The Reunion Committee


It was a sunny afternoon in October of 1994. I am driving on the loop, which circles around Bryan/College Station, Texas, having just returned from my old hometown of Pampa, Texas. Our high school reunion committee had met there to start planning for our next high school reunion for the class of ‘55, and I attended as a newly recruited member of that group. I also got to visit with my brother and ninety-six-year-old dad.

My assignment for this coming reunion was to put together our 40th Directory and come up with some entertainment for the July 4th, 2000 get-together. The local “oldies” radio station is on, and I am singing along with all the old favorite tunes of the ‘50s when one of my favorite singing groups, The McGuire Sisters, begins singing “Sincerely.” I start singing along in my most robust voice. Suddenly it hits me, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have three of our female classmates dress up like the McGuire Sisters and sing this song?” My mind is telling me, Donna, Leona, and Marilyn would be perfect, with blonde bouffant hairdos, matching dresses, fake eyelashes, and spike heels.

I can see them singing their little hearts out….. Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely….

We had a senior play, “T-Texas T-Bone,” that I was in the process of dredging up from the grave for a reenactment. Twelve of us did it the first week of our senior year in conjunction with “Howdy Week .” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone that had kept a copy of the play (After all, it had only been 40 years. Can you imagine NO ONE had kept those critical papers?) Recreating those lines was most difficult, but I, Gary Griffin, with a steel trap for a mind, did a magnificent job! The “committee” had already agreed to get the “locals” to do the play Saturday night at our gathering at the Pampa Country Club.

I knew I was going to have to turn on my “charm” to get the committee to agree to further harass the local people into doing more. Later that afternoon, I called Donna and pled my case with great excitement and a persuading voice. It didn’t work. There was a long silence on the other end of the phone line. Finally, “Gary, ARE YOU CRAZY? I will be doing well to get 12 people together for the play, plus all the props for the saloon. How on earth do you think I can pull this off?” Then she said the phrase that set me into motion, “Why don’t you get a couple of guys and yourself to do it?” The more I thought about it, the better I liked it! Three gorgeous guys dressed up as the McGuire Sisters singing…

Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely…

Wellsir, by golly, by gum, I’d do it! I would talk to E. Jay and Bill Culpepper, the two hairiest guys I knew, and we would do it, and we would be GREAT!

But, wait a minute, where was I going to get three oversized matching dresses, three blonde wigs with bouffant dos, three pairs of high heel shoes (in size 12), and, oh my gosh, three buxom bras to fit us (after all, we had to have those girlish figures).

So off I go on my scavenger hunt. Since this was a low-budget extravaganza, I headed for Wal-Mart. No luck. The dresses had no class, and by golly, the McGuires were classy dames. We had to uphold their reputation!

Next stop, Target. There were quite a few ladies in the dress section. As I began looking through the racks of dresses, I had to overcome the embarrassment that was overwhelming me.

But then my great ability of reasoning set in, and it occurred to me that I would never see these shoppers again, so why not have a little fun in the process? So through the racks, I went with great gusto. I would hold up to my shoulders each dress I considered, check the length, then go to the mirrors to see if it had any pizzazz. I was working my way through the dress section and on into the sleepwear. This is where I hit the jackpot, three “beautiful” muumuus in pink, red, and purple (the McGuire Sisters like bright colors, of course). They were big, wide, long.. and cheap! Sincerely cheap! With pink, red, and purple colors flowing over my arm, it was off to the lingerie department, leaving my audience staring in awe.

With all the pink fluffy stuff of that department around me, I began to feel self-conscious trying to find the size 48DD bras. Oh shoot, to be honest, who was I kidding; I was about to have a coronary. And to add to the discomfort, they were expensive.

So off to the checkout I went with the brightly colored props over my arm. The girl behind the cash register looked confused while she rang up three identical muumuus. This adventure was just about all I could take, and I could hardly wait to get back into the real world.

It took me several weeks, phone calls, and conversations to locate three blonde wigs, but I found them at a party rental shop. I reserved them in March as a precaution for the July date. The McGuire Sisters were well on their way!

The shoes and the bra situation still had to be resolved. It was the middle of June before I worked up my courage to go on another shopping spree to locate those deceptive bras. I was recommended to check out the secondhand stores to save some capital investment. These types of stores carry everything from ladies’ clothing to ladies’ lingerie... Day after day, I would drive by one particular store that seemed less threatening than the others. The number of cars in the parking lot told me what days were less shopped than the others. Finally, on a weekday afternoon, only four cars were in the lot. It was time for me to make my move; it was now or never; it was time to muster up my courage and bite the bullet. It is BRA SHOPPING TIME! How in the world did I get myself into this mess? A very tall man in a business suit and tie emerges from the car very hesitantly. Sunglasses would have been a comfort, but I decided they were a bit too conspicuous.

A quick survey of the situation told me only eight females were going through clothes on the tables and hanging on the racks. Whew, thank goodness. But then something caught my eye that turned my blood icy cold…. on my right is a guy standing behind the counter. He is dressed in purple velvet pants and a lavender shirt with ruffles on the front and cuffs. The front of his shirt is opened to the waist showing his hairy chest and gold chains hanging around his neck. He wore rings on his fingers and one earring on his left ear lobe.

He was looking toward the back of the store when I approached him from the side to ask quietly…and I mean quietly….” Do you have any lady’s bras?” Little did I realize that he was hooked up to earphones and a jam box, lost in his own little world, enjoying music that was definitely not the McGuire Sisters. No recognition from him at all…oh heck, he didn’t hear me…so I moved closer and repeated a little louder, “Do you have any bras?” Zilch, nada, no response from this dud e, but I have the attention of every woman in the store. I am now turning crimson red, and I can hear my heart pounding in my ears.

Do I turn and run? Do I stay? Do I accomplish my mission? Do I care anymore about the McGuire Sisters?

Determination sets in; I am ready to get through this ordeal. With my face directly in his line of sight, he gives me a “Miss Prissy” smile and says, “What can I do for you?” With his earphones still in place, I knew I could not go through this again, so I said in my loudest voice, “Where are your lady’s bras?” It felt as though I was in one of those TV commercials where everything comes to a halt, not a sound. Now I had eight sets of eyes on me. In total silence, no one moved. Finally, I got my answer….” In the blue laundry basket there in the back.” He pointed with one of his ringed fingers; he kept smiling but never took his earphones off his ears.

It’s showtime again! …With nerves of steel, I walk to the back, pick up that blue basket of bras, set it on the closest table, remove my suit coat, and here goes. Taking one bra at a time, I hold it in front of me and check the size of the cup and then the stretchability to see if it would fit around me. A couple of women started laughing, and the rest were certainly getting their money’s worth. The show lasted about 15 minutes, and I had my three bras!

Back at the front counter, “Sweet Pea” still had his jamming going on. I laid the three bras on the counter and asked, “How much?” (Not exactly the right thing to say, I thought.) They were $1.50 each, which I happily paid. He placed them in a paper bag, making me extremely grateful that I wouldn’t have to hide them under my coat while trying to get to my car.

Several more phone calls yielded no spike-heeled shoes in size 12, so I gave up on that one, and we wore white crew socks with yellow bows.

Needless to say, the McGuire Sisters were the hit of the reunion. There they were, with beautiful hair, makeup, and false eyelashes. Sublime figures, Bill Culpepper, Gary Griffin, E. Jay McIlvain dressed in pink, red, and purple muumuus. The three of us, Bill, E. Jay, and I, had a ball doing it. ‘Til this day, I start laughing every time I hear those three gorgeous blondes singing,

Sincerely, oh yes, sincerely…


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