My Newsletter

Tribute to Class of 1970
Tuesday, October 11, 2022 by Donnie Stevens

I look in the mirror at my two-day shadow, and ponder whether to shave? This month, finally after delaying our Class of 70 high school reunion for two years because of Covid, we’re going to gather and break bread again. At the original John D Basset High School, where so many teachers, faculty, and community volunteers dedicated themselves to strengthen our minds, nurture our hearts, and prepared us for our unknown journeys. So far back, it amazes even me I can still remember so much about my class friends, many I grew up with and haven’t seen since graduating. Shame on me.

Like so many of my classmates, the day we celebrated our parting, I had a thirst for adventure, hunger to explore new horizons, and a yearning to boldly go where no man has gone before. Or was that Star Trek? With confidence, I could become anything I chose to be. But wait. For some strange reason, events immediately started happening that rattled my confidence and crumbled my perfect world dream. President Richard Nixon ordered an invasion into Cambodia-widening the war in Vietnam, the Beatles broke up, and the Apollo 13 mission to the moon was aborted because of an oxygen tank exploding. The real reality hit of being an adult happened when I started attending funerals of young servicemen in flag draped coffins. Many of them, school mates and neighbors I had grown up with.

But the year 1970 had fond memories as well. Simon and Garfunkel soothed the world with Bridge Over Trouble Waters, The Carpenters serenaded us with, Close To You, and who could forget B J Thomas’s, Raindrops Keeps Falling On My Head. Along the way, we grew up with The Fonz, Captain James T Kirk, and John Boy, and the only news we received on our rabbit eared TV was with Walter Cronkite. Gas was .36 cents a gallon, a movie with a coke and popcorn cost a dollar-fifty, and the price of a Ford Mustang started at $3200.00. We listened to most of our music over 8 track and cassette players. What happened? Kind of takes me back to, The Lost Letter, one of my first novels

Somewhere between 1970 and today, life got busy. But along the way I’ve become a bit wiser, a little more compassionate, and much more humbled, thank goodness. Now looking back, it’s all become clearer. It never was about how many plaques, trophies, or awards you receive from career accomplishments, but our relationships we built along the way.

Oh, where has time gone? Why did it slip away? So much to still do and so much to accomplish. But then I realize, we are only stewards of the life and time on earth granted to us by a higher calling. Often, I’m reminded, it’s not so much what we reap and sow, but the seeds we plant along the way. In our children, grandkids, friends, co-workers, and potentially everyone we meet. I love watching and listening to Billy Graham’s video devotions about Sowing and Reaping.

 A big Thank You to our classmate ladies, who set up the Class of 70 Group Facebook page, so we could share bits and pieces of our lives with each other. I look so forward to the many postings so keep them coming. And too often, a bitter remembrance when we’re informed another classmate has passed away. I lower my chin to reminisce something said or I did with that person a half century ago, and sadly, a missed opportunity to see them again.

As I finish writing this note, Yesterday Once More croons over my cell from my playlist. Yes, I’m looking so forward to seeing you again. No, I’m not going to shave. Love you all!


Brenda Jane Brooks From Danville Va At 10/13/2022 10:53:16 AM

Love this Donnie thanks for sharing.

Rhonda Bower From Bassett, Va At 10/12/2022 8:28:28 PM

Donnie, we are all looking forward to our reunion weekend and the chance to reconnect with each other. Love your letter to the Class of '70. Rhonda P. Bower

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