Thursday, May 20, 2010

Again it's been forever since I posted anything, but I have an excuse this time - two in fact. First, Barry and I took a vacation in New York and Washington and second, I not only took in the big city sights, I also took in a mean and rotten bug that I've been fighting ever since. But let me tell you a true story about New York.

Forty-one years ago, a single penniless twenty-something fresh from South Africa, I arrived in New York knowing nothing and nobody. On a whim, I'd traveled from a summer beach in South Africa to New York in January.

The anti-Vietnam War protests were in full-swing, Hair was a hit on Broadway, Eldridge Cleaver's book was a best seller. It was the Age of Aquarius, a new and psychadelic world.

A super-generous (and obviously crazy) girl in Greenwich Village took me in and I slept on the floor of her studio apartment for three whole months in the middle of a freezing winter! I don't know what I would have done without her. She introduced me to her interesting artsy friends, shared her knowledge of all the best things to do and places to see and food to eat in the city.

She trusted me alone with her precious stuff while she was at work, she lent me warm clothing, covered me with rugs at night when the heating went out, and even hitch-hiked round Europe with me when spring finally burst forth. Thank you, Sally Anderson.

We lost touch over the years but a mutual friend gave me her e-mail and I contacted her to see if we could meet while I was in New York. Didn't ask for six-feet of floor space this time though. This time we were both married with grown kids and homes and I had warm clothes of my own. I was a little nervous though. Forty-one years is a long time and I knew she had a Ph.D. and a successful career while all I'd done was intermittently word-process other people's work.

She invited us for brunch in her lovely co-op just west of Central Park. She hasn't changed AT ALL. I would have recognized her anywhere. After brunch, we strolled through the Park and the Metropolitan Museum and I'm just so glad we reconnected.

Moral of the story: Life is lovely but it's short. Look up all the people who've made a difference in your life. You'll be the richer for it.