Back in June, I attended my 40th reunion – Phillips Andover Class of 1973.
We have an unusually close group of classmates. Many of us return every 5 years and pick up a conversation like it had never ended – even if we haven’t had a moment of contact in between. There is something magical about the experience of returning to a campus you first saw when you were 14 years old – a place where you grew from a boy into a young man, mostly away from home and in the company of other boys facing the same challenges and fears.
We might not have had the prescience to know then how much that experience bound us together, but every five years, we come to appreciate it more and more – and even though every time we reunite we are five years older, we still manage to regress to that time as easily as though it were our first reunion. It’s a little ridiculous, 58-year-old men staying up until 3:00 am, recounting the same madcap pranks, but it’s a good ridiculous.
This past event was something special and poignant, though. Over the years, we’ve lost a number of classmates, but this past year, one of the class’s bright lights lost a short and tragic battle to cancer, and it hurt a lot. He would slap me if I wallowed in the maudlin, and his widow instructed us that, being Irish (of course), he would have insisted that we not mourn his death but celebrate his life. And we did the best we could under the circumstances.
As a testament to that, Mike Fox wrote a little tune, shared it with me and his buddy, Dan Miner, and the three of us lightened up the class dinner with a little Blues for Sully.
If you ever met Steve Sullivan, you’d understand how perfectly Foxy had nailed it.
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Tags: dan miner, mike fox, phillips andover, steve sullivan