I have to admit… As much fun as I’ve had this weekend, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bummed.
I’m getting ahead of myself. This weekend, Bluefield University held an alumni choir reunion. And since the director that they invited back to lead things was Chris Sheppard, the man who directed the choir during my college years, I decided this was the kind of alumni event I couldn’t miss.
The part that sort of bums me out is that I’m apparently the only alum from my generation of grads who couldn’t miss it.
Don’t get me wrong… I get that everyone has things going on. People have careers, families, responsibilities… I think the frustration comes with the fact that this weekend was supposed to happen two months ago. But because of a minor COVID scare and a busted heating unit, the event was postponed to April.
The busted heater alone was a valid reason to postpone. February in Bluefield without a working heater? Not something most people would want to experience. I’m pretty hot-natured, so I’d have likely been fine. Everyone else would have suffered, though.
Because of the change in dates, I can’t help but wonder how many of my old friends and acquaintances could have made the trip to the old alma mater if it had happened in February. Especially considering the lack of early 2000s representation this weekend.
That sounds like a lot of complaining, but I’ve genuinely had a good time. Just driving into town hit me with a powerful wave of memories and nostalgia. But, again, being alone makes that nostalgia difficult.
When we’ve had some down time in between rehearsals, I’ve considered taking a stroll around campus but ended up deciding against it. If there were any new buildings since my last visit, I’d be more inclined to explore. But walking around and reminiscing just isn’t the same when you can’t bring up those old stories of the glory days with the same people who lived those stories with you.
I am grateful that I was able to spend time with Dr. Sheppard following our first evening of rehearsals. We were able to share memories and geek out about the plethora of Star Wars movies that have come out since we last saw each other.
See, what was great about attending a small college like Bluefield is that all those teachers felt like not just mentors and professors, but like friends as well.
I look back at my time with the various choirs at Bluefield College and am amazed by the sheer amount of talent we had for such a small school. And so many of us sang together for so long that, by the end of it all, we knew each other so well and could anticipate each other’s voices. I’ll never experience anything like it again. And I miss it. I miss them.
Honestly, in the future, I don’t even care if an officially sanctioned reunion is put together by the powers that be at Bluefield University. I just want to be able to see and hang out with all those people I was in choir with for so many years so many years ago. I don’t care if we get to perform in front of an audience. If we do, I don’t even care if that audience is only the friends or family members we brought with us. I just want to be able to meet with everyone in the same room, catch up on each other’s lives, then sing some of those old songs for fun. Too much to ask? Just give me a location and a date and I’ll be there.
Another unfortunate down is my lodging choice for the weekend. Back in February, I’d been able to book a room in a really nice bed and breakfast. This weekend, they’re booked solid. Leaving me to rough it at a 1.5 star hotel in town.
And let me tell you, that joint earned every bit of its 1.5 stars…