Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great Get-together!!!

Well, I checked my reader this morning and had it pretty well cleared out -save 3 that I had to save as unread because I knew the posts probably would be lengthy and very detailed and I didn't want to miss anything by not being ultra careful when I read them and then, I left about 11:45 to go meet up with a bunch of great old friends for lunch. When I came back home I now see I have 36 posts -and climbing almost minute by minute too -waiting to be read!

Hey, slow down folks! I also have embroidery waiting for me to work on sometime too, ya know!

But that isn't what this post is about -the blog, the reader, the embroidery. Nope! This post is about a great little lunch that I was lucky enough to attend -and even helped to get some of the folks out and up to the restaurant too for this mini-reunion. And I'm so happy over the way it all turned out, that I really wanted to share this with all my virtual, blogger friends now too!

This one couple in the group today used to live here, until that is, June of 1980 when the family moved down to the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg, Florida area and my world has been really quiet, tame and often very, very boring ever since they left!

Ted and Priss Strand you see -the couple who moved their two sons and Ted's mother, Minnie, to Florida were from June of 1973 until June of 1980, my closest friends and both were very good friends of my ex-husband back then too. Oh, the crazy, zany things we four -along with about 3-4 other couples in this area did together way back then when we were young, healthy, nimble but still, not too tightly wrapped either -as that old saying goes. I missed Priss especially as soon as they left as she and I had become very fast, strong friends and trust me when I tell you this, I have missed her not being here every darned day since then too!

Pris graduated from high school in my class, Ted was a year ahead of me and, as I was teasing Ted today as we were breaking up from our lunch, back in our school days, most of us were half afraid to talk to him and one of his buddies in his class (Denny Marcinko) -not because they were bullies or anything like that, but rather because Ted and Denny were both really smart, really, really what would today probably be termed mega nerds, computer geeks I suppose they'd be today too come to think of it. But anyway, back then their interests -a lot being technical stuff, electronics, etc. -was way, way above my head and also, the majority of my classmates too now that I think about that!

When my ex-husband and I first moved back here in 1972, we were renting an apartment in Philipsburg from August, 1972 until March of 1973, when we found an older house for rent in Lanse, the little nearby village to Grassflat (where I live today) and we moved down there. This house was probably about 8 houses from Ted's family home where he, Priss and their sons, Teddy and Michael, lived with Ted's mother, the fabulous Minnie Strand. (Minnie was the same age as my Mom and she was one special lady -quite a corker and a character, for sure!

Ted had e-mailed me almost 2 weeks ago now telling me that he and Priss were taking a bit of a vacation and coming up to Pennsylvania for a week or two and that they would be in touch with me while here so we could get together and visit. Been quite a few years since I'd last seen them -I don't remember the year right now but somewhere in the early-to-mid 2000 years, they'd been here to bring Ted's Mother home for burial in our church cemetery, so the kids and I had somewhat of a chance to see them -as well as their sons too at that time.

So when Priss phoned yesterday she said they wanted to have lunch today at a near-by restaurant -Key Largo -which is also the same place where my girlfriend from my class try to meet every month on the last Thursday of the month -usually anyway. And I jumped at that idea.

Then, I got to thinking about who else I could call and invite to go to lunch with us too and I'm happy to say that we ended up with a rather unusual group of folks -former classmates and even a couple who used to live in Lanse -sort of in between where I lived there and Ted and Priss's home there then too!

So -before Blogger shuts the picture posting mechanism down here today -scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time -I think I'd best get moving and post these picture now, here, on my blog just to be on the safe side!

In the above picture, from left to right -here's Ted Strand, his lovely wife, Priscilla, Norma Richards Smith and her husband, Art. Ted and Norma both graduated in 1961 from the Cooper Center of West Branch Area High School and Priscilla was in my class in 1962. Two great couples there, for sure!
And here you have all of us present who graduated from West Branch, Cooper Center -two from 1961 and the rest of us, in 1962. Seated -left to right are Claudia McGonigal Yingling, Herb Lucas, me in my lovely turban, and Linda Wertz Payne. Standing behind us are Priscilla Palinkas in front of her husband, Ted Strand, then there's Art Askey and Norma Richards Smith. So neat to be able to enjoy a nice, leisurely lunch with this many of my old friends from back in my younger -much younger -years!

Here's a shot too of Art Smith, Norma Richards (1961) husband -didn't want him to be left out of the photo action series, ya know.

Here's yet another shot of the group -same people, same place -same thing -just 8 good old friend together yet again!

There was a couple seated at another table who recognized Ted and Priss when we came in and so, Priss invited them to come sit and eat with us. I kept thinking they looked somewhat familiar and I suppose Priss figured I knew them so she didn't specifically "introduce" them to me. Well, eventually it did dawn on me who they were -Mr and Mrs. Eli Pulcini who had lived in between Ted and Priss and my ex-husband and I when we lived in Lanse and it just so turned out that they too had moved to Florida probably somewhere around the same time-well maybe the mid-to-late 80s perhaps -but they too had moved to an area in Florida fairly close to where Ted and Priss live. The other "small world" thing about seeing them there today is that Mrs. Pulcini made the special "Two-wheel bicycle cake" for my older daughter, Carrie, on the occasion of her 7th birthday -when her special gift that year was of course, a two-wheel bicycle! Now isn't that just too cool too?

Anyway, it was a good day -a very good day, indeed. The only thing wrong with it -is that tomorrow, Ted and Priss will most likely be leaving to return to Florida. Priss says they are going to try to come up again next year for Ted's 50th class reunion but when I mentioned coming back in 2012 for our 50th class reunion, she said she'd have to think about that.

Well Priscilla, my good friend, you darned well better think long and hard and you really best be present and accounted for at that event celebrating 50 years since we finished high school! Yeah, I'm a big -very big -proponent of the class reunion -for my class as well as for any other class too. (So if you have a major reunion coming up in your future, please, take my advice and attend. Don't let old things hold you back , little petty school squabbles, old relationships and the like. Go and go with an open mind that over time, every last one of us experiences happy time, sad events, sometimes things that are beyond the pale with respect to tragedy and such and those things change each and every one of us into who and what we are today.)

Open your heart and your eyes and see the person you knew back then for who and what he or she is today and allow healing if it is needed then to take over and you may very well be quite surprised at what you will learn about those folks and lots more perhaps about the person you have become and are today.

Oh and one last thing here. As we were leaving the restaurant, classmate Art Askey asked me if I planned on posting these pictures on the internet. Why, what a question! Of course, you bet your bippie I would, Artie baby! And here they are showing all of us in our shining glory!


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, it looks like you had a wonderful time!!! Such terrific and happy photos!!! I'm so glad for nice to have a beautiful break in the midst of all that you are enduring right now!!! Sorry that you have lost your hair...It will grow back even thicker than before, though!!! Thinking of you!! Prayers, too! Love, Janine XO

Sandee said...

What a wonderful time you all had. I went to my 20 year reunion and last year was our 40 year reunion but I was too busy working my way through the chairs to travel that far (Oregon).

Have a terrific day. :)

Anonymous said...

It does look like a wonderful time was had by all. Was the Marge at one time a Bumbarger? She looks so familiar .... the one who was a florist?

Jeni said...

To Anonymous - I'm a little confused as to what photo and flowers you are referring to in the comment here. No one named Marge in any of the pictures on this post -also no flowers present. But I do know the Marge Baumgardner -former florist, yes -you mentioned.

Marguerite said...

What a great day and fabulous time with your dear friends~! Love the pics and must say, you're lookin' good, cher! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Loved, loved, loved this post! What an awesome day and I LOVE the pics!! And ya' know, I've been sitting on the fence about attending my 30th reunion next year but I'm thinkin' me n' the "Furry Fiance'" will indeed make an appearance. :) You guys look like you're having such a great time!
Good for you! :)

TechnoBabe said...

Fun pictures and nice to see you with your turban. You look great. I know you had a great time getting this group of old friends together again.

Tilly said...

Hi there, found you via Crystal Jigsaw and thought I'd pop by and say hello. I spent a semester at Lock Haven Uni quite a few years ago and did a bit of kayaking on the Susquehanna. Your photo of the river on your sidebar brought back memories!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I love the pics. Looks like you guys had a great time. It's always ice to meet up with old friends you hadn't seen in awhile.

terri said...

This post made me smile! So glad you got to enjoy time with your old friends. I remember you telling me about Ted and Priss when I wrote about my best friend moving away. It must have been wonderful to see them again! It's obvious that everyone had a great time.

RuneE said...

Nothing like meeting old friends and talking about the good old days ;-) - and those that followed.

Carol said...

Ahhhh...sounds like a marvelous time! Reunions are so much fun. It's always good to reconnect with old friends~