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Published on July 27, 2021

Class of ‘64 reunion only short on shorts

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

You only celebrate your 57th class reunion once. I wouldn’t miss it for anything, even though it was in Luling, the temperature was in the 90s and I was short on shorts.

I arrived in Luling on a Thursday, in advance of The Watermelon Thump activities. I established myself at Mom’s Front Porch (home of the best chicken salad sandwiches on homemade bread). The temperature was a balmy 96 degrees, which is not unusual for the last full weekend in June, the traditional dates of the annual thump celebration.

On Friday, I bartered some of my stories and a copy of The Bulletin for the use of Mom’s Front Porch’s Wi-fi. They generously threw in a bag of chips. I became a mooch because I stayed with an old classmate. Of course, anyone from the class of ‘64 can be considered old.

I had already touched base with Carole, my temporary landlord; Sandra (at Mom’s Front Porch with her Friday morning coffee group); Lou - at his roadside stand on Highway 90; and Gary - at his traditional sidewalk location, selling watermelons of all stripes, pecans, and more.

Then I made a dreadful discovery.

I surprised myself when, upon seeking to change clothes because it’s ridiculously hot and sweaty, I found that I had packed 19 T-Shirts, 2 button-up shirts, 1 pair of jeans, 8 pairs of underwear, 8 pairs of socks, and (Ta-Dah!!) no more shorts. I guess I packed my laundry and left the shorts on my bed. Making a list does no good if you don’t check it.

This is much worse than leaving a grocery list on the counter. But it gets worse. The one pair of the shorts I had was 4 sizes larger than the ones that fit. I am going to sit down and have a stern talk with myself.

I troopered on, and made do because the next day, Saturday, was busy. It was the day of the main event - the sizzling parade, and I mean sizzling.

The parade was at 10 a.m., which meant that you needed to save your viewing spot by 8 a.m. The Luling ex-students met at 2 p.m., and by 5 p.m., I should have had a heatstroke. I went to the parade route between 6 and 7 a.m., hoping to find a spot facing west to watch and take pictures.

Success. I had a parade viewing location that faced west and faced the parade as it turned a corner to proceed in a southerly direction. I left the “Van’’, running for the back air conditioning and the refrigerator.

In accordance with the user manual, I left the hood up to cool the inverter (cool air is a relative term in this instance). Everyone who passed inquired, “Are you having car trouble?” I think they just wanted to have me towed.
A dark cloud passed overhead 45 minutes before parade time and provided a welcomed cool breeze and relief from the sun. It was great to see the Luling Eagle Band in the parade.

They were on a trailer, so only the majorettes, twirlers, and dancers got to enjoy the hot asphalt and blistering sun.
The reception was held in the school cafetorium, used for small performances, elementary school functions and as a cafeteria. I wonder if the food tastes even better when served on a stage?

It was a great visit, and upon adjournment, ‘64 fellow graduates Susan Holcombe, Mary Elizabeth Carter and I decided to eat at Blake’s Café, a nice and reasonable restaurant close to Gary Collins’ sidewalk, where they sold watermelon, pecan (plain and flavored), salsa and chutney.

I had shrimp; Mary Elizabeth did battle with a large burger; and Susan ate about a third of a chicken -fried steak, which I finished off while writing this column.

Sunday was the Luling Class of 64’s meeting at Mom’s Front Porch. We visited, told stories, updated our biographical information, compared health information (a definite must for people born before 1980), looked at Mary Elizabeth’s scrapbook, looked at Jerry McNabb’s 1964 Aquila (our school yearbook), and then we bid each other a fond farewell.

We will start making plans for next year and hopefully for 2024, our 60th class reunion.

I purchased three blueberry muffins from Mom’s Front Porch. I loaded my possessions into the “Van” and stopped at Gary Collins location and then at Lou Moore’s Black Diamond Produce and General Store.

I mentioned to Lou that I needed to check the oil in the “Van.” I could remove the 4-foot-long dipstick, but could never reinsert it.

A young man (well younger than us anyway) who was helping at Lou’s place offered to check it for me. He was over 6 feet tall and evidently that is a requirement to check the oil in the “Van’s” 8.1 L engine. I hoped he knew how much I appreciated his assistance.

I returned home on Hwy. 90A, avoiding I-10 like the plague. I passed out watermelons (30-pounders) to a few friends and family - I kept the small yellow mead melons. All were good.

It was good to see the old high school gang and take a trip down memory lane. But it was really good to be back home again, where my shorts were waiting for me on the bed, where I left them.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at eforbes1946@gmail.com or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)