- On-Air Playlist
- Program Schedule
- Community Calendar
- Sponsor Directory
- Featured Programs
- Arts & Life
- Support KRCC | Underwrite
My 40-year high school reunion is approaching and I need to start planning a trip to Memphis. The mere thought of a soft summer night in West Tennessee just might get me through the duration of this long Colorado winter.
But the reality of this ritual of the deep middle distance, celebrating the passing of forty years since we were 18 and young and sassy and idealistic and free, blows my mind.
I’ve attended all of our White Station High School reunions, through every phase of adult life. At the ten-year reunion, my husband and I, he the president of our senior class, won the award for coming the farthest, all the way from Honolulu to Memphis. We hadn’t changed so much at that point; everybody just looked better, especially the women who seemed to have discovered what they wanted to look like.
By the 20-year, we were either well married and settled or divorcing. I remember the cocktail dress I wore, a fitted strapless number, and how proud I was of my figure. I had gone from one child to four in the ten-year interim and was still married, though just barely.
The 30-year bash was a high-toned affair in a downtown convention center next to the Gibson Guitar Museum. Memphis looked shiny and new down by the river and we were deep into our careers, most of us beginning to soften a little around the middle. My ex-husband and I were friends by then; he showed up late in the evening with his new wife.
In the ten years between then and now, I went to graduate school, got a masters degree, and published two books. Somehow, I became a teacher. I buried four family members in five years, including the president of the senior class and our oldest son, and lived for a while under a suffocating membrane of grief. I packed up and moved house four times. I learned that today is the best and only day.
Our 40th is being arranged and orchestrated on Facebook. I look at the posts and the pictures and wonder: who are we now? I think the organizers’ memories must be better than mine because they, apparently, can remember our teachers’ names. I can only remember Ms. Ross, my homeroom teacher with her loose skin and saggy bosom and patient smile as we paraded in every morning, each of us contenders for a title: Cutest. Smartest. Shyest. Coolest. Weirdest. Sexiest. I resemble Ms. Ross now more than that former self, roller-skating down the waxed hallways, slipping love notes through the ventilation slits of my boyfriend’s locker.
Ms. Ross is long gone, as is the only other teacher whose name I remember, Mr. Crain, the speech and drama teacher, a debonair man with a caustic sense of humor, a renowned Memphis theater director. He taught us to get over ourselves. I remember hyperventilating in front of his class, and he, rolling his eyes, handing me a brown paper sack to breathe into.
I wrote a note to my best high school girlfriend, asking if I can sleep in her pretty extra bedroom when I come to Memphis in June. She is as gorgeous and eccentric and deeply southern as she was in high school. The well-bred, independent daughter of an old, mannered family, she drives a pick-up truck, keeps a horse, and over the last 20 years has transformed a little shotgun house into a photo shoot from Southern Living magazine, filling it with cast-off treasures she picks up and throws in the back of her truck, then paints and restores to former beauty.
Forty years later, we are grandmothers, widows, divorcees and old married folk, moguls and creative types, a rare few of us retirees. We work and worry and sometimes rest. Our very own have died of cancer and car crashes and causes unknown. We look at the testimony of our lives and wonder how it all adds up.
The prospect of going back to Memphis returns me to a dream I had many years ago, after my best girlfriend’s wedding. In the dream, I am passing through the glass-paned French doors of her mother’s living room into the shade garden out back — hostas as big around as tires perspiring beneath towering oaks. As I reach the open doorway, an invisible hand passes through me and stops me right in my tracks. My heart races like a freight train and my head fills with the pulse of rushing blood. I stand there and breathe deeply, not daring to move, and then I am released.
Kathryn Eastburn is the author of A Sacred Feast: Reflections of Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground, and Simon Says: A True Story of Boys, Guns and Murder in the Rocky Mountain West. You can comment and read or listen to this column again at The Big Something at KRCC.org. “The Middle Distance” is published every Friday on The Big Something and airs each Saturday at 1 p.m. right after This American Life.
- Spring 2013 Membership Drive$250,000 out of $250,000 raised so far
Get The Big Something EmailEmail Marketing by iContact
- HSPPR on HSPPR Pet of the Day: Goliath
- HSPPR on HSPPR Pet of the Day: Sophie
- HSPPR on Humane Society Pet of the Day: Shay
- HSPPR on Humane Society Pet of the Day: Tiger
- Mark Kissinger on Flooding: Yes, it Does Matter How you Arrange Those Sandbags
- Mark Kissinger on Flood Meeting Scheduled for Mountain Shadows Residents; City to Distribute More Sandbags
- Mark Kissinger on Colorado Springs Mayor Unveils Plan for Homeless Campus
- Mark Kissinger on Colorado Springs Council Approves $10 Million for Mitigation Work
Ticket hours: noon-6p Tues-Fri
on the phone or at the studio.
KRCC presents JOHN PRINE
Saturday, May 4th – Pikes Peak Center
Reserved seating on sale now at all Ticketswest locations, or on line at www.ticketswest.com
2013 MEADOWGRASS MUSIC FESTIVAL – featuring Blitzen Trapper, Kristen Hersh, Anais Mitchell, Chauncy Crandall & the Rocket Flies, Sera Cahoone, and many many many many more!
Three days and nights of music at beautiful La Foret in Black Forest – Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th, 25th, and 26th.
Full festival details through www.meadowgrassmusicfestival.org
KRCC Member discount tickets available only at the KRCC Studios – 912 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs, or by calling 719-473-4801 or 1-800-748-2727.
7th Annual Blues Under The Bridge – July 20th, 2013
WATERMELON SLIM & THE WORKERS, JOHN HAMMOND, BLUES CARAVAN W/ JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR, THE SLIDE BROTHERS, D.B. REILLY, and THE JUST US LEAGUE
www.BluesUnderTheBridge.com for festival information
KRCC Member tickets on sale for $25. General Public tickets on sale for $35. VIP tickets $91.50. Day of show tickets $40 at the west gate. Tickets available through www.TicketFly.com or at KRCC.
Pre-festival Party Friday July 19th from 5-8pm at the Wyndham Grand Mining Exchange with Watermelon Slim, and Big Jim Adams!
Pikes Peak Center, Saturday October 12th, 2013 8pm
KRCC member pre-show meet and greet opportunity 6:30-7:30pm – pre-show meet and greet tickets available for $40 to members ONLY at the station.
Advance KRCC member tickets on sale now through August 2nd through www.TicketsWest.com. Enter member promo code and click find.
General Public tickets on sale August 2nd, 2013