The PHS Class of 1988 Thirty Year Reunion (from 2018)
Story by Jayson Dodge

It's funny how time flies. I enjoyed seeing my classmates at my ten and twenty year high school reunions. Thirty years have passed, and you guessed it. It was time to celebrate with another three day weekend filled with selfies and catching up. I was excited to see everyone in person again. Sure, we keep in touch online via social media, but it's not the same. Here's what happened:

Day 1 - Friday
The informal social gathering took place on a Friday evening at the Prairie Bar & Grill in Brush Prairie, a couple of miles from the PHS campus. There was a birthday party that happened earlier with a bunch of kids, but many of them left by the time I arrived. I arrived over an hour late since it took me an hour and a half to get from Downtown Portland where I work to the venue (especially with all that traffic and finding a parking spot). About 40 or so of my classmates showed up, a couple of them I have not seen since high school. There was socializing, long waits to get something to drink (yes, it was super busy), some dancing, and a live cover band playing great classics. I made sure to grab a breakfast pizza for the road before taking off.

Day 2 - Saturday
The classmates and their spouses enjoyed a buffet dinner at Warehouse 23, located at the former site of the Inn at the Quay in Downtown Vancouver. A DJ was there playing music from the 70s, 80s, 90s and the present day. We also gathered around for a class picture outside at the amphitheater not far from the venue using my own camera. Door prizes were handed out. We had another fun-filled night, and everyone was enjoying themselves despite being very warm and a little muggy inside and outside. Plus, I got to take home all the leftovers, and there were tons of it. The crew at Warehouse 23 were gracious to inflate the balloons and get the decorations set up for me. The food and service was outstanding.

Day 3 - Sunday
It turned out to be a sunny, but hot Sunday afternoon for the picnic at Lewisville Park north of Battle Ground. The placed was packed with people and cars. Due to the fire danger, we were unable to use the charcoal grill. One of our classmates provided us with a portable gas grill to cook the hot dogs. Due to the heat, we had a small turnout. Luckily, I reserved a small shelter, which was perfect. I got a chance to talk more with my classmates and saw some of their kids. Everyone enjoyed some hot dogs, chips and soft drinks. Thank goodness for Costco and Walmart on the way to the park. Unfortunately, there were yellow jackets everywhere, and I did my very best to avoid getting stung. We wrapped up the picnic a little early, and I got a chance to take a nice scenic drive for the rest of the afternoon before heading for home.

In General
It was great seeing everyone there. I was disappointed for those who didn't make it, but I understand. Many had other commitments with family and friends that were scheduled well before the reunion. Social media has made it much easier to get in touch with our classmates and help spread the word about the reunion. Newspaper announcements helped as well. We'll hopefully get to see each other again when we have another reunion in five or ten years (or even sooner with informal gatherings).


Classmates at the Friday gathering.

Selfie with a few classmates.

Classmates at the Saturday dinner (DJ in the background).

More classmates at the Saturday dinner (bar in the background).

Sunday in the park (unfortunately, I could not use the charcoal grill).

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