Our classmate and friend, Karen Tristram Watson traditionally gives an inspirational talk at our reunions.  At the most recent one, our 50th, it was difficult for her to be heard due to the noise level and general layout of the room.  She instead promised that she would share the speech on Facebook, and we're including it here because it is beautifully-written and very important for each classmate to read:

"It has been said that no other consecutive three year period in our lives shapes us or has had the impact on us as our three years in high school. We are each other's glue. We are intricately bound by the sheer fact of our togetherness at our most impressionable ages.

"What binds us together is that regardless of where we fit in or didn't fit in, when we shed our differences at a pep rally or an assembly in the auditorium, when we loved and admired our teachers, or were there for each other, we were forming our foundations for how we would handle life in the 'big outside world' with our grown-up relationships and our grown-up jobs. Let's remember for a moment how it was:

"It's 1967 and we hear the Monkees on the radio, Gunsmoke is on our black and white TVs, and gas is 30 cents a gallon. You came to school in your '67 Ford Mustang, or you hopped off the bus. Whether you enthusiastically raised your hand in class hoping you'd get called on, or you sat in silence hoping you wouldn't....

"Whether you had a posse of friends and a guaranteed spot in the cafeteria, or you walked in alone with a firm grip on your tray while you scanned the room for a seat.....

"Whether you practiced on a chilly fall day for the homecoming parade, or you were a star on the field, or you were one of us cheering from the stands, or you didn't attend at all.....

"We all had our teenage angst... a missed grade... a missed invitation to the prom... a missed chance on the honor roll... a missed smile from that certain someone, or a missed basket or touchdown. We worried about having the right outfit, cologne, car, or date. Our SAT scores were a big deal, as was who was dating whom and who were we playing on the football field.

"Today, whether you've gained fame and financial success or not, we can give back in our own ways. Whether you have touched the lives of the world through your artistic, literary, political, or musical talents... or you recently took a casserole to your next door neighbor, or sang a lullaby to your grandbaby, or helped a friend in need and felt your circle of kindness was small... you have made a difference in their lives! In school you may have been called jock, brain, nerd, geek, popular, gearhead, or hood, and hung out at the smoking bench or the teacher's parking lot AKA "the Pit", or were a very quiet member of our LGBT family. No matter how we belonged, we did belong! However we felt shaped and defined us then.

"Do we still feel that way, or has 50 years erased all those labels of our youth as we've evolved and become comfortable in our own skin, grateful, wise, and accepting, and can now say "we are in this together!" Whatever memories we have, good, bad or ambivalent, we are the class of '67! Whether you've stayed in touch and attended every reunion, or this was your very first one, you are a part of that special bond that unites us all.

"So today, we know that the point of life is not to emerge unscathed. It isn't even success necessarily. The point of life is to live fully! (As we heard Saturday morning)... Be fully engaged, fully present, and fully alive! Be proud of yourselves... and be proud of our legacy as the very amazing and "Forever Young" Class of 1967 from Winter Park High School. Thank you."