The Write Room Cafe

The Write Room Cafe
Kevin Lynn Helmick

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garden Party

Well the time has come again, and it comes more often than every five years, but those little timely reminders of how old I'm getting are coming at me from friends and barely friends from the shadowed misty past that yet another class reunion as at hand. Thirty years...shit.

I've never gone to one, not one and it isn't because I don't think I'd enjoy it, I'm sure I would. I just don't quit have the desire to drive 4 hours and talk about schools days, most of which I skipped or was too fuckin stoned to know that I was there anyway.

There's even been suggestions that I read from one my books. Right, like that'll entice me. No way could I compete with REO Speedwagon, Journey ballads and the class dorks' new Russian wife he just bought. No way, nor would I wanna try.

Don't get me wrong, there are people that I'd love to see again and share a laugh with, most of which I'm still friends with and chat with often now thanks to social media. I'm talking to friends I thought I'd never see again. Pretty cool.

My wife says I lack sentiment. I deny this observation because I do reflect often on those tender years of growing, learning, good times and bad. But I'll admit I spend a lot more time thinking of the future that I do the past.

Nostalgia's great and healthy in small doses. The Human spirit, for some reason and to a great extent is powered by nostalgia. I don't know why, but people always have the notion that the past is the place of better times. "Good ole days" they say. And some of them were and some of them were not.

She says, my wife, "There's not a nostalgic bone in your body." Again, not true. I don't know if nostalgic is the right word, but I remember as I write this, hay rides being pulled far to fast by a 4x4 in the cool autumn nights down gravel roads and across the county. Keggers around a bon fire, drinking till dawn, skipping school and bumper skiing. One time when three of us almost drowned in Lake Wilderness by tipping a canoe in April. That was but one very close call, very close. And certain faces that did not survive those years and risky activities.

I'd love to do it all over again, I would, but its already been done, so, to quote Jack Sparrow, 'bring me that horizon.'

Now days when I see or hear the word, reunion, strangely enough what pops into my brain is the Rick Nelson song, Garden Party, and the line in particular, 'if yer gonna play a garden party, I wish you a lot a luck, but if memories were all sang. I'd rather drive a truck.'
So to all of you from 82, who are still truckin, I can't think of anybody else I would have rather shared it with. You guys are all aces in my book. And from this days perspective I wish ya a lotta luck, love, happiness and good fortune and if our paths meet again I hope that it be like accidental ships in the night and in some far away point on the globe, because those encounters make for the best reunions.

Have a great time and raise a glass for me, I'm fine and still suckin air. I'll be thinking of you as I do more than you know.


  1. One of the best short pieces I have read. I remembered the song Garden Party and how it sort of summed up people who love high-school reunions or still attend High-school football games. Actually who thought Facebook could make money off somebodies memories and privacy.

    I would like to replace my childhood memories with someone who had a better childhood. Think of a drug that could erase the crap, the snubs and replace them with a shining brilliance.

    Imagine you got the pony,or they let you into an Ivy league school even with bad grades, that you got of going to Vietnam. Wait I just got elected President.

    Keep on writing... WILY GIEST

  2. Total Recall Wily? I had a greeat time in high school, there were some painfull moments, sure, and childhood too. I just don't see the reason to gush over the past, that's just a terrible bore to me.
    I'd rather write about it.