The experience of membership in the Franconia College Community can not be separated from the physical beauty of the surrounding countryside or the unusual learning environment which developed on the banks of the Gale as it courses over the lower slopes of Mount Lafayette. The impact of the College on New Hampshire's North Country defines, in part, the way the Sixties and Seventies were experienced here. There is, therefore, an understandable local interest in the outcome of the educational experiment which was Franconia College. All of us are interested in what has become of our colleagues and many of us are interested in sharing what has become of ourselves. There may yet prove to be an even broader interest as educational specialists undertake the inevitable post-mortems of Americas more liberal educational responses to the baby-boom.
The poet Jack Spicer observed that poems are the signposts dead men leave for each other. The opportunity for men, or women, to leave such signposts is rare. The opportunity to remember an historic era with those who experienced it is usually the prerogative of a few old solders. History is usually a cerebral thing and only rarely becomes immediate and visceral. The importance of time increases for each of us, as it passes.
Attending a College Reunion after some thirty years is certain to underscore for each of us, our own mortality. The opportunity to commemorate the occasion by leaving an offering, memento, artifact, or contribution which will be sealed away and properly preserved for posterity is compelling.
On Sunday Afternoon, August 20, 2000, a ceremony will be held at Peabody Lodge. You are requested to place something thoughtful or frivolous which reflects your experience of the Franconia Community and which is meaningful to you, in a time capsule to be sealed and maintained in an appropriate place (possibly the Franconia Heritage Museum) until an appropriate future date. We are talking about photographs, bumper stickers, bumpers, record albums, poems, textbooks, acid tabs, draft cards, tie-dyed clothing, almost anything which is not too big. No firearms, please. A very short speech, explaining why you have chosen your particular contribution to consign to posterity, would be appreciated.
The proposed FCY2K Reunion is occurring because of many things. Most importantly, individuals willing to invest in making it happen. Also a combination of the millennial significance of the year 2000; the thirty years which have passed since many of us were together; the Internet; many different things. Although we will certainly rekindle friendships which will last long into the future, it is highly unlikely that this Reunion format will become an annual event, it's just too much work. This, of course, begs the question, will we ever get together again and, if so, should we plan, now, to meet at some time in the future? If so, when?
Somehow the year 2020 seems to have a symmetry about it. By then, many more of us will have passed on and others will be well into their seventies. It would be both somber and joyful, at that time, to have reminders of those gone before and of the extraordinary period of time we shared together. 2020 seems a very good year. Some have suggested that 20 years is too long a hiatus. Like all things at Franconia, all of this is open for discussion.