I left town for college after that and then, for a number of reasons which are highly fictionalized and romanticized in my novel, The Spaghetti Afterlife (shameless plug, I know!), I eventually moved out to San Francisco.
So it wasn’t school spirit that brought me back to my 45th High School Reunion, as much as curiosity. After all, most of us spent at least four to twelve years together in a relatively small pocket on the North Shore of Long Island. What has become of them? I wondered. Are they happy? Hooking up with Wayne, (NSHS Class of ’72, who’s always kept up with his classmates) 36 years after graduating, our marriage, and my subsequent social media involvement helped pave the way to reconnecting. Plus we had other friends and relatives to visit further north, so we figured we’d make a whole summer vacation out of it.
We landed at JFK stupidly early and found our way to the Enterprise car rental place. I feel as if I must mention this vendor by name as well; their customer service was superb. An agent met us at the door and sensing our bleariness, walked us through the check-in process, then to the parking garage, where she offered us a free upgrade. We opted for a brand-new, fully-loaded Nissan Altima, a real comfy cruiser.
When we arrived at our hotel, we got out of the car and the humidity hit me as if I’d entered the sauna at the Y and poured water over the hot stones.
A nap and a shower later, we headed over to the Friday night event in Glen Cove. I would be seeing people I literally haven’t seen in 45 years!
We sat on one of the park benches with a musician playing Beatles songs in the background as several friends of Wayne’s stopped by. Some great chats and new friends for me! Plus we spotted the famed Naked Cowboy on our ride through Times Square, which I might add, has taken on the unique flavor of Disney meets Blade Runner.
After one more breakfast with our Long Island friends we headed north to the Catskills, where we visited my cousin, Diane. Bonus: a ferociously intense and beautiful thunderstorm during our lunch, the kind us Oregonians rarely get.