A few old friends from high school and I got together today for lunch at the internationally-famous Chuy's restaurant on Barton Springs Road (it's the same Tex-Mex joint where Barbara and Jenna Bush got busted for underage drinking a while back). Anyhow, we had planned on this lunch for a while via e-mail and finally followed through on it. And well we did, for it was a success all around. I hadn't seen one of them in a dozen years and another in probably five (the third friend and I see each other pretty regularly).
Anyhow, my recommendation to any of you who has fallen out of touch with the people of your youth is that you should make it a point to see them again. Most people come in two types about their high school days: they're either very bitter and dismissive about those memories or they look back on them with a healthy nostalgia. I am decidedly in the latter camp, although my powers of recall are not so great as I would wish. But these are the people who knew you before you settled into your present persona. There's no judgements to be rendered or apologies to be made. The friends of your youth are a blessing of old age: memory-sharers, circle-finishers, reference-getters, context-knowers, etc.
I sometimes hear people say that they don't care to go to class reunions or see old pals again because the only ones they care to keep in touch with are the ones that they still do. But, even though I didn't go to my 10th or 15th class reunions, I just can't agree with that sentiment. Yes, you may have lost track of so-and-so after high school, but what was the biggest thing on your mind when that contact was lost? Getting out of town or away to college to see how the other halves lived or getting into your own thing or whatever. I know that, having spent most of the past four or five years with these people on a daily basis, I figured I'd either see them again with little effort or I'd see them again on my own terms. Well, it turns out that even in a town the size of Austin, Texas, you don't always get to see these people again. It can take years if you're not careful.
So, what's the moral of this story? Uh, it's "Don't be a stranger."