I was a guest at an all class reunion a few years ago. Each generation was represented...great grandparents, grandparents, parents and the currently enrolled student. We had a few returning alumni who were in their 90s. Many were from the same families. Such stability! Imagine going to the same school your parents went to...and your grandparents! Sometimes parents and children had the same teacher. It seemed wonderful to me that they were in touch with the same children that they went to school with, all those years ago. At the reunion, excitement, joy and laughter was every where. People greeted each other like the old friends they were.
I all most cried, I was so lonely for familiar faces and locations. None of those people were friends of mine at that time. Some are my friends now.
By contrast, I grew up in Buffalo New York. My street was divided by a school district line. Those who lived down the block from me, went to a different elementary school. Those up the block from me, went to my elementary school ps 61. During those days, blacks were buying houses and whites were selling out. As soon as possible, people scattered for parts unknown. I kept in touch with some friends for a while, but eventually I lost contact with them all.
At times I wondered what became of them. Are they all alive? Any one get rich? Married? Perhaps someone from the old neighborhood lives near me and I don't know it. Sometimes I would dream of Cambridge Avenue as it was when I was little. If you want a peek at that neighborhood, just rent the DVD, A Christmas Story. Or rent Radio Days. It was something like that.
Then a small miracle happened. One of the "kids" on the block registered at Classmates.com. I responded to ask if it really was Louise from Cambridge Avenue? yes it was. Hurrah. I found one. Louise and I emailed back and forth. Some of the questions were, "what ever happened to.......?" She knew some of the stories, because Louise still lives in the greater Buffalo area.
Louise asked me if I knew what became of Deanna. I knew the answer because my mom kept in touch with Deanna. I had Deanna's address and had even visited her a few years back.
I wanted to know what happened to Joann. Louise didn't know, but she knew where to look. Skip didn't know where Joann was, but He knew where her younger sister, Marge was. I got Marge's address through Skip. Marge called me long distance, all excited to hear my voice and I felt the same way about hearing from her. We had a long and wonderful talk. Of course she gave me Joann's phone number and address. I called right away.
To make this long story short, We had a reunion at Joann's house. Joann could not have been a better hostess. I wanted to hug everyone who came. Louise was there. Judy and Carol came too. We made five all together. We talked for six hours straight. Marge and Deanna are out of state, but We called them long distance so they were part of our reunion, too.
Time has put its mark on my old friends. All our parents are deceased. One brother is gone and one entire family is deceased. Two of us are widows. Two of us have divorced and remarried. Among our group are cancer survivors, heart attack survivors, macular degeneration, lupus, knee replacements, death of children and one had a handicapped child who died at age 12. Around the dining room table, no one cared about trials and troubles. It was enough that We were together again after 60 years apart.
Of course We will have another reunion. Make new friends, but keep the old. God bless the Cambridge Avenue gang.
Labels: the Cambridge Avenue gang