Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Time of Innocence

As much as I am ill at ease with much of what God (and Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Marc Zuckerberg) hath wrought I do love how technology allows us to reach out and touch those with whom we had lost touch.

I'm thinking, maybe, the last time I saw Sara J she was Sara P, having moved up from V and was heading back to the Land of the Round Door Knobs. It was thirty years ago if it were a day and I believe it was longer than that. Yesterday, I saw her again-she was kind enough to take time off from visiting her family to cross the frontier from Central Massachusetts through Northern Connecticut to share some memories of mutual acquaintances and some not so mutual as well during lunch at La Stella Pizza.

When I arrived at American Forces Network Europe Headquarters in Frankfurt am Main in the fall of 1976 after a year in Sondrestrom, Greenland, Sara was a fixture in Bob M's Radio Command Information shop. She, Marge L., Norm H. and Brian B. (with whom I still correspond) were the shop. Norm was nominally 'in charge' as he was the highest ranking military person in the room but if you wanted it done, and done creatively, whatever it was, you gave it to Sara and she did it.

I can recall a Halloween radio drama she wrote and produced from scratch with evil and awful afoot at "Moot Point (!)" "Where?" "Never mind." Probably right down the narrative from Rising Gorge, another of her geographic inventions to propel her Wellesian homage on its way. She was Marsha to Rik D's John (or without the H? Memory fades) and she was Connie Rodd of PM Magazine who delivered double entendre about dual exhausts in sultry tones that probably caused the wax in Army tank mechanics' ears to harden.

I was always more than a little intimidated by her. She lived so intensely and so out loud she made the rest of us seem like we were beige footwear in an era of argyle anarchy. Over pizza and soft drinks yesterday on the hottest day of the year so far, we reviewed and refreshed the catalog of nearly-lost recollections-Trevor became Trent and Leslie's husband Benny became, rightly so, Barry. Neither of us can recall what became of Shelby, so if you're reading this Shelby W, roger up, okay?

She's a mom and a grandma who has logged the miles and months in far off places where and when her children have needed her and returned home to The Other Coast because that's where her heart is. I hope I'm not overstepping when I say that, and she is so charming I can forget she's a Red Sox fan. I just can't forgive it.

And next time, assuming one of the two of us follows through and invites Lee (and when did that become my job anyway?) we'll have ourselves quite a Hot Stove League with the Mirthful Mr. Met. As it was, yesterday was just about perfect, though not picture perfect and we didn't miss that either as who needs a photograph when you have your memories.
-bill kenny


LeeRoy said...

Second mention in a Tilt!!! I have MADE it!!!

dweeb said...

Keep pushing it, buddy, and soon enough we'll both conclude your life is actually more empty than mine. ;-)

Seriously. My apologies as Sara insists I was supposed to call you Sunday evening and extend an invitation to join us.
Even now, she's still giving orders.....