Rununion, part 1

We were in New Hampshire this past weekend for a not-quite impromptu small reunion of college teammates who mostly hadn’t seen each other for decades. We missed friends who couldn’t make it on short notice, but five of us had a spectacular time.

Four of us appear in this 1967 shot from the college files. (The fifth thinks he’d been temporarily kicked off the team for playing intramural hockey, something the rest of us vaguely remember.) I like this photo a lot because it lets me say, “I’m Number One!,”—which I do even though the digits were assigned alphabetically. Attendees included numbers 12, 5, and 10. Along with Number One. Of course, we all still look exactly like this.

dartmouth-x-c

Cross-country teams can be pretty intimate groups. A relatively small number of pretty competitive people, all doing (or trying to do) exactly the same thing, all well aware of each others’ struggles, strengths, and weaknesses, all competing both with and against each other. Off the course, we even took some distributive classes together, outside of our various majors. (Competition there was intense.)

We had plenty of time over the weekend to meet each other’s significant others, learn about kids and grandkids, and to catch up on careers, interests, travels, and travails. People change, of course, but a lot of the basics don’t. Same fundamental characters, same senses of humor, same little tics. And a whole set of shared memories and common connections.

We started on Friday evening with hugs and handshakes, but progressed quickly to jokes, jests, and ancient insults placed like banderillas—all the usual. At dinner’s long table it was more family talk (lots and lots of family talk—we need to know about each other), mixed in with memories, questions about memories, arguments about memories, and, of course, laughter over memories.

Saturday began in a great old Vermont house’s cozy kitchen, with a long, casual, more or less continental breakfast, before heading off for a good look around the much-changed campus. It’s always good to stop after a donut or two, or maybe a couple of croissants if you’re a sophisticate, so I’ll do that now and pick this up tomorrow.



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