The year was 1976. The month was September. I was taking that Mother-May-I giant step that many 18 year olds do...I was leaving the relative comfort of my home in Bowie, Maryland and traveling to Tallahassee, Florida. I was anxious, and excited at the same time. I had moved several times in my life and moving was not scary to me. However, every previous move had been in the company of my family. While it was true my sister was already in Tallahassee, already attending FSU, she and I were not exactly "friends" in those days. I knew I would be on my own in that new place. I liked the idea and was a little overwhelmed by it.
Dad drove me down and explained everything about everything to me. You know, those father-daughter talks where father is sincerely attempting to impart wisdom and daughter is sincerely certain he has no clue about life in the "modern era." I mean college was not going to be like it was when HE attended FSU way back in Burt Reynolds, then "Buddy" Reynolds college days. Things were different these days...kids were "cooler" than they were in Dad's day. And therein was the problem. Kids WERE cooler than they were in Dad's day, but I was not one of the "cool" kids. Until this time, being cool was not important to me...my family knew me as I was and loved or hated me (depending on the moment) for who I was. But now I had to face the world who had not yet met me.
(I wrote another blog about this subject more than 2 years ago which explains how I got the nickname "Fletch" which friends from that era still use today.
Perhaps it is just something about college and 18 year olds, but I felt at home almost immediately. I liked my roommate and it seemed like no time at all before we met and became friends with Colleen and Betsy, two girls who roomed together down the hall. In those days, a co-ed dorm, which Smith Hall was, had separate floors for male and female residents. We were on the 7th floor.
That freshman year at Smith Hall was a lot of fun, a lot of work and holds a lot of memories for me. After we all graduated and went our separate ways, we eventually lost track of each other. Over the years we have made some contacts with each other, Dottie and I connected soon after the birth of her son, and then lost contact again, Colleen and I connected soon after her marriage, and then lost contact again, Bets and I connected and stayed connected through annual Christmas greetings....
But this year we apparently all found our way to Facebook and there we, once again, discovered each other. It has been wonderful getting to know again these girls, now women, who had such a positive impact on my life, my acceptance...and one day soon, I hope we can get together for a reunion...they are all in Florida... I think a Florida vacation sounds really GOOD!