By Scott Ryan

With the arrival of Labor Day, I’m intrigued by the various jobs that our classmates hold down.  It’s probably not a surprise that many of them work in the military or for some type of government or defense contractor, since they grew up in the shadow of the world’s largest naval complex.  In many cases, I’m willing to bet that they have parents or other relatives in the service and are carrying on the tradition.

We also have a lot of teachers among us, some of whom teach in the schools they went to as children.  I used to teach adults and found it to be very rewarding.  I also notice that many of our classmates are stay-at-home parents, another tough job, but one they’re proud to have.

I’ve also encountered some people who are fully involved in the beach way of life–working somewhere within the beach/boating/fishing/surfing field.  Clearly, these are people who love living along the East Coast and want to be consumed by the lifestyle.

But what fascinates me most are the students who have their own companies.  We have a few doctors and lawyers in the group, and in most cases, I’m not surprised.  Many of them showed ambition in school.  Some were more outgoing than others, but as you listened to them, it was pretty easy to tell they were going to go far in life–some even had their profession picked out already.

And then, there were classmates who didn’t make the homecoming court–or maybe even the honor roll–but have gone on to be successful with their own businesses.  Those are the people I’m most impressed with.  It takes creativity, nerves, and discipline to start your own company, whether it’s manual labor, health care, science, engineering, law, whatever.  Many times, these were people I never heard a peep from in school–I guess they were quietly plotting their route to success, even if it was by accident.

 On a side note, my blogs will be scaled back to just one a month for now–my own kids are going back to school next week and reunion plans will need to be worked on with our group back home.  We’ve made contact with just over 300 of the nearly 400 people in our class, so that part of the project is in the home stretch.  But, like any race, the last 100 meters is the toughest.

*About this blog:  Scott is a 1988 graduate of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Va. and is blogging about his experience ahead of his 25th high school reunion in 2013.  You can contact Scott at 248-945-9950 or via email at  Please put “The Reunion Project” in the subject line.


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