As my friends and I used to toast one another when we were in eighth grade:
"To the Last of the First!"
"And the Best!"
Once upon a time, we were in the glee club of our grade school. We realized, at some point during eighth grade, that we were the last four people who had been in the glee club, continuously, from the year it began until the year we graduated. Therefore, we were the Last of the First.
And the Best. :o)
And today is a momentous occasion. You see, on June 16, 1977, Eva Marie, Beth Ann, Debbie, Joe, and I all graduated from the institution which I usually refer to as Hell-imentary school. An honorable mention goes out to Frank P (who graduated with us but whose contact info I no longer have), and to Bob, Donna H, and Eva R., who graduated from different grade schools the same year we did. All of us are 30-year survivors of daily hazing and other assorted aggravation that went on at that time.
And what's more, we're STILL FRIENDS. All this time, and we're still friends. The more years I live, the more I understand how out-of-the-ordinary it is for people to have friendships that span multiple decades.
So, a toast to the Class of 1977! To the Last of the First, and the Best, forever!