My friend Mike Miano sent me a photo today of 10 people around a table at what he tells me was a Newman Club meeting at Gary's Country Club.
Well, so he says.
I have no memory whatsoever of this event or where it was! Neither does Bern.
But the faces I know.
They are faces from my childhood, my adolescence, my young adulthood, and two of them are with me still--much older than then, but with me still.
At the far right of the frame is Bern in half profile, only her face and just a hint of her hair. She is in that photo, as now, beautiful.
Then there is me, black framed glasses, actually wearing a tie with dark, dark brown hair. I wish I were savvy enough to put the photo on this post, but I'm not. If for no other reason so you who know me could see me with dark hair and a hint of a moustache and young, so young.
Then there is Jane Jaspers, a lovely, wonderful young woman that I often thought about asking for date, but never did.
With her is Kyle Parks, who I knew from the time I was in first grade until we were out of college. Kyle was my best friend for years and years. Then he went to Viet Nam as a Navy pilot and I avoided the war by going to Harvard Divinity School. I haven't seen him since. That particular war divided people in ways like that. I miss him from time to time. For 16 years we were best friends.
The next person, right in the middle of the photo, is, I believe Christine Rogg, younger than me but another dear person. Then there is Leo Kroll, Bern's age, who we knew into college years until he killed himself. I never knew why and regret not knowing or not knowing how to stop that.
Above Leo in this long ago photo is Tottie Cardwell, a good time girl and dear friend of Bern's. Tootie was from one of the richer families and a toot.
Beneath her is the only person I don't recognize. A lovely young woman who doesn't fit into the cracks in my brain enough to recognize.
Then there is, in barely profile, Anthony Pisano, Bern's first cousin who lives in Providence, RI with Uncle Frankie, who is 90. 'Tony' is still in our lives and a dear man--growing old as we are.
Then, inexplicably, at the bottom left of the photo, leaning in to get in the photo, is Jim Hines, who was from Welch, not Gary, and who was a good friend of my brother-in-law Dan in later life. Jim was a victim of AIDS and before he died was an activist and actually worked for the city of Philadelphia as an coordinator of AIDS services.
I loved Jim but have no idea what he's doing in this photograph.
None of this much makes good sense, like most memories of long ago. But those are people I'd be proud to spend an evening with--especially if I get to be 20 again....
(I probably got one or two of the faces wrong--but I'm getting old and feeble. But I did have several endorphin rushes looking at that photo--though I don't remember the occasion at all--and am so happy Mike sent it to me. I really was THAT young once! Now I have proof.....)
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