But it occurs to me that class reunions are one of those things that people either anticipate and love, or never go to and couldn't care less. I can't speak for the second group, but I think the appeal to the first group goes beyond reminiscing about silly antics, crucial football games and favorite (or least favorite) teachers.
These are the people with whom we shared that unbounded optimism touted in commencement speeches. We knew it all. We didn't have it all but we planned to. We were the first post-war, post-Depression generation. America was at the height of power and prosperity loomed. Although high school had its trials and heartbreaks, we were sure as adults we would have full control of our lives and avoid the mistakes of previous generations.
We knew each other before, as the saying goes, "life happened while we were making other plans." Before college expenses, job issues and losses, and Vietnam intervened. Before we found out that children are actually little humans and no amount of earnest parenting could prevent bumps in their lives--some minor and some life-threatening or ending. Before we knew what real romance and real loss were.
So now, on the downhill side of life, spending time together brings back a little of that 'top of the world' feeling. And by the 55th, it isn't competitive. No one really cares what you've done, just who you were 55 years ago and who you are now.