1. The Deke and I piled into the newly lubed Sube and drove to Bethesda to meet the Jarvimakis, friends from Seattle we hadn't seen for years. We ate at the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery and suddenly I was transported back to October 20, 2012 when Byrdman and I drove to Rock Bottom in downtown Portland and made friends with a couple pool shootin' gals, Bethany and Sarah. Bethany was terminally ill with intestinal cancer and was doing all she could to enjoy herself before she couldn't any longer. I had a great time with the Jarvimakis in Bethesda, and, at the same time, I thought back to Bethany and the pictures she insisted on having taken with me and Byrdman and I thought about the kiss on the cheek she asked each of us for because we we were there and we were fun and we helped her live the way she wanted to live as she neared the end of her days. I couldn't help but wonder how much longer Bethany lived and whatever happened to the pictures -- but, most of my attention was on the fun yakkin' we did with the Jarvimakis and the fine food and refreshing beers we enjoyed at Rock Bottom in Bethesda.
2. I was checking Facebook messages and noticed that a couple had come into my "Other" box, a box I check all too infrequently. One of the messages was from Cory, a student of mine at LCC twenty-four years ago. He had taken time to express his gratitude for how I had inspired him in an English Composition course back in 1991. His note staggered me. I regained my equilibrium and wrote him a most grateful note in return. In retirement, it slips my mind that my work as a teacher mattered a lot to some number of my students and it was deeply gratifying to be reminded.
3. The other message filled me with joy. I hadn't heard from Liz since the spring of 1974 -- possibly around the time she got married. Over the years I've thought of Liz often -- we spent a lot of time together as being more than just friends back in 1973. I hope that the messages we sent back and forth will put us more frequently in touch with each other so we can find out more about what's happened in our lives over the last forty years or so. It's funny. Even though 1973 was the year I was seriously injured and nearly died at the Zinc Plant, overall it was one of my favorite of my 60+ years and the times Liz and I talked and laughed and were part of a fun group of friends and drank beer and listened to music and hung out in Cd'A and held each other close -- and the many times she came to the hospital to visit and comfort me -- were the best times I had during that memorable year.