Different and the Same: My Reflection on UWP Reunion

Hmm…my first reunion (our 25th, in 2009)…I was TERRIFIED to go! Honestly, I’ve created a business that requires me to be present and focused seven days a week and I don’t take time for me…I don’t take time to meet friends for coffee, drinks…nothing. (It’s NOT a good business model, by the way!)

I was terrified…there was someone who I needed to apologize for something I said decades ago…how would he react? I had carried it around for decades and it truly haunted me…I was scared of rejection by my old friend.

I was terrified…what would I say to people I haven’t seen in decades, what would we have in common?  (I don’t have children, so I can’t be whipping out my phone to show pics of the kiddos like many of my castmates do!)

I was terrified…I don’t look like I used to; I’m different, shaped by the years of wear and tear…I wasn’t a part of the “beautiful people” part of the cast. (If you want to know who they are in my mind, you can ask me in Arizona! Ha!).

THAT is how I felt as I prepared to go…thinking I needed to “measure up” to expectations that I had placed on a group of people that I hadn’t seen or talked to in decades!

NOW…let me tell you how I felt when I got there!  It didn’t dawn on me that we ALL look different!  AND…the best part is that it didn’t MATTER!

As I checked in at the hotel and gradually saw cast members, I had a glimpse of this: we may all may look different, we ARE all different…we were mostly naïve late-teens and early twenty-year-olds, so OF COURSE we are different…but I’ll tell you what was the SAME: the EYES. Through the years, the eyes seem to stay the same and even bigger was the HEART!!! To connect with people I haven’t seen in decades with a DEEP, true connection was shocking to me! It was simply amazing!!!

I left there with a heart bursting with emotion, I couldn’t process it quickly enough for the short time we were together—but I left with an appetite to reconnect to these people that maybe I didn’t have a lot in common with when we traveled. But now we are older, we are different and we have this “base” that we all go back to, a connection that spans time and wrinkles and pounds, because we are friends…forever!

Oh, and the old friend that I needed to apologize to???  He said he didn’t remember anything about what I had said…while I don’t know if that’s true or he had just let it go, I now don’t have to drag that little bit of baggage around anymore!

I hope you will come and reconnect this summer…I am so very, very blessed to know each of you, my castmates! YOU are LOVED!!!

Jamie Verell Goff, 84C

Register for reunion here and nominate your 4 and 9 castmates for alumni awards here


Cast 84C

3 thoughts on “Different and the Same: My Reflection on UWP Reunion”

  1. Jamie, thank you for sharing. Hope you all have a blast at this year’s reunion! Love and prayers, Leigh Kirkpatrick Prom 😄

    • Leigh- We have really missed seeing you and hopeful you can find a way to join us this summer!?
      Jamie- that was a lovely article and I’m so glad you took time to come! Love love you and all our cast mates, each unique in their own special way.

  2. Jamie, loved that you were part of our cast B ‘85 too! Thank you for sharing. What I love about reunions is that what happened on the road so doesn’t matter anymore and it is who we are now that is the connection. I tell folks that unlike high school and even college reunions these pick up where the relationships left off and do so much deeper. It is less, “How are you? Or What are you doing?” And more “What are you doing with your life? Are you happy? And if not, what are you doing about it?” All based on what we did together so many (for some of us) years ago. If you are reading this and haven’t been to your reunion, All I can say is GO! You will be so glad you did.


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