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August 24, 2006



You have brought back some of the best memories of high school! I took out my yearbook and senior supplement, and started reading and remembering things that I can bring up at the reunion. Really looking forward to this! I really enjoy reading what you write about everything, because it brings back so many good memories...thanks!!

I love this blog. Your writing style, aesthetic, and your seventies haircut.

Danny, I can't wait to read about your reunion after it's over. I love when you write about your childhood. I have been going through the artifacts of my high school days (graduated 1991) and finding similarly "obnoxious and arrogant" things that I wrote for official school publications. I was a newspaper music editor (not that our paper was much to begin with) and I made a point of reviewing albums that no more than 5 of the students would have even heard of... and I actually said so in the reviews! "None of you will have ever heard of this band because you have atrocious taste in music." I was rolling my eyes at my 16-year-old self as I read these things. I was so pretentious.

This post moved me very much. It is full of reflection, nostalgia and memories. You share your self - your vulnerabilities - so openly in this piece

Two things you say I identify with very strongly. Indeed, you could have been talking about me and my high school experience!
1) "I LONG to be part of a group, a community of people who share some common interest or skill or passion, but at the same time I fear such groupness and want to be left alone. This simultaneous mantra of “please let me be in your group/please leave me alone” is something I struggle with all the time." and,
2) "... as I began to dart through the minefield of high school adolescence."

The latter being so true. Adolescence was a complete minefield for me too! The former describes me 100%. Indeed, my greatest life struggle is that play-off between wanting to belong and not all at the same time.

But, the wonderful thing I discovered at my Habonim reunion in Israel a year ago is that age does wonderful things to people. Evens out the playing field in a way. People have matured, suffered, and understand life quite differently. The joy for me came with being recognized and feeling relieved to be a part of a whole group of people struggling along with life's challenges. I realized, more than ever, how much we are all part of the human condition.

I can't wait to hear how it turns out and what you felt at your reunion. Oh, and give up trying to look like you did in 1976. No one will! C'est impossible!

Danny, I love your stuff about school. Considering we were in high school -- and even the neonatal unit at Michael Reese -- at the same time, I can really identify with your experience, and your outlook.

You and my best high school friend Jon Simon even looked a lot alike back then.

Are you sure you're not Jon Simon?

The thing I’d most like to remember: 10% of the people.
The thing I’d most like to forget: the other 90%.

There is a great line from the movie Ghost World by Steve Buscemi's character:

"I don't get along with 99% of humanity."

Don't worry, Danny. My gung-ho school spirit eventually morphed into the adult awareness, cynicism and black humour for which you have long been the standard-bearer. You were just ahead of your time, and it took the rest of us a while to catch up. Conversely, you're sporting some late-onset school spirit. I don't think it's fatal.

Of course, the bottom line is, most of us want to reconnect with our closest friends -- but we're also perversely curious to see what 47/48/49 looks like on everyone else! For the record, it's been a blast planning this reunion with you, Susan and Barb for the last year and a half. Omigod, it's two months from today!


Interesting take and perspective on our times at Von Steuben. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and especially, Rochelle’s poem (it is pretty good) as I don't even recall the Senior Supplement and probably would be shocked at what I wrote in it and don't even remember if I did. It's amazing what 16 - 18 years olds think, feel, say, and represent at that age. The thought of achieving some sense of balance or even a healthy sense of who you are at that age is not an option for most and probably not expected. Regardless, my four years at Von were outstanding. One thing for sure...Von introduced me to some very good people who were not only different than me, but all looking for something a little bit more than what was on the surface and in the end, feel good about what they found. The people I met were from different races/religions/backgrounds, helped me develop a broader perspective which I definitely needed (and relied on) before college, after, in my profession and to this very day. Danny...I like what you have to say here, but more importantly, thanks for helping to make the reunion happen as by the measure of responses (across races, graduation class, and where people have landed since 1976), I would say time very well spent.


I'm also quite familiar with the "accept me, but leave me alone" paradox. I finally found some insight into this from the book, "The Other Side and Back," by Sylvia Browne. The book is a fascinating mixture of such topics as psychology, spiritually, and what to do if your house is haunted.(!) Browne explains that we all have two "Life Themes," the first being our life's work - what we're here to learn and overcome, the second usually conflicting with the first and challenging us.

If a life theme of "Rejection" means from Day-1 dealing with alienation or abandonment, and consequently striving to be accepted, imagine having "Loner" as a secondary theme. (Those are the two themes I resonate with.) Talk about a challenge!

Of course, most of us do eventually overcome the challenges and become a "mensch."

Anyway, Happy Birthday - and I hope to see you at the reunion!

Danny, I really enjoy reading your reflections on our high school years. That we were all at the same place at the same time but have formed such different memories. What is more remarkable is the impact those years had on the people we were to become. I remember Von in a good light, good people, mostly good experiences, the only regret I have is that four years was not enough time to get to know everyone. The reunion is like a second chance, if only very brief. I'm sure you will have a great time as you come to realize that you were not as isolated as you remember and had an impact on a good many people, myself included. Thanks for all your work on the reunion, it will be great to see everyone even if all have a few extra pounds and less hair.

That was a beautiful poem!
Wow, this is reminding me that my ten-year reunion is coming up. Ick, has it really been that long?
I was like you in high school. Only having a few friends and not very partial to the majority of my classmates. Tho I was involved in quite a few extracurriculars. But I was a part of the artsy crowd and stayed away from the jocks. (who were rather mean and arrogant anyway, and who wants to be associated with people like that?)
Even tho I am older now, I still do not look forward to seeing all those people again. I remember them as judgmental people and what if I'm still "not good enough" to be associated with them? Then again, why should I care? Still, I'd rather show up at my reunion when I'm a famous novelist and among the wealthiest people there. That'll show 'em! :)

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