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.....

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
            Annette Funicello

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:
  • That twinkle of expectation you had in 1966
  • A glimmer of the promise that would lie ahead
  • And some joy in recalling your very own BEFORE
Thank you all for coming…have a great evening…and now please join us for the school fight song!