For those who haven't heard, my brother, Jeff Epstein, Class of 1968, died last week. Don't know how to post it for his friends, so thought I would just put it here.
posted March 1st, 2013
Recent Class of '72 40th Reunion: It's Like We Never Left!
Sharing with you an inspirational essay I wrote and would like to share with ALL classes about why returning to one's reunion is so important. This year, we commemorated our 40th reunion (Class of '72) and nearly 200 returned for our weekend festivities. As one of the key reunion organizers of this reunion, I had a delightful and inspirational time and I look forward to the journey ahead with my fellow classmates.Visit our photo album of pictures from the reunion elsewhere on this site.
posted July 29th, 2012
Reflections on our upcoming 40th High School Reunion: Class of'72
Attached is an essay written to commemorate our upcoming 40th reunion (Class of '72) on July 21, 2012. Feel free to share with all reunion classes if you'd like. I pasted the essay into this window in another post, but it was cut off.
posted June 28th, 2012
Reflections on the Schreiber Class of 1972
When we gathered together for our 30-year reunion we were still in our forties. It was astonishing, then, to think that many of us had children in high school at that time. Fast forward a decade, and as we gather together on July 21, it is AWESOME, indeed, to consider that itâ€™s now 40 years â€” yes, 40 years since our Graduation Day; that we are now 58 and that some of us actually have grandchildren in high school!
Looking back on the brief four years we spent together at Schreiber, we instinctively compare our own high school experience to that of our children â€” and of the youth of today. We canâ€™t help but reflect on our youthful selves - no responsibilities, no bills to pay or credit card debt, no cell phones, no Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. No Internet! Oh, what a different world it was!
Forty years ago in high school we amused ourselves with television and movies depicting war, but we never dreamed our older brothers, uncles and friends would be at risk in the Vietnam War. While we were aware of computers, we never imagined actually owning one, as the early seventies saw the invention of the word processor, the Ethernet, the floppy disk, email, and the first microprocessor. And the term â€œ virusesâ€ only meant that we had the flu. TV was expanding to something called Paid TV (Cable), and we had situation comedies, not "sitcoms." Oh, what a different world it was!
Athletes and actors were just athletes and actors, heroes nonetheless, but certainly not political activists or presidential candidates and reality show hosts. And there were no debates or demonstrations over global warming or same-sex marriage (Remember, back then, "gay" meant happy.)
Oh, what a different world it was!
Cars cost one-tenth of what they do now (as did auto and health insurance), gas prices were .36 a gallon the year we graduated, and we had no inflation or budget deficits, immigration crises, few two-income families or daycare centers, no energy crisis, no domestic terrorism, oil spills or ozone depletion, and no lawsuits against tobacco companies (though cigarette ads were banned in 1971). Besides drinking alcohol and smoking, chewing gum in school was a serious offense, and if we ever showed up in school dressed like the kids do today, we would all have been sent home. Oh, what a different world it was!
The icons (now, thereâ€™s another word we never heard in those days) â€” the icons of our time of youth included Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, The Carpenters, The Rolling Stones, Carole King, Simon & Garfunkel. And the forever-immortalized fads included: Rubikâ€™s Cube, the food processor, the moon roof, digital watches, post-it notes, Pong video game, VCR videocassette, platform shoes, creepy crawlers, mood rings, silly putty, bean bag chairs, pet rocks, Volkswagen bugs and busses, Mexican jumping beans, and smiley face stickers. Oh, what a different world it was!
All that is referenced above fashioned and formed the most far-reaching, enduring and significant symbol of American popular culture of our time â€” and of all time â€” and filled all our free time with hours of pleasure, wonder and amazement â€“ without being glued to IPads, IPods, Cell Phones to consume out time like the youth of today. And the new, fresh and fabulous 70â€™s rock music â€” our music that we loved and that we now call "oldies." (Does that mean weâ€™re viewed as â€œoldiesâ€ too?) Oh, what a different world it was!
As we were pioneering life in an ever-expanding suburban America, it was back then, during our innocent school days â€” when most us were "studyin' hard and hopin' to pass," while others were just cruisin' or "goofin' in the halls" and "throwin' spitballs" â€” that we simultaneously learned - and taught the whole world how to be cool. And it was when we formed many of the values we now hold dear, and many of the most intimate, precious and lasting friendships of our lives.
Although the times were simpler then, our icons were not trivial â€” as some might think. They portrayed well the way we were in the 1970â€™s and embodied the youthful optimism, idealism, exuberance and style that most of us felt and lived, most of the time, those characteristics that collectively dominated the decade and defined our "quality of life" then. Undeniably, these icons illustrated the sheer essence of our high school experience. Oh, what a different world it was!
Upon reflection, it becomes both crystal clear and virtually indisputable that we were privileged and fortunate, indeed, to be precisely the right age at precisely the right time â€” the best time in history â€” to be in high school in America!
Think about it we ate twinkies, cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon, drank Kool-Aid by the gallons made with real white sugar. And we werenâ€™t overweight. We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones, teethâ€¦and there w