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11 August 2016

This year marks the 60th year since my graduation from grammar school.  Sandy, who lives in LA, comes up here once a year and four years ago contacted us and asked if we could get together for lunch.  Judy and I showed up and we had such a good time we did it again the next year.  We had invited Lois, Maureen to join us, and it wasn't until the third year that Lois came along.  She promised Maureen would join us this time.  Gayle and Maryanne came too, for the first time.

We were from all over the place.  Judy lives in Marin County, across the Golden Gate bridge, Maryanne lives south of San Francisco, by the airport.  I live in Davis.  Gayle lives in Concord, which I pass on the way to SF.  Sandy is in LA and Lois lives in south San Francisco.  Maureen was finally going to come this year, but backed out at the last minute.

I suggested we have lunch at Greens Restaurant which, in my opinion, has the very best view of the Golden Gate Bridge in the city.

(fog rolling in over the bridge, cruise ship heading toward bridge)

Since Gayle's vision has deteriorated to where she can no longer drive, I offered to pick her up.  In truth, I was a little nervous about it.  We are Facebook friends and, based on her postings, we are exact opposites on every important issue of the day...and we both seem to be very emotional about our views.  I was concerned about how we would survive an hour in the car together.

When we were kids, we lived a block and a half from each other and walked to school together every day.  It was she who told me about this good movie she had seen, called A Star Is Born.  So she is responsible for my Judy Garland fanatacism!

I need not have worried.  It's been 60 years since we saw each other and by the time we covered 60 years, mostly kids, grandkids, health issues, and which of our friend/relatives had died we were in San Francisco.

It was fun driving through the city with her because we both lived in the same city, remember the same buildings, are upset about the same changes.  Nothing had to be explained because we both knew what we were talking about.

Greens is a vegetarian restaurant, but I have never had anything there that wasn't wonderful.  Today I ordered a squash and pesto pizza, which was fabulous.

It was large enough to feed me half and have half left over to bring home to Walt for is dinner.

We talked and talked and talked.  Maryanne told me a memory she had about me that I have zero memory of.  She said she was having difficulty reading in 2nd or 3rd grade...she could read, but she could not comprehend.  Her father suggested she talk with someone who liked to read and get a recommendation.  I apparently recommended a book called "The Waif," which she liked so much she came back and had me write a list of books for her.  She credits me with helping her learn to read!  That was very nice to hear.

I also learned that my father taught Gayle's mother to drive.  I never knew that (she said her mother got 100% on her driver's test and then put the license in her purse and never drove again!)

Sandy is our go-to person for news of former classmates.  She seems to have kept in touch with a lot of people and knows more than most of us (except Lois, who knows a lot too).  Which is pretty amazing, considering she lives in Los Angeles!  I am embarrassed at how little I know about our former classmates!  And, in fact, how little I remember of them from when we were in school together  The problem was I was very shy and usually spent every recess curled up on top of a structure that covered a machine of some sort, reading.  Everybody remembers that I was always reading.

We talked abut our parents and how many of us are now dealing or have dealt with either sick parents or parents like my mother. We talked about who had gone to college, and what work we had done, if we worked. And of course there was the usual organ recital -- who had which body parts replaced, who had suffered major health issues, whose vision or hearing is failing,  Two of us walk with canes. That's always the inevitable part of meetings like this, and it's always sad, but also somehow comforting.  "At least I don't have HER problem...!"  We also tried to make a list of which of our other classmates had died.

It was just a delightful lunch and we left determined to put together a reunion of as many classmates as we can find next year.  It may be only the six of us meeting again, but that would be OK too.

There was a reunion a few years back, in 1990

The lady in brown in the front is our 3rd and 5th grade teacher, Sister Kathleen (who was Sister Mary Bernardone when we knew her).  I am embarrassed to say that the only reason I didn't attend this reunion was that I was embarrassed about my weight.  Now that I've given up worrying about it, I "let it all hang out" today and nobody said anything.  I won't let that keep me from any reunion we are able to put together next year.



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