A Letter to Peggy Sue

Re the 40th Class Reunion


   Dear Peggy-Sue,


   Regretfully, fall semester at the little college where I teach English, starts August 18th, so I'll not be able to come back to Oregon for old times' sake. Still, I've never lost interest in my 'old' Lebanese classmates, so I'm sending you this who's- where update in case any old cohort or unrequited admirer wishes to re-establish contact.


   We are, after all, all members of one body, and all of our respective careers were launched from the blessings of those happy, care-free, bean patch and blackberry days'still wet with the dew of our collective morning and fresh from the womb of Lebanon Union High.


   Yes, fresh from those 'happy days' when well-oiled duck-tails gleamed, lowered and twin-piped '50 Mercuries brumbled and thick-soled brogans scuffed and schlumpt along those hallowed halls at lunch-hour, steadfast upon the heels of pony-tailed, peddle-pusher-and-culotte-clad 'dream lovers' whose lovely heads spun'haloed with the glorious music of Elvis, Fats, Bill Haley and other shooting stars, heaven-bent to vanish 'in the still of the night' lit by 'sixteen candles' and their 'lovely light.'


     How sorry I am that I won't be able to re-meet the members of the 'Tenor's Union' and hark back to those great sessions in Lynn Sjoland's choir class doing our best to sing up to his great expectations for us in spite of our being mightily distracted by the exotic landscapes and heady perfumes wafting up from those beautiful altos and sopranos on the tiers below us. Or was it tears?


   And wouldn't it be grand once more to drag the gut up and down Broadway in Lebanon, digging all the malt shops, soda fountains and car-hop drive-ins,(shades of American Graffiti) and sayin', 'What's hap'nin?' to all the dream boats, teen angels, hoods and 'dips' that cruised the strip while Wolf-man Jack plied us with great cuts from The Platters, The Drifters, or The Everly Brothers.

 

   But, sadly, 'dream, dream dreaming' is one thing; reality is another. So give my regards to Broadway and the survivors of the class of 56. Would we were all back there now. ' Wouldn't it be fine to get together'have another go at it and weather the storm?' But Time's 'moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on;/ Nor all our piety nor wit can lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all our tears wash out a word of it.' That's how it is in the cold, real world, and that's why I'm looking forward to my 'mansion, just over the hill top/ in that bright land where we never grow old.' That's my new dream taken from an old book written long ago by a God who loves us and forgives. Hope to see all the gang at that great reunion. I know it will be good! Adios.

 

Gene Pinkney       

March 2008