Woodrow Wilson Junior High School was an amazing school and holds a fond memory for the majority of the students that attended there, and I am sure, even for the faculty. We just had our fifth non-year reunion as a way to get the alumni all together to relive past memories and a way to reacquaint new friendships. The first reunion was kind of a casual get-together at a local watering hole, but it led the way to bigger and better events each year. I had the privilege of chairing the second event, and now there is a good group that makes sure that the party keeps going and one has to give accolades to the committees that work tirelessly to accomplish the goals. In the last couple of years, there has been a movement to also include others from the neighborhood that did not attend Wilson, but that attended some of the parochial schools. With an attendance of around three hundred people, the party was a huge success. The biggest drawback is that it is hard to see everyone in one evening, spend any real time catching up, and then there are some people that you just missed seeing. One of our alumnae even takes it upon herself to take group pictures by the year of graduation, and the oldest graduate was from the class of 1952. Another poignant moment, that started from the second reunion, but it was done at the end of the event, and has now been moved to a time after the dinner time, is the releasing of all the balloons that are used as table decorations earlier in the day. People write the names of relatives and friends that have passed away, and the balloons are all released at one moment, and it is quite stirring and emotional.
I did mention that there was a dinner and when you think of how affordable the ticket is, there is lot of value in attending. For twenty-five dollars, not only is there a hall for us to congregate in, this year there was a disc-jockey playing the music or our era and there is a buffet dinner and beer and soft drinks for everyone to enjoy, and later on in the evening, there is a huge delivery of pizzas as well, as this was a staple party food from our day. The dinner was set up on a couple of long tables in a buffet manner starting with salads and progressing through the meal, including three different dinner entrée choices. I have to say, that I always eat prior to most parties, including weddings, because I have a problem with most institutional caterers and their use of MSG, so rather than take a chance, I avoid eating, but I did enjoy watching the majority enjoying their dinner.
There was plenty of beer being consumed as that was the beverage of choice for students back in the day, and still is today. I also had a chance to try a couple of Italian wines while I was there. The first wine that I tried was Banfi Centine Toscana IGT 2012. This is a wine that is grouped together and referred to a “Super Tuscany Red.” Ever since Sassicaia in 1984 was granted an IGT instead of a Table Wine designation, other wineries have taken advantage of it. The major varietal for a Toscana IGT is still Sangiovese, the grape of Tuscany, but then most also add Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for a more Continental taste. This blend has been copied by other wineries around the globe as well, due to the success of this designation. The other wine that I will discuss is Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige DOC 2013. I know that a lot of people consider this to be one of the finest makers of Pinot Grigio in Italy, and they offer two varieties, one being the Valdadige DOC and the other being Delle Venezie IGT. Valdadige is the northern part of the Trentino province and the DOC designation is actually for three different varietals; Enantio, Casetta and Pinot Grigio. There were others that believed in BYOB for the party as well, and as they say “a good time was had by all.”