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  • Writer's pictureJim Gagen

Old School – The Pause That Refreshes

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

That Coca-Cola slogan from 1929 was to encourage people to slow down and take time to enjoy a Coke. That slogan came to me the other day as a reminder to reflect on the past and our many blessings, which is vitally important in these challenging times. In a sense, isn’t remembering and learning from your past part of what Old School is about?

Reuniting and reconnecting

This past weekend, I had the great fortune of reconnecting with many of my high school basketball teammates at our first team reunion. I won’t date myself and say how many years it’s been since we’ve seen each other, but it’s more than a few. The genesis of this reunion started over a year ago when a teammate reached out to me via Facebook. With this connection, my teammate suggested we get together and plan a reunion for our team with him tracking down the guys from his graduating class and me tracking down mine. Between Facebook, LinkedIn and already having contact information, we were able to track down almost the whole team and reach out. While connecting with everyone, we found a very high level of interest from most everyone. Due to Covid, we couldn’t have our reunion in 2020, finally getting together this summer.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

The one-year delay only made our reunion better. My teammate who initiated this whole thing had game films of many of our games over those two years. The year delay enabled us to clean up these game films as a third teammate (our senior year captain) offered to convert the Super 8 films to digital and, in doing so, enhanced the footage. The three of us became close with this endeavor, planning the reunion in terms of convenient location for most, a venue where we can show the videos on a large monitor with capability to Zoom-in those who couldn’t join, a private room for just the team and a bar.

The Reunion

Finally, the day came for the reunion and the three of us welcomed our teammates in person and via Zoom. It was pure enjoyment for several hours with smiles, laughter and chop-busting (I kept that clean). We watched four game films and complimented some and good-naturedly criticized others. Included in the viewing of the games were not only the guys in attendance, but also with the guys who Zoomed in via screen sharing. We become the buzz of the hotel bar as the bartender told the patrons what we were doing and how we had guys on Zoom from Florida and Tokyo. The only thing better than that hotel bar buzz was the appreciation all the teammates had for me and my reunion “Co-Captains” for putting this together. That’s kind of the intersection of Old School appreciation brought on with the help of New School digital and Zoom technology.

The Reflecting

After cleaning up, the three of us who planned and executed this reunion sat at the bar talking about how great it was to reconnect. The teammate who edited and converted the game films reflected on it all. He said when I initially contacted him, it caused him to pause and reflect. He got a rush and it sent him right back to high school. He thought of such an enjoyable, carefree time, he felt so blessed to have had that experience and wanted to relive it.

Given these challenging times, we all need a little reflecting and reconnecting. That’s Old School.

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