Madison West High School Class of 1999 held its reunion at the Hotel Red on Saturday July 20. My wife was a member of that graduating class, and we headed downtown for the event.
Twenty years! Wow, can you believe 1999 was 20 years ago? I can’t, and I’ll be celebrating my 20th next year.
High school reunions are awkward for almost everybody involved. A lot of small talk. The same three-minute conversation with multiple people you barely talked to in high school and won’t see again until the next reunion. Moreso, spouses get a front row view of the awkward exchanges and have equally awkward conversations with fellow spouses.
Okay, I’m making this sound worse than it actually is. Because…alcohol. Open bar. Game on. Fortunately, I know a few guys from my wife’s class, so we were able to converse. For sports fans, there is a NFL alum and NBA alum in the class. Jeff Mack was a standout linebacker for the Wisconsin Badgers and went to camp with the Minnesota Vikings. He’s also a great guy and is a Vice President at a bank in Madison.
The other pro athlete in the class is Reece Gaines, who starred in basketball at Louisville. Gaines was drafted 15th overall in 2003 by the Orlando Magic and played three seasons in the NBA.
One of the members of the Class of ‘99 became a friend after learning of our shared love of the Chicago Cubs. Joe and I took in a game at Wrigley Field last summer in which David Bote hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning against the Reds.
Joe brought some Cubs baseball cards with him to the class reunion! In fact, the 1988 Vine Line cards are new to my collection!
As awkward as high school reunions can be, we had a good time on Saturday night. I also drank free beer and received Cubs baseball cards.