Forever Young, BCHS Class of 1977, 40th Reunion, TROML-Style

1WOW, can you believe it?

It’s almost that time in our lives to celebrate our 40th high school reunion.

I am fascinated when I think about my childhood, my hometown of Binghamton, New York, the people I met and the people who influenced me as I was educated in the ways of the world during those first nearly 18 years of life. I am even more fascinated on the impact of those first 18 years on the last 40 years. I have a lot of be thankful for and I am. There are a lot of people, places, things and situations to be celebrated and I will. Would you like to join me in creating, experiencing and being what may be the best 40th high school reunion ever in terms of giving back to the community, giving back to our high school, and celebrating the inspiration and the people we found in those early years of life in a meaningful way that might enhance the rest of our lives in ways unexpected?

I am speaking of the Forever Young, BCHS Class of 1977 (and like-minded people from other classes including the BHS Class of 2017), celebrating our 40th high school reunion, TROML-Style!

Let me explain…

2 Carl Young HSRemember Mr. Carl Young, our 11th grade Social Studies teacher? Maybe you had Iva Weiss, Elinor Diamond, Theodore Goosley, Anna Helisek, John Irving, Jess Levy, Basder Micalizzini, Harvey Scriber or James Weaver instead? By the way, who were these people? Oh yeah, everyone remembers Mr. Scriber! Anyway, Mr. Young was the teacher for me for Social Studies in 11th grade. Do you remember him? You should if you had any remaining ties with Broome County after high school as he was elected and re-elected the County Executive and served the community from 1981 to 1988. Google him and you might get Carl Jung instead, the notes Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. In a way, reflecting back, Mr. Young hypnotized me in a positive way as my 11th grade High School teacher.

3 Andy Reistettr w Carl Young HHThanks to the far-reaching and all-encompassing social talents (she must have gotten an A-Plus in Social Studies) of Ms. Ellen (Marie to me) Ruspantini and Mr. Young’s daughter Kirsten I was able to meet Carl and his lovely wife Sil (hell, we are both old now, I can call him by his first name, right?) in Hilton Head, South Carolina during the RBC Heritage tournament on the PGA TOUR. It was an amazing experience that it further inspired me to pursue this 40th high school reunion charitable production idea. We reminisced, we golfed, and we had fun!

Actually I had kept in touch with Carl’s career after politics though my Mom who was a Site Supervisor of an afternoon luncheon Senior Center in the latter years of her life. Mr. Young had a long and distinguished career as the President of the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. He would drop by every so often and my Mom would share with me details of his visit.

4 Andy w Mom 640You have to know my Mom to love my Mom. Everybody she ever met did. One quick story. Living in L.A. Mom and Dad came out for a visit. Being close to Hollywood we took them to see a taping of the sitcom One Day at a Time.  You know the one starring Bonnie Franklin as a divorced mother raising two teenage daughters, played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli, in Indianapolis. So we go and Dwayne Schneider, the building’s quirky superintendent, played by Pat Harrington, comes out to warm up the crowd and then opens it up for questions. As my Mom’s hand goes up I slowly slide down in my chair and when he calls on her I am on the floor. Mom asks “Schneider, you look like our neighbor George back home, are you Greek or Armenian because you look like him and we are always wondering about him whether he is Greek or Armenian.” Years later I understood that hilarious incident as I transitioned from being embarrassed to being inspired in life. To my Mom it was perfectly logical to go out to Hollywood and tell a movie start that he looked like a guy back home on Florence Street in Binghamton, New York. Why? Because our little world, our family, are community was the world to my Mom. She searched for no other and lived a great life of peace, joy and freedom where she was born her whole life through.

5 Andy w Carl & SilCarl Young is just like my Mom when it comes to service, community and doing something meaningful with one’s life. Plus in one of his classes he jingled the coins in his pocket and did a little skit about the newly emerging financial instrument called personal credit cards. In a way, neither of us specifically remembers, maybe you do, if so please share, he made fun of credit card debt, shedding light on the fact that they were not giving money away for free but taking your money away from you at what was then the modest interest rate of 8 or 9 percent. I credit (sorry for the pun) what I learned in 11th grade Social Studies class for inspiring me to use credit in a reasonable way throughout my life and being totally debt free today.

What I also learned in Hilton Head about Mr. Young is that he has lived, is living (hoping to break 80 someday playing golf with Jay Haas), an incredibly satisfying life. Inspired by the community service of his parents growing up in a small town, getting a liberal degree, marrying his college sweetheart and simply giving back that which he was given his whole life through. A more articulate, intelligent and lovable man you will not find!   

6 Got TROMLWhat is TROML and what does TROML-style mean? TROML? You just read and experienced a touch of it! TROML is an acronym for “The Rest of My Life” and is a dynamic self-realization process utilizing a unique journaling process to extract inspiration from our life experiences, becoming our own True Self, nourishing the Eternal Child Within and formatting the world versus the world incessantly trying to format us! TMI? Well there is more about that on the Personal Revivalist website but remember it is okay to say you went there but not to break my anonymity.

I digressed a bit, more than a bit, but these are the type of inspiring stories I would like to see shared during my 40th high school reunion experience.

So if you are like-minded (God forbid) and inspired like me to do so please step forward and join an organizing committee with me. We need all kinds of help (as I was not in drama club) including sponsors, a producer with heart and passion to tell our story, and classmates to share stories like the one I just did.

a738f930-6ff8-4087-8cfb-6dd0736816aaJeff Lake, we would love to have you and Straight Up as our warm-up band (to the reunion show not another band, you will be the main musical attraction), warning up the audience before the show and putting us in the right mood going to and from commercial breaks.

Who has a talent to share and perform that we all saw present during our high school years?

Who has a talent to share and perform that was yet to blossom during our high school years?

Who is the most successful of our classmates, would they tell us how their BCHS years impacted their success and would they like to be a sponsor of the show?

Who is the least successful of our classmates, would they come and share how in reality they were the most successful if we looked at life from maybe a slightly different perspective.

What ever happened to Stacy Smith, Nancy Olsen and Ellen (Marie) Ruspantini? LOL, I already know but want to know more.

Ladies, insert your own three names of your male classmates and come and find out!

8 BCHSOr for that matter men and men, woman and woman and whatever your gender of preference or desire is. I wonder if Binghamton High School (BHS, the new Central and North combined, remember?) has transgender bathrooms? Seriously, all are welcomed and encouraged to participate but this high school reunion is not about politics, sex or religion, except when it is through our own personal sharing of our life experiences in a positive, meaningful and inspiration manner.

Who has passed on (classmates, faculty, administrators, community) and why and how? How can their spirit be shared and enhance our 40th reunion in an inspirational, respectful and meaningful way?

What is the funniest, most embarrassing or inspirational thing to happen to you in high school?

What did you wish didn’t happen to you in high school and why?

What did your wish happened to you in high school and why?

9 BinghamtonOther great things to hope for during our 40th reunion weekend in Binghamton, The Triple Cities, and Broome County!

How about a City of Binghamton tour, hopefully including his fascinating and historic mansion, from John Darrow?

How about a golf tournament? Ricky Mauro golf clinic? Fundraiser for our old school?

A tour of the old, now new and expanded school?

What is the best, worse, funniest, saddest, most inspirational thing anyone ever wrote in your high school yearbook back in 1977?

Why not bring your yearbook and get the signings you missed 40 years ago or amend, modify or reframe the ones you have?

10 DSGOI will be in Binghamton for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open the second weekend in July and staying for the following week as well. Let’s meet like the lucky folks are doing over the Memorial Day weekend. Maybe even do some auditions? Hopefully get organized around this project!

A balance of nostalgia, celebration and preparation for the rest of our lives!

It will be my best ever 40th high school reunion whether or not our show is a success and gets aired and becomes a franchise for high school reunions around the world.

I will be celebrating my BCHS Class of 1977 40th high school reunion TROML-Style one way or another!

11 class of 77C’mon join, rejoin us in this thing we call life…

Your ideas?

Let’s do this thing!

Happy Memorial Day! Have fun in Binghamton this weekend!

PS- who is the oldest BCHS alumni alive? I want to interview and include her or him!

PPS- anyone know a good contact at BHS for this sort of thing?

PPPS- thinking this would be a good theme song better than “We Must Go Our Seperate Ways”.., time to come together!