One morning in June I got to have breakfast with a friend I have only seen four times in 40 years! He was a classmate of mine when our families were living in Valencia, Venezuela. We were in the same grade at the same international school. I never thought I would see anyone from there again until one day in 1979, a call came to my friends' house asking if I was the same Wendy who'd lived in Venezuela. I had advertised on the roommate board at the University of Utah looking for a new place to live - which is why I was at a friend's house. Ken happened to also be a student there and was looking at the roommate board when he saw my name and did a double take. He remembered a girl from his 4th and 5th grade classes by the same name - was it actually possible that I was her?
And, it was! The next time I saw him was after the advent of the Internet and I found a group online of former students from our international school and they were planning a reunion to be held in Denver, CO. I think it was 1999. Ken's name was among those who planned on attending as was the name of the girl who lived right across the street from me in Valencia. I was shocked to learn she actually lived in New Jersey, too. 350 million people in this country and only 12 kids in my class in Valencia, and here I was connecting with one of them and a neighbor!! I went to the reunion and got to see Ken again as well as Pat, who'd lived across the street from me.
Then, in about 2003 or 2004, my friend Tom decided we should take a trip to San Francisco. He had a friend who lived in San Diego who was going to fly up to meet us. My daughter also went along for her first ever trip to California. Ken knew I was coming and we agreed to meet for breakfast while we were there since he lives in the Bay area.
Then the week before June 14, I got an email from Ken telling me that he was flying into Philadelphia with his wife and could we meet for breakfast, this time on the East Coast. He was born in Philadelphia, it seems, and has quite a few family members still in this area. So, this morning Ken and his wife Kathy picked me up at my house (I don't have a car) and we all went to a local diner for breakfast. Ken was looking forward to having scrapple, a regional pork product he can't find in California. We sat and talked and watched with some trepidation as a wicked storm moved through the area from our window-side booth. His wife introduced me to Mimosas, which I found that I liked. I was surprised, though, that they were allowed to serve alcohol so early in the day. I always thought there was a time limit on it. Hey - learned something new today!
Anyway, I had a really enjoyable time. Kathy took Ken's and my picture out in front of the diner with the diner's sign behind us. It was raining, but the front of the diner has a large overhang that kept us dry, so she could get the picture with the sign. He hasn't forwarded it to me yet, so I can't share it with you. But, I will share a photo of the front of the building where we stood. It was really so nice to see them, to meet Kathy (he wasn't married the last time I saw him) and to discuss the different things that had changed in our lives. Apparently, the next school reunion will be in Indianapolis in a couple or three years, so maybe I can get out there to join them again.