Ed Mullin and his fellow members of the Calvert Hall College High School Class of 1983 were about to hit the big 5-0 and become qualified for membership in AARP. So he decided that their 2015 reunion would have to be something special.
He thought that the real thing -- a mixer featuring retro 1980s music, prizes for the best-dressed man and best-dressed woman (big hair mandatory) and blown-up yearbook photos from back in the day -- would be a hit.
"We thought we'd sell 100 tickets," Mullin said. "We sold 100 in the first day. People were buying up blocks of 10."
When the reunion, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, at the school at 8102 Lasalle Road, seemed to be on the verge of selling out its 300 available tickets, the organizers figured they'd better hire a real band. They've booked the Deloreans, a six-piece nostalgia band based in Northern Virginia.
"They have a guy who looks like Billy Idol, and a woman who looks like Pat Benatar," Mullin said.
Perhaps the biggest surprise has been the popularity of the event among 50-somethings who never attended Calvert Hall. Mullin said that many were women who graduated from some of the nearby all-female high schools in the 1980s, such as Notre Dame Preparatory School and Seton Keough High School.
"The women asked if they could come to the mixer and bring their husbands who went to Loyola," Mullin said.
"We said, 'Sure.' We all hung out together at the old Burger King in Towson when it was on Joppa and York roads. This is our version of 'American Graffiti.' "