Fly, mighty pelicans!!
I do not nobly defend the inmates of Guantanamo Bay from anti-Muslim imperialism or Death Row inmates from Scripture-quoting Southern prosecutors. I did not just return from Germany where I fixed that climate change thing. I am not forcing companies in Africa to respect the rights of workers (you go, honey!), nor performing life-altering surgeries. On the bright side, I'm also not an experienced Emmy Award-winning television news anchor recently replaced by a 2009 college graduate who made it to the finals of the Miss USA contest...
Back from my 15th year high school reunion and, oh fine, back from my 20th year high school reunion, and I'm very much admiring the accomplishments of my smarty-pants pals. You guys rock! (Note to self: Write a book in the next five years.) It was great to see everybody. I'm sorry the bar ran out of gin -- not my fault, I believe... but probably a positive development since, even without that extra fuel, I managed to pull off the classiest introduction ever: "Seth, meet Dan. You guys should know each other! Seth manages money. Dan, you make it. Oh my God, and you're both Jewish too!"
Anyway, how did we get this old?? During the white-tent reception in the quad (yes, I went to THAT kind of school...), where alumni from the 5th to 55th reunions mingled, it was easy to pick out the 5th year people. Good god, those are college graduates? They look like they should be home, hunkering down for the AP History exam. And, of course, it also was easy to i.d. the old folks there for their 50th. But when it came to finding my own classmates, I'd stare at name tags and think, "Hmmm, you look sorta familiar, do I know you??" Step closer. Closer. Oh no, I don't know you! You're here for your 10th reunion! Finally I had to tell myself: Look for the middle-aged people.
I did not buy a new dress. Swedish car repairs = $1900 (!!)
I did wear the shorts. Not everybody understood it was a joke.
I did attend the poetry workshop, but did not write anything of my own. For the best. However could I have competed with the 50th reunion guy who wrote about his beloved wife: "When she cries, inside I dies." Or something like that. (Same guy hit on all the ladies at the bar that night... or at least my sister! who is pretty irresistible, if I do say so myself.)
Auntie Pamela and I also took Lucy on a Best of Hartford tour, which included three stops at the Italian bakeries on Franklin Avenue. (I am a huge fan of regional speech and something I love about Hartford is the way every kind of Italian ice is called lemon ice, regardless of flavor. You say, "I'd like a small lemon ice," and the lady says, "What flavor?" And you might say, "Strawberry, plz.") If you're in Hartford, know this: Mozzicato's has the best cannoli, but Modern has the best lemon ice, by far.
We took Lulu to my father's old bar, where she and my niece sipped on Shirley Temples and racked them up on the pool table. And we ate pea pizza! And picked strawberries! Then, on the way back to the airport, our final destination: The carousel in Bushnell Park.
Ah, the carousel...Back 20 years ago, or 21 or 22, Pamela and I were hanging out in Bushnell Park for an art history project on Evelyn Longman Batchelder, the Windsor, Connecticut, sculptor responsible for the park's "Spirit of Victory," and we met a very nice young man on a bench by the carousel. He asked for my phone number!! Which was pretty big news for me. (Consider that I went to the prom with Pamela...) But, as I recall, I didn't want to give out mine, preferring to get his, which sadly, he was unable to share, because he was living in the local mental hospital, aptly named the Institute for Living.
He said: "But I'm not crazy! Just depressed."
Poor guy! In retrospect, I think, eh, we could have written a whole lot of terrible poetry together! But back then I thought, "Jesus Christ, I don't think Ma's going to like this..."
Anyway, David and the little girls survived. I got home and got lots of good hugs and kisses, not to mention sauteed kale with sundried tomatoes. Other news: Four baby wrens in Lucy's bird house! Lots of green tomatoes on our vines. And more lettuce than I could possibly eat from our new farmer. What else besides salad?? Any ideas would be welcome!