Today we went to the graduation party for our good friends’ son, Connor. He graduated from Columbia High School this week. Steven and Maureen, his parents, are also Columbia HS graduates. So are Dave and I. What makes this story interesting enough for me to blog about, is that so many of us there today were graduates of this school.
Maureen, Dave and I all graduated in 1988. She has stayed very close to her high school friends and many of them have married others Columbia alumni. There were graduates at the party from every decade from the 60’s till 2013.
A lot of people who move into South Orange/Maplewood, (we share a high school), find it unusual to see how many people have stayed local – or married locals. I find it endearing, Dave jokes that it is a “cult” or that we all “drank the same kool aid”. Some of the friends at the party have moved away, but still come back for celebrations like these, but many are still in the area. Several of them meet up to spend part of their summers together. There are also several of us who now teach in the school district that we went through.
Coincidentally, last night, Dave and I went to another summer party in town and that couple went to Columbia as well. They have stayed local and now their kids attend the local schools too. It is a pretty unique place that we live in. Friendships were formed and have outlasted longer than any of us even spent during our school years. It makes me happy to know that I am raising my own children in the town that my parents grew up in and chose to stay and raise us in. Who knows….maybe someday, my own kids will want to stay here and do the same!