The following toast was presented by Kay Dwyer Rees at our recent 50th reunion. Her message is entertaining and profound and will resonate with each and every one of you. Enjoy.....
WRHS 50TH CLASS REUNION SATURDAY NIGHT ADDRESS:We hope we have brought you a little bit of nostalgia over the past couple of days….made you think back to what we were doing 50 years ago…before we all took this little break to have lives!
In 1966, the world was an entirely different place.
Gasoline was .19 cents a gallon.
Time Magazines’ ‘Man of the Year’ was “The Generation Under 25 – Baby Boomers”…that was us!
Miss America was Deborah Lynn Bryant…from Overland Park Kansas.
Some other ‘hotties’ of the year were:
Raquel Welch Audrey Hepburn
Barbara Eden Sophia Lauren
Doris Day Jane Fonda
It was 1966 when we first heard the quotes:
“Beam me up Scotty” – Star Trek
“Have it your Way” – Burger King
“Fly the Friendly Skies” – United Airlines
And we marveled at the new inventions like:
The first installation of Astro Turf in the Houston Astro Dome
Kevlar…5 times stronger than steel
And many Ford luxury cars were equipped with 8 Track audio players.
We entertained ourselves with TV shows like:
Bonanza I Love Lucy
Red Skelton Green Acres
Andy Griffith Beverly Hillbillies
Jackie Gleason Bewitched
1966 was a time we will all remember as being Musically Magic…to name just a very
few Pop Artists of the day:
The Beach Boys The Animals
Elvis Presley Herman’s Hermits
Lovin’ Spoonfuls Monkees
Mamas and the Papas Petula Clark
Rolling Stones Stevie Wonder
Temptations James Brown
Dianna Ross and the Supremes Temptations
Otis Redding The Righteous Brothers
Peter Paul and Mary Frank Sinatra
Percy Sledge Wilson Pickett
And who could forget the hours we all spent with: The Beatles!
To see the past through the eye of the present is a cathartic experience.
All of our lives have been a series of ups and downs, wins and losses, successes and failures.
So… what brings us back? I’ve thought about this so many tines over the past few years…especially every time I tally up the hours spent planning and prepping for the next reunion – and every time my husband so wisely asks…”why?”…just “why”?
Surely over the past 50 years we have all developed new interests; made new friends; adopted new personas. WE ARE GROWNUPS! Age is taking its toll on all of us…SO WHAT BRINGS US BACK?
Here is my theory…we all knew each other BEFORE. Before we worked so hard to become the people we grew up to be. We here tonight are the only collective gathering of people you will ever encounter who knew you BEFORE.
- BEFORE you were married or divorced
- BEFORE you were a father or mother
- BEFORE you had your first major success or failure
- BEFORE age took it’s toll on health and physical appearance.
It was in that ‘BEFORE’ that we shared a vibrant future and incubated a lifetime of dreams. Every classmate in this room was a part of my BEFORE…as our class song said, “when life was young and oh so mellow”.
So here we are…reliving the US of BEFORE. I hope you enjoy the memories – not just beat tags and barns – but that you experience …for just a few moments here and there:
Thank you all for coming…have a great evening…and now please join us for the school fight song!