Sunday, September 18, 2011

Generally speaking, I'm not big on reunions.
I'm not sure why. For instance, I've been out of High School since 1973,
and I've only been to one reunion, our 25th.

My wife came with me and we both had fun, but I haven't been back since.

There was another reunion of sorts this past Saturday. It was a gathering of merchant seaman who used to work for Sun Transport Inc. Sun Transport was basically the marine division of Sun Oil Company. They had a fleet of oil tankers and a bunch of tug and barge units. I started working there 2 months after high school graduation on an oil tanker named the SS Eastern Sun. I worked there for 24 years, and like everyone who was at the reunion, we all thought we would retire there. But Sun followed the lead of most of the big oil companies and sold their fleets. Now, when they need to move oil from point A to point B, they hire another company to do it.

So, in 1997, Sun sold their last boat and the employees, many of which were my friends, scattered throughout the industry looking for jobs. Some continued on and others found completely different paths in life.

I often think of those friends. I sailed with some of those guys for more than 20 years, sharing some pretty crazy experiences. Then, like the end of a good movie, the curtain came down, and out the door we went.

Now it's 2011, and a former mate, who now works in a management position for one of those companies Sun now hires to move product, thought it would be fun to have a reunion.

This past Saturday, Sun Transport held it's 2nd annual reunion at a State Park.
Lots of guys were there I haven't seen in 20 years or more. Mike and Kevin and Bob were there, guys who started about the same time as me. Jack and Margeree, and Patty and Gordon. Names from the past. Names that bring back good memories.

My wife was there and said she had a blast. I hear everyone did. I couldn't tell you. I was on the boat. Didn't make it.
My wife wasn't there representing me, she was there because she is a Sun Transport Alum. I met her on a oil tanker in 1980. It was her first trip.

Anyway, the reports are in. It was a successful gathering.
Maybe next year I'll make it.


SueAnn said...

Oh this sounds like so much fun!! Sorry you had to miss it! I sure hope your wife took lots of pics? 20 years? Wow! Times does fly?

Formerly known as Frau said...

maybe next time...I'm glad your wife made it and can report back...hopefully with a few emails to reconnect you with old friends.

I think you need to write about you and your wife's meeting on a tanker now that is a story.

Anonymous said...

I've been to two of my HS class reunions.. One only because the powers that be held a kangaroo court and forced me to do the planning... They're really not much fun.

Joycee said...

Us too, just unsociable I guess cause we do not like the reunion thing. I love Facebook though and it's nothing but a big reunion of sorts with old friends. It's that "put on your good clothes and go" that takes the fun out of school reunions... don't ya think?!!!

dcpeg said...

Great but heartbreaking story! So sorry you couldn't make it.

When your 40th H.S. reunion comes around, don't miss it! You'll be shocked at how old everyone ELSE looks! My 45 is next year and I don't think I can handle it!

Marilyn said...

Now that is too bad you couldn't be there. I hope you can make it the next time.

beth said...

i have never been to my class reunion. ever. hmmm, there must be a reason why. i wonder what it is. met your wife on a boat ?

Karen said...

oooh, such a bummer that you couldn't go! And a very cool way to meet your wife!... I'd like to hear the story too.

Debi@7Gates said...

1973; a good year. Anyway, gosh I got to the end and couldn't wait to hear what YOU thought of the reunion. Hate you missed out, but sounds like your wife had a great time. Maybe next time for you. The years do seem to rush by so quickly. Fall is already here and Christmas trees are in the stores.