Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The 20-Year Reunion

I generally try to keep non-professional stuff to a minimum over here, but this crosses over somewhat. So I attended my 20-Year High School Reunion this past weekend (for the record, Oliver Wendell Holmes High School in San Antonio). I didn't want to go, but my longtime friend Tom Kustelski talked me into it. Very surreal, but it was great to hang out with him and his wife Ann, and I'm glad Traci and I were there. Looking back twenty years, I definitely wasn't amongst the most popular folks in high school, and I definitely wasn't amongst the sexiest. My friends tended to be the geeks and the nerds and I suspect I got labeled the same, for better or worse. Finishing with the 3rd best GPA in a class of 600 probably didn't help. They were good years, but I don't feel too many Uncle Rico moments where I wax nostalgically about them. So back to the reunion, about 200-250 people showed up, and it was good to hear how many folks went on to success. Kevin Jackson has a PHD and is proffing at the University of Illinois; more folks than I can count have large, prosperous families; and of course, my buddy Tom is doing well enough that he's already thinking about retiring to Colorado in a few years. Lawyers, doctors, designers, CEOs....you name it...the whole gamut. So toward the end of the evening, they announced the "Class Favorites," including "Most Successful." When they got to that one....whoda thunk it....but they called my name and I had to walk up to the stage, more than a bit stunned. The tradeoff is I had to wear a sash that said "Most Successful" and I was bestowed with a lovely bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine. Too funny. As my wife wisely said that night, "Success is measured a lot of different ways." I wish I would've known that twenty years ago.


Blogger Cheryl said...

John dear, you are world famous. You have a bunch of major awards. Yeah, sure, other people have got money, but you have celebrity, and they can't buy that.

3:49 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Heh. Thanks, Cheryl. :)

I don't know about celebrity, but as long as the work keeps coming, I'm happy. See you at WFC, right?

4:42 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Much travel to be done between now and then, but that's the plan. Looking forward to it.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Christopher said...

That's the coolest thing I'll read all week. It's so funny how you can go through something years ago almost invisible, show up to something full of doctors and lawyers, and have people admire what you do.

Geeks rule in the end. Hell, it's not even that they rule; most people just grow up and realize the things that matter change, and art is one of the coolest things out there.

Congrats--that had to be neat.

7:28 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Thanks, Christopher. Yeah, pretty amusing for a guy who twenty years ago couldn't get a date....

7:47 AM  
Blogger Mikal said...

You went to Holmes? Evil bastard! I went to John Marshall!

(Small world, eh? Heh.)


5:31 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Hey, if you went to John Marshall, where's your dark blue corduroy Future Farmers of America jacket? I expect to see you wearing that at the next Armadillocon. ;)

Yeah, no kidding....it is a small world.

8:49 AM  
Blogger The Ogden's said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:12 PM  
Blogger The Ogden's said...

We loved this story! Thanks for sharing!

1:13 PM  
Blogger Mair said...

don't know if you ever read new posts to old blog entries, but just in case...loved the reunion bit. What it boils down to is that many of your classmates may make a lot of money (the definition of "success" by many)- but YOU have a job that you truly love...which is actually priceless....

7:59 PM  

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