June, 1964. I graduated from North High School at a ceremony at the Denver Auditorium. Fast forward to June 6, 2008 and the commencement tradition continues. Allison graduates from C.K. McClatchy High School at a ceremony at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. Forty-four years in the interim with all the life of ups and downs that the commencement
speeches predicted. The valedictory addresses stay on the same theme and the passing of time will enforce the wave of changes that the speakers ask the Class of 2008 to embrace. I realize this is the final high school graduation ceremony for my children I'll attend with so many memories attached. My sons, Jesse
and Josh graduated from schools in Louisville, Kentucky years ago and I have photographs of those times. There are no pictures from my 1964 ceremony so I only have fading memories of that day. I recall my group of friends I went out with after the event. Steve Holmes, Mike Mapelli, Dave Wendelin and Gene Heinemeyer. We bought some beer, went out to golf course and
sat on the 15th green, looked at the stars and laughed about all the crazy things we'd done. We were chased off by a guard and all went home. I never saw any of them again. Allison was surrounded by her cadre of friends and calling others she can't find in the crowd on her cell phone. Parents and friends are constantly snapping group of seniors who may never be this close again. The gravity of the moment and the relentless change that all of the
seniors will experience is not being considered. The good-byes begin one hug at a time. One of the speakers said that he was looking forward to reunions in 20 and 40 years to see how his classmates managed their lives. He's got it right. The end of high school is the beginning of adult life. Yea, there is still college, mainly supported by parents, but the shift toward independency begins, for most, after the senior year in high school. I remember leaving two days after graduation for the summer to attend an rigorous instructor training course at the Colorado Outward Bound School. I stayed on there to work in course support and logistics and then came back to Denver two days before entering the University of Colorado at Boulder. I never missed high school like Allison will. I only looked back at my high school days at the 10, 20 and 40 year reunions and at each succeeding one it was clear that the only journey that I could fully connect with was my own. As a parent I can only watch and sometimes advise and bring my perspective to Jesse, Josh and Allison who are also "moving on."