I attended my 40th grammar school reunion last weekend. What fun to see people become themselves. A couple of us definitely resembled our younger selves. I made the short list of "people who closely resemble their 8th grade selves," though didn't win despite staunch support from old friends. It was certainly gratifying to be greeted as the class brain. I'll think about that whenever I feel bad ... . It was especially striking to see how the men have changed -- how solid adults have grown from relatively slight and skinny roots, although a few are far from skinny now. (In fairness I am among the women who have also grown more solid.) The more things change, the more they stay the same. All the nuns are gone, though their reputations live on. (Sister Clara! Sister Sponsa!) The outgoing are still outgoing, the low-profile still quiet, and the class president still confidently exhibits leadership. But everything that was SO important then is long since forgotten, along with a few names of people in the class kindergarten picture. Most amazing is the loyalty; so many people married so many years, so many people showing up for a grammar school reunion, though the fact that most people haven't moved far also has something to do with it. With people inquiring about my siblings and catching up on whose parents were still around, it felt powerfully like extended family from the old neighborhood, where virtually everybody lived in a six-block radius. We used to stand outside a friend's house and holler them out: yo Charlene!