Our class is fortunate in that we have almost always had someone in our class to organize a class reunion. The first class reunion I attended was the 20th which was held at St. Joseph’s in Downingtown, the site of our graduation party back in 1959. Our 25th class reunion was held at the Waynebrook Inn in Honeybrook, Pa. What I remember about that class reunion was that the disc jockey was so loud (or I was sitting too close to him), that I couldn’t hear my fellow classmates when I tried to talk to them and catch up on old times.
We didn’t have a 30th class reunion. I think that was because no one took the bull by the horns and organized it. A former classmate, Jean Timmerman Swisher, took the reins for the 35th class reunion. Jean was with our high school class until her senior year. That year her parents moved to West Chester and that is the school she graduated from. Even though Jean didn’t graduate with our class she took it upon herself to organize our class and pull off the best reunion we probably ever had. It was held at the Italian Social Club in West Chester. I still have a video of that reunion.
Our 40th class reunion was held at the Downingtown Country Club in Downingtown. This was a momentous reunion for me because it was the reunion that I came out. Every class reunion I filled out the questionnaire which contained the question “Married?” I always checked “Single.” However, this time I checked “Married” and put the name of my “Spouse” as William D. Kelly. Bill is my “spouse”, or Life Partner, since 1964. I have to admit I was very nervous when I entered the building at the Downingtown Country Club that Saturday evening. I didn’t know what kind of reception I would receive. What I did know was that after 40 years, I thought it was time to stop this charade that I was “single.” I wasn’t and I’m not now. Bill and I have been together for 45 years now. The reception I received? I was quite surprised. It was the same reception I’ve always received. I was still the same Ron who was their classmate and continued to be the same Ron. A couple of classmates talked to me after the reunion and said they had “no idea” that I was gay. In fact one of them said “you didn’t act gay.” Oh well, stereotypes will always be with us. She meant well.
The 45th class reunion was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Frazer. That was also a good reunion. I had a chance to reacquaint myself with many of my former classmates plus I took a load of pictures.
This year for our 50th, we’re going to hold it at the Whitford Country Club in Downingtown. Since it is our 50th, we’re eligible to ride in the homecoming parade. I don’t know how many of my classmates will take advantage of that “opportunity” to ride the float advertising that we’re now officially Old Fogies.