(2005) I just received an invitation for my high schoool class's 40th reunion. The reasons why I will not attend this event are myriad. In brief, I didn't like it then so why go back? Anyway, I lived in that town only three years...it was never "home." One interesting thing came of the invitation, though: I found out that at least 31* of my classmates are dead already. I wonder if this is normal, but in order to figure it out I need to know some things I can't easily discover. First, how many kids were in that graduating class. Second, what was the expected remaining lifespan for people who turned 18 in 1965. Oh well. I'm alive and far from Walla Walla, Washington. That's all that really counts. Still, it is sort of interesting...
More than many graduating classes, my class probably felt exaggerated effects of AIDS, Vietnam, pesticides used on wheat, availability of tax-free Oregon cigarettes, and the vitriol present in people who vote Republican from an early age.
UPDATE: There were 522 kids in the graduating class of 1965. If 31 are already dead, that's one of every 16.8 or just about 6 percent. And that 31 figure doesn't take into consideration that there are 84 graduates who haven't yet been accounted for by the reunion people...some of them might be dead, although I would think that it will be less than 6 percent just because bad news travels fast and probably a disproportionate number of deaths have been reported back. Maybe as cautionary tales to those who would dare to consider getting out of that hell hole.
But what if the Missing 84 should be kept out of the mix entirely? That means that of 438 people, 31 have died or a little over one in 14 (7 percent). That's a lot. But is it more than other graduating classes in 1965? I hope someone in that class continues to update the Dead List and that I'm not on it before I have figured this out.
Sometimes someone writes me back. If anyone does, I'll let you know.
*Total as of 2/2007 = 36 (a bit under 7 percent).
Saints celebrating feast days today include, but are not limited to, Saint Victorinus and Companions, Saint Caesarius Nazianzen, Saint Ethelbert of Kent, Saint Walburga, Saint Tarasius, and Saint Gerland.
Famous birthdays today include Sean Astin (1971, Santa Monica), Diane Baker (1938, Hollywood), and Sally Jessy Raphael (1943, Easton, PA).