It was a bittersweet high
It was a bittersweet high school reunion last night in Springfield. When I got the announcment that it would be held in the old high school itself I was especially eager to go, since the building had been made into condos at least twenty-years ago. I never suspected I'd have the chance to enjoy a catered buffet with my classmates in the original cafeteria. The old auditorium floor had been removed, opening the room all the way up to the ceiling three-stories above. And what a grand space with the original white panels and moldings now accented with gray, maroon and gold. Even the loggia, the handy shortcut from front to back, was still there along the side on the second floor. Looking up reminded me of the morning couples' stroll, around and around the hallways before classes began, to see and be seen.
Posted along the walls by the reunion committee, in between articles and notes from classmates who couldn't attend, was one sheet of paper titled 'In Memoriam'. Second from the bottom on the list was my friend Jane Silvia. Though we lost touch when we went off to college, my memories of her wit and my pleasure in spending time with her came flooding back. Driving to swim meets with her family made me resolve to always drive like Jane's mom, with both hands firmly right on the top of the wheel, not at 9 and 3 as Mr. Vaughan urged in Driver's Ed. On those trips we were two high school girls feeling really grand about going to college swim meets with the coach and his team, though I don't think I even really talked to any of the swimmers. It was more just being there with cool, blonde Janie, part of a different world.
It was Jane too, who took me on my first trip ever to New York City, down and back in a single day on the train. Stated purpose for the trip was to tour the United Nations, a building which I vaguely remember. What I do remember though, was lunch at a nearby Japanese restaurant, where we had food like nothing I'd ever seen, and where Jane blithely ordered sake to go along with it. One sip and I knew I was a long way from Springfield. That's what I remember about Jane Silvia, and what I'll always thank her for. She introduced me to a world beyond, a cosmpolitan world that I didn't know existed. Ever since, I've been eager to move into that world and to explore.