From high school to groups, reunions arouse nostalgia, perspective

A meeting is defined as a social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time.

I think reunions are fantastic and this month we had an impromptu reunion of the 2020 Aegis Skeleton Crew who stayed behind as everyone walked away that year. We had a potential COVID outbreak, so we sent everyone back to the home office.

Much like 2020 minus a small group that volunteered to stay in the office to make sure everything keeps running.

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Admittedly, it was for 3 days versus 3 months, but it was very similar. Empty office, order at lunch, happy hours, a bit strange but a great reminder of some good memories of bonding with this crew during the summer of 2020.

High school reunion

It’s also high school reunion season across the country. To that end, I was checking my phone the other night and my old friend Cameron Williams texted me that he and his girlfriend (Teil, a UF friend of mine) were coming to town for his 30th Leon High School reunion. .

He suggested that I come to the meeting. Why not? Minus the fact that I didn’t go to Leon, I was all for it. Reunion crashing 101. It was pretty special to see the likes of: Brad T. Tommy, Bruce, Bethany, Cam, Gonz, Lisa, Chris, Michelle, Hugh and a barrage of some of my favorite people from back then (and now) all in one place.

Cameron and I are the same age, so it wasn’t a complete crash as I hung out with this crew more than my own Maclay friends back in the day, before the cell phone era.

Football glory days

Speaking of the old days, our college football teams in Florida have had tremendous success over the past few years and how great is it to experience a title run? The national title run in Florida in 1996 was my last year in college, and football didn’t get any better with Steve Spurrier’s Fun and Gun. Like 35-29 at #2 Tennessee? One of the loudest games ever, I was there.

SEC Championship vs Bama, amazing game, also there. Rematch with Florida State in New Orleans for the title, also there. When this team was honored on the pitch last year, it was an absolute joy to relive that era for a moment with their reunion. Our team knew some of these guys like Zach Piller (from Tally), what a team, loaded with characters like Ike Hillard, James Bates and Danny Wuerffel.

I’m sure many of you reading this have the same feelings as the 1993 or 1999 Seminoles teams back then, the team characters and the memories of those games. Is it football season already?

TV shows

What about TV shows, did anyone in my time watch “Beverly Hills 90210” in the 90s? How about their reunion show not too long ago? Oh my God, Dylan, Kelly, Steve (Steve reigns). I loved this show to the moon and back. My high school girlfriend and I watched it religiously or at least talked on the phone while it was on.

Remember those endless phone calls from teenagers? Before call waiting? Before texting? When was the last time you heard a busy signal when calling someone? What a time to live.

Mom hated the endless teenage phone calls while I jammed the line for hours. “90210” was also intriguing because my high school girlfriend drew a parallel between Dylan (me) her and Brenda and the character of Kelly.

Group and movie meetings

The reunions of old school bands are also epic.

Motley Crue, Poison, Joan Jett and Def Leopard are touring and selling out stadiums right now. The thought of seeing them takes me back to Ratt and Poison live at the Dothan, Alabama, Civic Center in 1986. Or 1988 in Albany, Georgia when my pal Quinn and I caught Motley Crue and Guns & Roses.

Wow, I love that era of music, the chance to relive that era through a massive reunion tour (for Motley as they retired 5 years ago) is just too awesome to pass up. I’m the bassist for Motley Crue on Insta and he messaged me about a photo he posted from the tour I commented on. How cool is that?

I think the reunion is fantastic. Even one of my favorite movies is about reunions. Have you seen “Big Point Blank”? It’s Monet Lisa by John Cusack. A total masterpiece on his high school reunion he’s coming home for. Granted, he doesn’t have the normal career as he is a paid assassin. He clashes with his old flame, jinks ensue.

Clarity and perspective

I think the best things about reunions are that you remember who you were, where you came from, the people you kept close and maybe still do. You can recall the moment, the music, the memories and the emotions of a bygone era.

I don’t want to be too zen with you, but I think reunion even brings some clarity and balance to the spirit of who you have become today. A moment of perspective on the now and then maybe, the things you have done in life, identify the things you still have to do?

Maybe? Call me nostalgic, call me crazy, but I love reunions and watch out, I might crash yours next.

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He hosts a podcast called Biz & Tech, is known for hosting mass meetings, and you can buy his book Professionally Distanced at Midtown Reader. Email him at [email protected]

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