The Class of 1968, of which I am a member, is celebrating its 50th high school reunion this year. Across the country, organizers are trying to track down long-lost classmates, including women whose names have changed one or more times, those who have moved away and those who don’t want to be found. We’ll meet at country clubs, Elks lodges, K of C halls, hotels, nightclubs and other venues. It’s an opportunity to reconnect and compare life stories, evaluate how everyone has held up over the years and acknowledge those who are no longer with us.

I don’t keep in touch with anyone in my high school class, so why do I plan to go? Because I still remember my classmates’ names, because we were in the same incubator for four years and because a 50th reunion happens only once and I’m sentimental.

My mom was aghast when I told her that I’m celebrating my 50th this year. She thinks of me as around 40. Alas, it’s not so. Most of us in the Class of ’68 were born in 1950, a convenient year for calculating one’s age, and I’ve been keeping track. I’ve also been going to the gym to whip myself into shape for this milestone. The dress I bought but never wore for my 30th reunion will never fit, so I’m donating it to Goodwill. I hope someone can use a long black dress with a mandarin collar and shoulder pads in size 6. I’ll have to start fresh.

I recently picked up a copy of the Time Magazine special, “1968 – The Year that Shaped a Generation.” I needed to refresh my memory, because I really wasn’t paying attention at the time. I learned that it was a tumultuous year.

While I was busy studying U.S. history, history was in the making. North Korea captured the USS Pueblo, and Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. While I was buying my Rose Kennedy-style prom dress with matching shoes, elbow-length gloves and fake-fur cape, Robert F. Kennedy was being assassinated.

While I was working my summer job at the local Zayre store, the Vietnam War was raging and protests were, too. While I was starting college, the war was continuing to rage and the protests were spreading. While I was transforming my 1950s look into a 1960s one – from skirts to jeans, button-up shirts to peasant blouses and permed to long, straight hair – Richard Nixon was being elected president.

It’s a good thing the 911 emergency phone system was established that year. We needed it.

So, this year the Class of 1968 will gather. I’ll get dressed up in a new outfit and enjoy the evening with a group of people I don’t really know, but who I can relate to. We’ll listen to the Beatles and the Stones, and chat about where we’ve been and what we’ve done in the last 50 years. That’s a long time! I bet we’ll have a lot to talk about.