Recently, I’ve had three separate incidents that brought me back to the past. My husband, Marty, often says I’d sooner remember the past than plan the future. How true! As a result, each was a very pleasant experience.
A few weeks ago we went to a show at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. A few rows ahead of us, I spied a woman who looked exactly like someone I went to high school with. “Does she look my age?” I asked Marty who answered in the affirmative. “Hmmm, in high school, she was tall and thin, this lady is tall and thin, I think I’ll go for it,” thought I.
During intermission, I went up to her and asked if her name was Irene. “Yes,” she replied, “who are you?” “Arlene Blackman,” I said, using my maiden name, “Van Buren H.S. class of 1961!” She was shocked and surprised that I recognized her after 59 years but truth be told, she didn’t look all that different to me. You decide: Here she is in our high school yearbook, and as she looks today.
And here I am in my high school yearbook:
Second incident: today, I went to a local afternoon play and lunch event. A woman near me asked, “Did you teach in Easton?” I confirmed that I did from 1976 to 1979. She said, “You were my Math Teacher. You look the same!” Of course, she is now 53 years old and I am, well, older. Here’s how I looked in 1978 with my daughter, Jordana, and how I looked last year dancing with Lewis at my granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah. You be the judge. Same face?
And, finally, same venue today. Sitting next to a woman as we ate our lunch. She was relating a story about visiting a new doctor who looked awfully familiar to her. She timidly asked him if he went to camp. He confirmed that he did and it turned out to be the same camp as she attended. They enjoyed reminiscing. When her story ended, I asked, “What camp?” “Kinder Ring,” she said. “I went to Boiberik!” I remarked. “Oh, my God!” she shouted. Now, for those of you who know either of those two camps, you know that each played the other twice a summer in intercamp competitive sports events. We had a good laugh over that!
I love when events like these occur and am happy to be able to relive a little of my own history, connecting to the past with people and places in fond remembrance.