WHATEVER HAPPENED TO....?
26 August 2002
My recent entry about my
high school yearbook, a recent
entry by Thistledown (she's terrific; read her), and running into a kid we haven't
seen in about 20 years got me to thinking about the people in my life who have disappeared
and wondering where they are now.
Whatever happened to Judy Lucchesi? We were best friends in grammar school,
and had an on-going friendly "fight" over a guy we both liked (who ultimately
married, had two children, and left his wife for a boyfriend). We went to different high
schools and we had lunch together after about a year, to catch up on things. That was the
last time I ever saw her. I have often wondered what I did wrong at that lunch. Maybe I
was just terminally boring.
Whatever happened to Marie Davilla? Marie and I went to both grammar school
and high school together. I remember lots about her. Her mother was Brownie leader in the
early years. She worked as a housekeeper for a mansion in San Francisco and would hold
meetings in the huge kitchen of the house where she worked. Marie had been born at
Tanforan race track, where her parents were interred during World War II (if you want to
read something scary, read this
article from 1942 about moving the Japanese to the race track). I always said that was
where she got her lifelong love of horses. She also played a mean piano and was on demand
to play Flight of the Bumblebee whenever there was a piano nearby.
Whatever happened to Madelyn Powers? I spent a lot of time at her house during
high school. I read "Peyton Place" there because it was a "dirty book"
and I knew my mother wouldn't approve. Her mother cooked sausage for breakfast--and in our
house, we only got bacon, so I loved having breakfast at Madelyn's and spent the night
there frequently. Madelyn's grandmother lived in a huge mansion on the Marina in San
Francisco. I remember it had an elevator and you could look out on the boats in San
Francisco Bay from the upstairs. The grandmother died of breast cancer, and I remember
seeing her with a breast that looked like it was a sock with a tennis ball in it. Last I
heard Madelyn had married and had seven children. I don't think I've seen her since high
happened to Randy Jones? He was my leading man in the high school play and we dated for
awhile. When you go to an all-girl's school, it's hard finding guys for a play. They were
able to cast all the male parts from the Catholic boys' school nearby, but couldn't find
someone for the lead. Randy was shocking because he came from a...gasp...public school. My
gaydar wasn't as well honed then as it is now (and people were much more closeted), so it
wasn't until I was an adult that I figured out why he was never interested in being with
me and preferred being with his male friend (who had the unlikely--but real--last name of
Bacigalupe), and why there was virtually no physical component to our
know where Mrs. Gavin, my French teacher, is now. I saw an obituary for both her and her
son in the paper on the same day several years ago--but I've always wondered what
happened. (I assumed an auto accident.) Mrs. Gavin put together a group for dramatic
speaking once--a choral reading of a poem she had written following her older son's death
in World War II. Ironically, I had a solo speaking part and one of my lines was "Why?
Why MY son?" I've thought of that often when I've asked that very question about
David and about Paul.
Whatever happened to Wilma Kopp? When I knew her she was "Sister Mary Alice,"
and she taught us chemistry (how I hated that class!). When my mother and I went to
Hawaii, her family hosted us one evening at a Chinese restaurant--upstairs where the
Chinese people eat and where the menu is only in Chinese. They were delightful people. The
next year, Sister Mary Alice left the convent. I've wondered all these years what happened
to her after she came out.
Where is Ray Decker now? Ray was a priest in our parish in Oakland. He baptised David
at Mass on Easter Sunday in 1972. I took a fascinating Bible study class from him, looking
at the Bible in its historical timeframe. I'd never thought of the Bible as a work of history
before, and it gave me a whole new perspective.
Where is Henrique, whose last name I can't remember. Henrique showed up in Davis one
day, from Brasil. He had our telephone number, which had been given to him by someone who
read our name in the paper. He called us from the bus station to introduce himself and ask
if he could spend the night. He left five months later. One of my fondest memories is of
Henrique teaching capoiera, the Brasilian martial art which is almost balletic in its
structure, to Tom and David.
Whatever happened to Marcio deVassimon? Marcio was one of the "special
ones" during the years when we were hosting foreign students. He was from Riberão
Preto, in the state of São Paulo. He had a special relationship with Tom, who was little
and cute when Marcio lived here. He also introduced me to Evita, as he'd seen the
show and become enamored with it. Saying goodbye to him was very difficult, and we
promised we'd always stay in touch. But he gradually drifted away. When David died, I
received a nice note from his mother, but not a word from Marcio. I've often wondered why
he stopped caring.
Whatever happened to Bill Walsh? Bill was a Lamplighter technician/light designer
who left San Francisco sometime after 1986. He kept in touch with me and one or two
other people from The Lamplighters. I went to visit him several years ago and
haven't heard from him since. As with my last encounter with Judy, I wonder what I
did wrong. We seemed to have a wonderful time. I miss him. A lot.
When you live nearly 60 years, people move in and out of your life, some for intense
relationships, some for casual relationships. You'll lose people along the way and never
know what became of them. If you're lucky, the people who are your true friends will stick
around and the relationships will last a lifetime.