Thursday, September 11, 2008
Ron Benjamin Moved to Tucson on Purpose
This was the first reunion I missed and it does look like I "really" missed it. A quick update: I left SoCal a couple of years ago and headed with my new partner to Tucson, which I describe generally as "the only place I've ever moved to on purpose." Sometimes getting into a new venue is just the prescription one needs to get centered, and that's what I think this place has done for me. After a tough last few years in Lake Forest, having lost my dear wife Peggy (Devaney) to cancer and struggling with getting my teenage sons to cope and refocus, I decided to take an early retirement from Boeing and to set the boys loose to sink or swim. Danny, my oldest, floundered for awhile then started hitting it like that Phelps kid, and is doing great at CSUF, doing Army ROTC on top of a full course load and a job. Justin the Younger, well it's a good thing I got him to take scuba lessons.
When I opened up the Class of 68 website and found that group photo I was swept with nostalgia and no small twinge of regret at having missed it (I was pulled back into air refueling tanker work with Boeing and wound up on a team that's under the gun to get some airplanes delivered). It was wonderful to recognize so many of you. Stephanie Storm and Kathy Cordes, you just jumped out of the page; Peter Vogt, Deckert, Frost, you'd never know 40 years have past. OK, in other cases I can believe it, but time hasn't been a big buddy of mine, either. So, have we become the people we hoped we might be as we were asked to project ourselves into the future, that last time we were all together before being hustled off to Grad Nite at Disneyland? It was hard to tell at our 20th reunion as we "dressed to impress". We seemed to be heading the right direction as we got a little more real with our luau casual motif at our 30th.
From what I see, wow! For our 40th we just showed up as ourselves, take it or leave it. It would appear that we've learned some things on the way. Continuing on that journey, on the unbroken continuum of time and with only a few skipped heartbeats, we now peer through the keyhole to 2013. I find it reassuring to know the strength of our bonds equates to our faith that we'll meet again in five years for another rare and very special occasion the likes of which I am resolved not to miss again. The world will be changing, so we're going to need our various perspectives and the grounding we provide each other all the more. My best wishes to you all... I'll see some of you next time. In the meantime, if you feel like emailing please do so, I'd love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron- Glad to hear that you've landed on your feet in the Grand Canyon State. I'll check in if I'm headed your way, hang in there, summer is almost over. - Jerry