It was a hot, though pleasant, July night at The Square in Marietta. The streets around the square were blocked off. Glover Park was packed with people who would soon be dancin’ in the streets. At 8 p.m., The Tams would give a concert! That’s right, that great band known as the “Beach Band of the Decade.” They opened with their signature song, “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” They sang that disco classic, “Burn, Baby, Burn.” They entertained us with “Mustang Sally,” “Knock On Wood,” “Uptown Funk,” “Do You Like Good Music” and many other great songs. The Tams’ choreographed performance is immensely energetic. Concert goers were movin’ and groovin’, laughing and having a great time!

Friends from the Class of ’74 at the concertI was at the Tams concert with about 15 friends from my high school class, East Rome High School’s class of ’74. This was not a full tilt class reunion but a group of friends from our class. We rented two tables so we could eat dinner together. We ordered barbecue and everybody brought drinks and bottled water. We were sitting around laughing and talking while we waited for everybody to get there. Somebody was having trouble opening a bottle of wine. He asked a classmate for help. The classmate took the bottle of wine, opened it, and said, “Hey! Did you miss home ec the day Mrs. Hester taught us how to open a bottle of wine?” Everybody laughed.

Around 7 p.m. the barbecue arrived and we sat down to eat. The conversation just got better and better. Somebody made the remark, “This is so much fun. Every time we get together, we pick up where we left off at high school.” It’s true. That is exactly how this delightful group of friends interacts.

At 8 p.m. the concert started. Our tables were set up behind the stage, right down front, so it was loud. We sang along to all those great old songs and danced. A few from our group found the conga line and couldn’t pass that up.

When The Tams played all those great songs, we were immediately catapulted right back to high school and a zillion great memories! The Tams were singing “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?” One of my friends said, “I always wondered back in the day, is there more than one kind of fool?” Ah yes, my friends and I from East Rome’s class of ’74 had a million laughs at The Tams concert. I left at 10 p.m. and the concert was still going strong.

We’re happy being who we areMy friends and I don’t have anything to prove. We’ve all had successful careers, and although some of us are retired, many of us are still busy with those careers. Our children are grown, have graduated from college, are doing well in careers of their own. Our children have married and have children of their own. Further, most of us have been through the distressing time of our parents getting ill and passing away. These friends and I continue to keep up with each other and, through the years, we’ve managed to be there for each other.

Spending time with friends from high school never gets old. When we ask each other, “How are you?” we listen. We really want to know. Further, when these friends and I get to see each other, we are in the moment, having fun.

The Class of 2020

Today, Floyd County Schools launch their 2019-2020 school year. Tomorrow, Rome City Schools will do likewise. Years from now, the Class of 2020 will be having class reunions. If they are lucky, their classmates will remain good friends through the years.

A great way to go through life

Through the years we’ve managed to observe the recommendation of that great Tams 1968 signature song, “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” It’s been a great way to go through life. We are not likely to do otherwise any time soon. We like to have fun. That never gets old.

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, avid cyclist, history enthusiast and ardent reader of Southern fiction. Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.