Amanda called the house at 7:30 this morning to complain once again that, because of me, she can no longer enjoy the song Whole New World from Aladdin.

The work day was pretty much go-go-go. Lots of phone ringing and such. I drove out to meet my boss, Scott Hendrix, at Kinko’s to drop off some papers with instructions on them for a site update. On the way out there I was talking to Tim about the website Rob Peterson and I want to work on. We’ve been meaning to do that for a while. Of course, as soon as I got in the car and started talking to Tim my phone complained of a low battery. I powered through it and made it almost all the way back to the house before it died.

When Scott drove up to Kinko’s he had his two daughters in the back of the car. I don’t think his older daughter, Addie, recognized me, but she did smile at me after a minute. His other daughter, Ava, I hadn’t seen since she was a few days old. She’ll be one in April or so I think.

As I was pulling up to the house Michael was leaving, heading home for the weekend. Adam and Renee were there, inside watching this past week’s episode of Rome. (They were riding to Rougemont with us.) I headed upstairs to try to finish up work and start packing. I got a little bit done, but the phone kept ringing. Amanda got home with some Chick-Fil-A lunch which I finally got to eat after finishing a call. We packed up, did a little bit of tidying (cleaned the cat litter and made the bed) then headed on out. Our goal was to leave at 2:00 and we made it out at right about 2:20. Not too bad. Mainly we just wanted to beat the Raleigh traffic.

We had to stop and get gas before we left. We were pretty excited to see the price was down to $2.09 a gallon, but after we go to Durham it was even better to see gas at $1.99 a gallon! We were excited, but then of course we thought back to when gas went up to a dollar.

Adam kept noticing things on the way through Durham that he hadn’t noticed before. My guess is that it’s because he usually drives, but I don’t think that’s the case. The one thing that stands out is he said, “Man those trees have gotten big!” as we drove past Black Horse Run. At one point I asked him how long it had been since he’d been through there.

Corona was very happy to see everybody. She’s a big black and white mutt, a very sweet dog. I played with her a bit as she ran back and forth in the yard, daring me to catch he as she would zoom past me. Other than that we unpacked our stuff and Adam and Renee loaded up the truck they’re borrowing from my parents. Dad put a trailer on it, and they loaded up some furniture here and then over at Pup Pup’s house before heading off to Charlotte to get some furniture from Renee’s parents. After that, I guess tomorrow, they’re going to Wilmington to unload everything then back to Rougemont by Sunday morning to drop off the truck and catch a ride back to Wilmington with me and Amanda.

Dad had gone to help them load the truck at Pup Pup’s house and Amanda and I got ready for tonight’s event. It’s kind of an 11 year high school reunion warmup. Basically the G Loft, a bar attached to George’s Garage on 9th Street, was rented out for the Northern High School class of ’96. We stopped by Jason Revill’s house, talked to his parents for a bit and rode with him over there. We got there around 7:30 and there weren’t too many people there yet. Mostly it was the people who put it together and some of their friends. Brad Mark, Ashley Rainey, Marci Piddington, Lisa Robinson, Brandee Kaauomo (sp?), a few other people and some spouses. Lauren Atwell, whom I remembered because we have the same birthday, showed up not long after and talked to us for a few minutes. There were, of course, a lot of little conversations that all went “Are you so and so?” “Yes! What are you doing and where do you live?” Of course there were a number of faces I couldn’t put names to and a lot of faces I didn’t know at all.

Chris Reeves arrived after a while with a (girl-?)friend, John Pearson and Autumn Belk, who had actually graduated a year after us and said she was crashing our graduation. She is, if you will recall, engaged to John. It was a relief to see them show up, because Jason and I were running out of people we actually knew. For a while, as we often joked, we were splitting the room. People over to one side and people over to the other. Not that it was particularly cliqueish I think.

So let’s see, who all was there that I talked to? Amelia Hube stands out. She was really cool. She’s married and going to grad school at Duke. She said she was looking around for people whose names she could remember and she saw me and Jason. She was one we both had real conversations with. I talked briefly to Lisa Robinson early on. She said she’d seen my dad some place the other day. I didn’t recognize Eric Kryniki (sp?). He’s living around Washington DC doing computer programming. He looked and sounded like he was doing well. There was Ginny Stewart and her boyfriend. They’re both studying medicine of some sort. (It was very loud when we were talking.) Gary Ribbet was Gary Ribbet, which was, as he said, a drunken redneck. I talked to Robbie Mangum in the bathroom line, didn’t even recognize him. He’s taller than me now, which at my height isn’t much of a surprise, but he is one person I think I’d always been a little taller than. David Piatt was a trip. He’s a cop in Durham now. He was fun to talk to. Oh yeah, Kara Sumner came, even though she’d said before that she wasn’t going to. She and Chris had been roommates at one point I think, and she was hanging out in our group. We took over a corner near the entrance to the place with couches and chairs. Jenny Chappell was there with her husband. I didn’t see her until late and didn’t get a chance to talk to her until they were heading out the door. I didn’t recognize Booker Williams, embarrassingly thinking he might be Brian Lucky when he stopped me to talk to me. Eve Huggins was pretty funny when she walked in, pointing to people and yelling out their names. I was talking to Pete Crispell when she came up and named both me and him. She said she couldn’t forget my curly hair. Jason and I had a decent talk with Catherine Redding, whom I don’t recall ever having a conversation with. She remembered stuff back to middle school at Carrington. We had a nice laugh talking about Dr. May, our eighth grade English teacher. Jason Jones was there too. He’d gone to UNCW and hung out some with my first sister Erin when she was there. He’s living in Charleston now, and he talked with our group quite a bit too.

I’m sure I’m leaving out a number of people here.

All in all it was a nice night, I think, although the smoke was really getting to Amanda after a while. A lot more people recognized me and remembered my name than I thought would. I was one of those guys in high school who knew people from a bunch of different groups. Jason kept saying (as I was driving us home) that he he’s had a lot worse times; his way of saying it wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought it might be and that he actually enjoyed himself.

Tomorrow Jason is coming over to watch the Duke-NC State game (at State) then we’re heading over to the actual 11 year reunion party. (Yes, it’s actually a belated 10 year reunion. My class is comprised of a bunch of slackers it would seem.) John Pearson said something about having an after-party at his place. We may go to that, but he lives in Raleigh and we have to bring Adam and Renee home.

Zach Dotsey