Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Went to Open the Gate

This morning I went to open the gate in anticipation of a UPS delivery I was expecting.  While I was down by the road, I checked the mailbox and there it was... a small cardboard package addressed to me. I checked the return address and smiled to myself as I thought back to those years in college at FSU in Tallahassee, Florida.  The package was from one of my best friends during those years...a friend I call "Teach."

I remember meeting Teach.  He was one of those "grad student" teachers and was teaching my Government class.  I recall his writing his name on the blackboard -- his whole name, first and last.  I dunno, I wasn't used to calling my teachers by their first name and he didn't really seem old enough to call him "Mr." so I compromised...I called him nothing.  If I was called on in class, I simply answered.  If I had a question, I simply asked...no need to address him by name at all.  That worked well until the first time I saw him out of the classroom.

It seems grad students didn't command huge salaries teaching undergrad classes, so he also worked on campus in one of the "traffic control booths."  When I saw him there and I wanted to say hello, I had to call him something... and so I did... "Hi, Teach!"  Teach and I became good friends and I never called him anything but Teach.  He didn't complain.

So today, as I headed back inside to continue my workday, I opened the package and found a dozen or so photos.  These were old, reddened with age photos Teach had found, photos taken during my years in Florida, as a student at FSU and then a few years later when I lived there with my husband and two children.  Of course, as with all old photos, it isn't so much the quality of the photo as the memories of the times that are evoked.

Now I recall my apartment in back then as being a real dive.  It was $145 per month and I shared that cost with a roommate because that was an awful lot of money in those days.  In this photo, I also notice that I spent a LOT on decor...please note the window ledge lined with beer bottles????


Of course, this photo was intended to capture my best friend visiting from back home in Bowie, Maryland and my boyfriend visiting from Princeton, but it's really hard not to notice the:
  • mirror wall
  • beer bottle decor
  • black plastic couch!
(we won't discuss the rather 'odd' pose.)

In this photo, I am reminded of how "young" "old" looks to me now.  Not that I ever thought Teach looked old, but he was almost 18 years my senior, making him about 37 in this photo....to me, at 19, 37 was OLD!  Today, at 52, this 37 year old looks like a YOUNGSTER!


And I was reminded of one of my favorite places to spend peaceful nature time.  St. Marks was always enjoyable, with lots of birds, a beach of sorts, and a lighthouse....and ALLIGATORS.   None of the wildlife made it into these pictures taken that day, but I have plenty of others that DO have the gators.  One day I'll unpack those boxes.


The photos of the Bryan Hall in 1978 reminded me of my first time trying to find my way around what seemed to me to be a huge campus.  I thought I would never be able to get from one class to another on time, and spent a great deal of time trying to make sure my classes were within reasonable walking distance from each other....MAN I walked soooooo many miles in those days!  And check out the cars....


But, I suppose what is most remarkable to me is that only five years after these photos were taken, having graduated, moved back to Maryland, worked a couple of years in DC, I was, once again living in Tallahassee, married and with two children....  and sewing matching shirts for father and son, LOL.

The children are grown and married. I have survived two marriages.  I moved away from Tallahassee almost 22 years ago and have only been back twice in all of those years.  I think a Florida trip, a trip to see friends rediscovered after many years, with a stop in Tallahassee would be nice.... I'll have to see how I can work that in.

A simple walk down a 400 foot driveway to open the gate opened the floodgate of memories of more than 30 years ago.  What a delightful walk!  Thank you, Teach!   Much appreciated!



11 comments:

Sharon said...

Good Morning, Judy! What a delight that must have been. Old photographs bring back so much more that what is in the pictures themselves! I'm sure the picture of your little family brought back more than memories of your making matching shirts for your "guys". Gorgeous campus! Yes, pictures are worth more than a thousand words. What a lovely gift from an old friend!

Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

k8 said...

I wanna talk about the "odd" pose. ;)

Leigh said...

That is a really cool walk down memory lane! How nice to have a teacher that kept such memories for you an o what a nice surprise.
-Leigh :)

Jeanette said...

As always, a lovely read.

mixednut555 said...

<---actually thought the odd pose was some kind of conjoined twin, because I didn't have my contacts in when I opened your post. LOL. Great post, thanks for sharing.

Judy's Corner said...

Sharon, it truly was a delight! I love the old photos, faded and scrubby in comparison to our digital multiple megapixel modern photos. Squinting hard to make out the details is fun!

I used to make most of my children's clothing and shirts for my husband...they all seemed to like wearing them and back then it actually saved money to sew the clothes...today, I am not so sure.

And yes, one of the best gifts are the gifts of memories!

Judy's Corner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy's Corner said...

K8....

K, let's talk 'bout that "odd" pose....

Nah... forget it... I don't even think I COULD explain it!

Judy's Corner said...

Leigh,

It really was a nice surprise. I was very happy he did save them for all those years, and that he shared them with me. A real treat!

Judy's Corner said...

Thanks, Jeanette...

Judy's Corner said...

Kat, you ALWAYS crack me up! I guess that pose COULD be 'splained that way.... and NOW you know why I have such an ODD personality... I was separated at age 19 from my conjoined triplet bother and sister.... BTW, they are both doing fine, post separation, but I still have the feeling I'm "missing something!"

LOL -- thanks for the laugh!