A Once and Future Reunion

untitledJim would be there. Certainly, Clay would be in attendance. I think Jack showed up, as well. Bob could not make it of course. I graduated from Texas A&M in May 1969. This week my class celebrated its 50th reunion.

Clay is a great guy. He was always helpful to other folks, and he was the guy that got stuck in the middle. There was that time when some of us were turning 21 and could buy beer. Clay, Jim and Pierre had been to the pizza place just off campus.

They took their last pitcher of beer to bring back to the dorm. Piling into the front seat, Clay was in the middle holding the beer, even though he did not drink the stuff. The group got back to the quad just in time for the campus cops to pull them over.

The two guys on the outside bailed out of the car, leaving Clay holding the beer and arrested on a charge of minor in possession of alcohol. Jack was my roommate the second semester of our freshman year, but the time I remember him most was when we were juniors.

Jack was first sergeant of our company. Yes, we were in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, Company A1, the Animals. Jack and Jim had gone to Huntsville hunting a date in one of the women’s dorms at Sam Houston State that Saturday night.

I was left at the dorm, bored and looking to get into some trouble. I hit on the idea of moving a little furniture. I ordered freshmen to carry all of Jack’s possessions, everything out of his room, to one of the latrines.

The freshman set everything up very neatly next to the showers and commodes. They even moved his class schedule cards and the first sergeant sign from his door. Jack came back to the campus drunk. The reason I knew this was because he threw open the door to my dorm room with a bang and started yelling.

Jack also had freshmen the next morning to throw trash cans full of water on top of me as I lay sleeping.Jim was the buddy with the irrepressible grin. When we were sophomores, word filtered through the company that the juniors were planning a severe hazing session for us (lots of push-ups and late night runs around the golf course).

Life is not fair and neither was the thought process of that junior class. We decided to do something to merit the punishment. We tossed a can of cleaner with a lit cherry bomb inside into every junior’s room at 2 a.m.

I was rushing back to my room when I saw Jim holding an unlit “Babo Bomb” in the hall outside the ranking junior’s door. “Bob, give a light,” Jim pleaded. I obliged, just as the target emerged from the room holding a pillow to block the bomb.

Jim went over the top of the defender like he was still playing football for Garland High, and spiraled the bomb to the back of the room. A very satisfactory explosion followed.

Bob Johnson had a smile that could electrify a power grid in a mid-sized county.

He came from Paris and played in the Fightin Texas Aggie Band. He worked several jobs as he rushed his way through college. He graduated early so he could marry his sweetheart, Sandy. Bob was killed in Vietnam, almost before the ink was dry on our diplomas.

My 50th class reunion was Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, my wife needed a ride to a doctor’s appointment in Dallas. Tuesday was spent writing stories for this issue of the Jefferson Jimplecute. Reunions are about seeing old friends, recalling the days when we were young and remembering those who are no longer with us.

Somehow, I don’t feel like I have missed my reunion, at all. I’ll just catch up with my buddies later.

 

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