Senior Superlatives Revisited

When you were in high school, did they conduct a vote for “senior superlatives,” such as “most likely to”… succeed; end up in jail; have more than four children; earn more than a million dollars; be elected mayor; etc.?

They did in my high school. Back then, I was chosen as the most likely to…

…wear boots.

Well, not really. I’m just kidding. I was selected as “most likely to make the most significant contribution to the community.”

Last Saturday night, I joined almost 200 of my high school classmates for our 40th reunion. Yep… I’m an old codger. But then again, so is everyone else with whom I went to high school! LOL!

During the reunion, we reviewed the list of senior superlatives we developed in 1975 and compared them with how our classmates are now in a light and jovial way. As the former Senior Class President, it was my joy to conduct this part of the evening’s events.

The one most likely to succeed wasn’t there. He serves on a county board of supervisors in California. Okay, I guess he succeeded.

The one most likely to be elected (to something) is a plumber.

The one most likely to earn more than a million dollars is recovering from not one, but two bankruptcies. He admitted that he took far too many risks in the financial markets and lost everything, twice. But he has a really nice family!

The one most likely to have more than four children had two. He is still married to his high school sweetheart, so that’s good to see and celebrate.

But as I was reading the list and joking around with my friends, the former Captain of the football team, Mr. All-American jock, star quarterback, greatest competitor with my jock twin brother and a guy about whom I was quite wary back in high school, got up and said,

Hey, folks, [BHD] here hasn’t said anything about himself. I see all he has done for our county and community over many years. He has made fantastic contributions for all of us, our families, neighbors, and friends. Wouldn’t you say that he met the superlative we chose for him — most likely to make the most significant contribution to the community?”

At that, the audience broke out into applause. I hugged Mr. Quarterback, a guy I have become close to in our adult lives.

It is funny how we behave in high school when the world is our oyster. Then we go out and try to conquer it. Okay, I’ll never make a million dollars, be elected to political office, or wind up in jail (giggle). But I can look back and say, “yeah, I did that.”

I am glad that my former classmates agree.

I enjoyed this reunion with one significant exception — my twin brother was not there. He is still saving the world somewhere in East Africa, bless him.

Life is short: make the world better as best you can, however you can do it.