Editorial: It’s about time

Fifty years . . . a half century . . . that’s a long time! So the Rappahannock County High School (RCHS) class of 1963 deserves to celebrate – and they will on June 22 at the Flint Hill Public House.

An even longer time, of course, is 55 years, and the RCHS class of 1958 will gather June 29 for an all-years celebration, at the Flint Hill fire hall.

As I write this, I have just returned from my own 50th high school reunion, and it reminded me of the famous Kurt Vonnegut observation that high school is “the core of the American experience.”

Reunions are always fraught, but the symbolically significant half-century mark seems especially so: the Golden Anniversary, the Jubilee, the mother of all reunions.

Any half-century anniversary – marking the passage of such a big chunk of time – sparks big questions, even for once-inattentive high school history students. Of course, self-important Baby Boomers have always had a habit of “scaling up” the primarily personal into generational (and national) significance.

So what about America itself – not just the reunion classmates – then and now? Is the country better off today than it was 50 years ago? Would this 1963 or 1958 high school class – this generation – be deserving of re-election? Or impeachment?

As the late Kurt Vonnegut also said, “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”

Reunions should be fun, of course, but they should also provoke reflection.

Walter Nicklin