perhaps something “chiffony” would have been more appropriate. How times changed!

    I love your use of numerical coincidences to pull your writing together. It is such a clever way give emphasis to the numbers.

    I am hoping Mary will be able to attend the reunion a well. I look forward to visiting with her but will be sure to inform her (and you) of all significant happenings if she does not.

    • Hi, Fran–Thank you for your additional notes of interest for my blog post. I had Mrs. Baldwin for at least two English classes and, of course, learned much from her. She always reminded me of Queen Elizabeth–very appropriate since many of us had her for British Literature, senior year. I do hope that all works out for your attending and Mary’s attending the Class of ’65 reunion. Enjoy the remainder of the summer! Alice

  2. Vivian Pupilli Howaed permalink

    I really enjoyed your writing. I am amazed at how much you remember. I graduated in 1960 and we too are having a reunion over Labor Day but unfortunately I won’t be able to attend.

  3. From my senior year in high school through my years as a senior citizen, I have proudly worn our mother’s CHS Class of 1933 ring. It is classic and beautiful–truly a treasure! I also remember Mother’s joy in planning and attending her class reunions. We were blessed with parents who enjoyed family and friends and who were always “young at heart” regardless of their ages.
    A million thanks for your insights, Alice!
    Love, Mary

  4. Alice. I envy you and the feelings that will wrap around you as you approach this wonderful milestone in your life. I don’t believe this is possible, for your heart beats like that of a much younger girl. I have a little ways to go before my fiftieth, but looking back it doesn’t seem possible that this many years have racked up behind me. Thanks once again for a great post. These travels you have taken your readers on are so full of life. Hats off Wisconsin! dp

  5. Carole permalink

    I love to learn of coincidences, Alice; and these are quite interesting and awesome, as well as another opportunity in honoring your mother and sister.
    Yes, I actually remember that lesson from Mrs. Baldwin about the meaning of “anxious.” She was intimidating; but in my opinion, one of the best CHS teachers.
    Bravo, Alice!

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