Sunday, December 30, 2018

Calls from the Past

Something odd is happening here. I got an e-mail from a student who I hadn’t heard from in 48 years. He was from an alternative high school in Hartford, Connecticut where I worked for all of three months. But the way things were back then, relationships were intense and quickly formed and though I hadn’t been in touch with any of the students from that time in almost 5 decades, I could picture the five or six he mentioned in his letter. Turns out that he will be teaching at the same Conference that I will be two weeks from now in Puerto Rico, which is how he made the connection. Astounding! Look forward to meeting him again in person and catching up.

Then the next day, I got an e-mail from a childhood friend who I probably met when I was 2 years old or so. By high school, we had been out of touch, but I occasionally checked in with him in my early adult life when I went back home to visit my parents. Some 15 years ago, I stumbled on an e-mail thread with him and three other friends from my town. I remember a few contentious political e-mails back and forth and never did visit him in person. And then out of the blue, he sends me this picture he came across. That’s me in the lower left first row and him second to left in the second row. Since I wore glasses for two years between 5 and 7 years old, I’m guessing I was about 7 there, same age as my granddaughter now. Naturally, I remember everyone in the photo.

Without taking an ounce of credit for it, I have a very good memory for faces and names and seem to care about keeping the threads of relationships connected however worn and tenuous they may be. In addition to the normal childhood folks we all meet and the people in the neighborhood and the people we go to school with, I have a large group of kids who I have taught in San Francisco and beyond and an equally large group of adults I’ve taught in the Orff trainings. The symphony of faces and names is of Mahler proportions and it gives me great pleasure whenever some music from my distant past begins to sound again through these surprising and unexpected e-mails.

Any old girlfriends out there who want to check in? Susan Herman? Tracy Cunningham? Monica? Just curious.

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