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Forty years later, from rotary phones to Facebook

— Forty years ago we had no Twitter. No cell phones. No iPods. No email.

Now that we have those things, and more, you might think it would be easier to stay in touch with all those folks you knew back in the day. But no, things have only grown more complicated.

Joe Pirro, an alumnus of Liverpool High School Class of ’74, found out the hard way. He and a determined committee of 10 are planning a 40th reunion for this coming June.

“In the early 1970s, computers were the size of tractor trailers,” Joe remembers. “The computers ran off punch cards. Flash forward to today when six out of 10 people own a smartphone.”

Here are more of Joe’s thoughts on creating a catalyst for reconnecting:

Catalyst for reconnecting

Six hundred and twenty eight senior portraits in the yearbook. Six hundred and twenty eight heads full of dreams, ambitions and carefully laid out plans. Six hundred and twenty eight blank slates with one thing in common — Liverpool’s class of 1974 survived four years of high school in one piece.

A couple of casual Facebook conversations between 1974 Liverpool grads this past summer started talk of a 40th reunion. Was there going to be one? Who was going to plan it? Events like this don’t just happen. It takes a laundry list of herculean tasks to make one a reality.

Springing from those initial Facebook chats, a 40th reunion planning committee emerged. It consisted of friends, casual acquaintances and even total strangers connected only by the school they attended and the year they finished. The newly assembled team attempted to get organized through Facebook messaging and Google documents.

One of the committee’s first challenges was to attach a name to every face captured in two group photos from their 20th reunion. While facial recognition software does exist, the NSA couldn’t be convinced to make it available for this task. It became a manual process of recall and breaking out the old yearbook. And even that wasn’t a complete solution.

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