1984 Decamhian. A gift that keeps on giving.
We made a yearbook together 35 years ago.
Over the years I had gotten back in touch with 1984 editor in chief Tracy Wiedman and then assistant editor Melodi Dewey on Facebook. At some point Melodi had also run into editor in chief Jaimee Arent in their business world and at that time we talked about trying to get us all back together for a reunion. Around the time I retired, Jaimee sent me a card, and we finally had lunch together this past Christmas time.
I was now in touch with three of the five. Jaimee was in touch with our fourth, Ranae Michelson, and we started planning a reunion – knowing that these things never actually come together. We have families. We are too busy. A thousand obstacles.
Jaimee lives in Concord. Tracy was home from Japan visiting her parents in Monterey. Ranae lives in Los Gatos. Me in Sacramento. So Melodi, who lives in Lafayette, offered her house as a location as it was pretty much in middle – the 1984 Decamhian reunion brunch was on. We agreed on Saturday, February 10.
Tracy had been back to the yearbook room a couple of times over the years. I ran into Jaimee once years ago on the escalator in the San Francisco Union Square Macy’s. and I had never seen Melodi or Ranae once since they graduated. Melodi had seen the fifth member of the team, Colette Schumacher, once, but we never could locate her again.
They were powerful high school girls who are now all powerful adult women. Tracy is a college professor of English in Japan; Jaimee a corporate design consultant with Herman Miller in San Francisco, Melodi is a school psychologist for the Berkeley School District, and Ranae, after teaching third grade for nearly 15 years is managing her animals and high school age kids.
As we gathered at Melodi’s dining room table, it was like they were all 17 again and I was 29 again. Surprisingly they all had kept the essence I remembered them for.
Jaimee was as smart, sarcastic, and assertive as ever. Tracy was still kind and creative and the athlete. Melodi was as gentle and sweet as ever and her beautiful laugh was still there. Ranae took charge of everything, bubbling with humor and sarcasm. So glad she made sure my shirt looked just right for all the pictures we took. 🙂
I brought both the 1983 and 1984 books with me and we flipped through every page remembering so many long forgotten events and people.
We remembered going to yearbook camp together at UC Berkeley – Yearbook/Newspaper by the Bay. The previous year it had been on the Stanford University campus and would return there the next year. It was at this camp I discovered in the camp library the copy of Bruce Watterson’s Ole Main Wildcat that would change my perception of what a yearbook could be forever.
I took a photo class and someone took an iconic photo of all five of them that was on the wall in the yearbook room for years.
The funniest part of the afternoon was they all read out loud what they had written in my book back then. Jaimee had the best handwriting. Tracy wrote the most and Ranae was as saucy as ever.
Four hours flew by and then we were on our way back to our adult lives.
Our two years on staff together had changed each of us. Made us better. And as each of us remembered, we were grateful.
Thankful and grateful this friendship has lasted 35 years.
Until the next reunion. Yearbooks forever.