To the Meadowbrook Class of 1968; it feels like it was only yesterday when they all flipped their tassels and began their adult lives. They believe that 60 is the new 16, and they live their lives that way.
“When we all get together, it’s like we’re all 16 again,” Gail Davis, unofficial organizer for the class shared. “We still love to get together after almost 50 years since we were all in school together.”
Davis explains that the group has “become even closer now.” The group of about seven female classmates generally drive to all kinds of events that are planned for the senior class of 1968. Most of them just feel lucky to have the connections. “At this stage of life, we understand what is important,” said Linda Pickeral.
Another member, Debbie Sbertoli, said, “Cliques are all gone now. None of us may have been besties in high school, but we’re glad to have each other around now.” The big thing back in the day was the drill team, but they all said “it didn’t really matter, they’re all just happy memories now.”
Betty Abbott did not get to do a lot of things others did because her mom and dad would not let her. “We might’ve lost touch back then, but we’re all happy to know each other now.” She smiled at her school cohorts.
“The group entered Meadowbrook High School as 13 year olds the very first year that the doors opened,” Davis said. “We are the only class, the class of 1968, to attend Meadowbrook for five years – from the eighth grade to graduation.” One of their classmates was opted opted in because she was one year older in 1967 but fit with their class. Davis feels that because they were the “first class we are all very connected.”
Technology and Facebook have helped them keep in touch. They do events at least once every year, and the core group gets together frequently for dinner and activities. “We have time now, and we’re glad to be together again,” Betty said.
The testament to friendship is how they all feel they have not aged a day since they were 16-year-olds. One of the members, Lestra Waldrop, said, “Life is so fast today, and there is a lack of communication, and we just want to do as many events as a group as we can.” Waldrop is known to be one who sends sick classmates a note or a card or writes when their parents or siblings are ill or pass away.
All of the ladies agree that now is a very precious time to them. Faye Osterbind feels lucky to have the group. “I remember the good times from back at Meadowbrook; I feel lucky that they’ve come around again,” she shared. “The main thing now is to see everyone again.”
Pickeral said, “It’s nice now because we don’t care what people think anymore, like we did back in high school.” The culture has changed. Waldrop remembers how wild it was back then and laughed, “It was the time of Woodstock, grass and the Beatles – how do you top that?”
The group has done many events as a group. They recently visited classmates who live in Florida. Sbertoli remembers simply “sitting on the porch sipping coffee while we all talked…It was so much fun.”
They are having a big fall party celebrating Medicare, since the majority of them can join this fall. “We try to support classmates that are sick; one has a brother who is very ill right now and we try to be there for each other,” said Waldrop.
They are planning a trip to Yorktown Beach in the next month. “This class just loves to get together,” said Pickeral. Sbertoli smiled, “Any preconceived notions of high school are long gone, out the window.”
They all agree that the most amazing things they have seen change is technology and the impatience of the world. They have been amazed at space travel, cell phones, and how fast people can learn and travel now.
They have advice for the seniors of 2015. Osterbind said, “Make the most of the time you have, because you don’t realize it will be gone in a minute.” They all agree that the seniors of today “will never know how good it was until it’s gone.” They gave sage advice – be kind, follow your dreams, and be happy.
Waldrop said, “We just keep looking for things to do together with this group because we have such fun now.” Osterbind summed it up with a quote made famous by Elvis Presley, which she offered as advice for graduates today: “I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.”