Last weekend we drove up to Concord, MA for my 20th high school reunion. Middlesex School is an independent boarding school that was founded in 1901 where I lived and learned from age 14 – 18.
The campus was designed by Olmstead, the same fellow that laid out Central Park, and is just as beautiful now as I remember it. The four years I spent there were the foundation of my education and schooling.
An innocent request by one classmate to check into rates for a banquet at the local inn evolved into my somehow organizing the class get-together for Friday evening. In the end it all worked out and those in attendence had a great time sharing stories about what we’ve been up to the past 20 years and what we’ve heard about others that didn’t make it.
As always, Alumni Weekend fell on a spectacular New England Spring day and groups of us wandered around the campus poking about our old haunts. Some places hadn’t changed a bit and others were radically upgraded or new all together. There’s two new dorms, one named “the new dorm” and I guess waiting the label from a particularly generous alumni. There’s also a brand new science center that is topped by an observatory. Everyone agreed that the athletic center can hold its own to any Manhattan health club and the new Student Center in Ware Hall (with it’s floor to ceiling glass windows) is a welcome change to the old student/faculty center that was known as the “Stu/Fac.”
The addition of wings on some of the dorms was done so subtly that only careful examination revealed the difference in brick tone (and redeemed my sanity). It was strange to walk into the old BP dorm where I lived on the top floor in a shared suite with others in a “quad” and see how much they’ve changed things around. Not only have they broken up all the odd-shaped nooks and dormers that used to make it so den-like, they’ve also sub-divided the whole floor into a series of singles. The old wooden staircase are gone, there are safety rails everywhere, and as of a few years ago they’ve put locks on all the doors. As my old dorm master said, they basically took the front door down, replaced the building, then put the old front door back on. Time rolls on I guess – I’m now sounding like one of those crusty old Alums lamenting the good old days.
It was great to bring Zoomer & the kids out to see my old school. I’ve always wanted to share this part of my life with them. I hope they got at least a sense of what it was like to spend time here. Tyler jumped right in and had a blast with the other kids. Tyler and Chloe got along grand which prompted her father John to say, “they’re getting along better than we ever did!”
I took a few photos of the weekend but am kicking myself for not taking more – too caught up in the present I suppose – if anyone wants to submit more photos from the weekend for the album, send them my way.