Monday, May 25, 2009

Forty Three Years Later We Meet Again

Forty six years ago my sophomore roommate in Hamilton Hall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio was Marian Sirotak of Brooklyn, Ohio which was and still is a southwestern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The last time I saw Marian was 43 years ago in her hometown of Brooklyn. Well, all these years we have kept in contact once a year thru our annual Christmas letters. But this past weekend we got back together for the first time in forty three years. When Marian emailed and asked permission to be our houseguest I jumped at the opportunity to see her in person once again but I must admit that I was a little apprehensive. Would we have anything to talk about after the first five minutes? And would our husbands who had never met each other get along and have something to say to each other? Well, to make a long story short there was absolutely no problem. We started talking and never stopped and our husbands started talking and they never stopped either.

Marian and Joe drove over from Morgantown, West Virginia which is exactly three and half hours away from our house in Virginia. They spent two nights with us and Marian and I had a great time remembering the things we did in our shared dorm room as well as classes and friends we had in common.

We each have lost track of all the girls we used to hang out with in Hamilton Hall and at the Catholic Newman Club at church. Conversation flowed like this. Remember the three girls who roomed together down the hall? Whatever happened to Barbara Ann Mushinko who worked as a waitress with you Joann? And whatever happened to Kathy Rock who was also from Euclid, Ohio and went to high school with Barbara Mushinko. Didn't they both marry Miami guys who were in the military NECEP program? What was their roommate"s name. Was it Paula? Wasn't she planning to marry a fellow by the name of Marcy from Akron who was going to be an army officer in '64? And what about that cute blond and blue eyed girl from Milford, Ohio outside of Cincinnati who converted to Catholicism our sophomore year? Obviously we had lots of catching up to do after forty three years! And we had a lot of unanswered questions too to ponder.

I found some old photo albums and we enjoyed looking at these photos. You can take a look too.
Here's Marian Sirotak in yellow and Kathy Rock in red, white and blue dressed to go to some costume party. Notice the cigarettes being held fashionably like Audrey Hepburn. This photo was in Kathy's dorm room where we hung out with Kathy and her two roomies Barb and Paula.I think the year was 1964. Here's yours truly in red with the gang of girls getting ready for the Miami Homecoming Dance of 1963. From left to right we have Sharon Patchell, Barbara Ann Mushinko, Paula Linton, Kathy Rock and myself. Now look below to see our dates for that homecoming dance.
Kathy Rock in blue with date Robert Huber from Findley. They married and Robert went to Vietnam as a marine officer. Paula Linton from Akron who married a Marcy. Paula's hubby went to Vietnam as an army officer I believe. In red is yours truly with Stan Shellenback from St. Louis who went in the navy as an enlisted sailor in the fall of 1964 at which time he and I went our separate ways. And last but now least is Barbara Ann Mushinko with her date Donald Mandeville. They married and Donald went to Vietnam as a Navy officer. I believe it was Marian who took this photo. She didn't go to the homecoming dance that year.

Look at this mess. This is the night Marian and I played a joke on those city girls from northeast Ohio. With the help of my then boyfriend Stan we got a bale of straw from Stan's grandparents' beautiful farm in Lebanon, Ohio and drug it up the stairs to the third floor and into the girls' dorm room and spread it all around the floor. How did we get in their room? We claimed to the front desk that we had locked ourselves out of our room and so we needed the master key! And I think Sharon Patchell was in on the joke. She steered the girls to her room so that Marian and I could do our dirty deed.
Here's the three roomies trying to figure out what they are going to do with all that straw. Notice that two of them (Paula and Barb) had their hair already rolled up in curlers for the night. No blow drying in 1963! Instead every night you set your hair in curlers and then took the curlers out in the morning to comb and style your hair. Every girl on campus was an awkward caterpiller in the late evening for bed and a beautiful butterfly in the morning for class.
And here is Barbara Mushinko at her surprise bridal shower in the spring of 1965 in Hamilton Hall. Notice the white cake. I had to make a second trip to the bakery with that gosh darn cake because I messed up the icing in carrying it to the dorm for the party and the cake had to be re-decorated on top.
Marian and I enjoyed reminiscing about the old Hamilton Hall gang and we both wondered where those girls are today and what they are doing. They are probably grandmothers now too. Dear blog readers, if you recognize any of these lost friends of ours, please contact us and give us an update on their lives. Marian and I would surely love that.
Now back to the top photo. Saturday night Jack and I took Marian and Joe to branch of Mimi's Cafe. where one of our neighbors saw us and was willing took our group photo. On the left in apricot is Marian with her husband Joe who is currently the vice-president of facilites and planning at West Virginia University in Morgantown. Of course, on the right is Jack and Joann, old retirees living in Virginia.


Denise said...

How wonderful to meet up with your friend after all these years. Great photos and a great post.

Linda Reeder said...

Great "old" photos! It's wonderful that you can just pick up the conversation after 42 years, but obviously you shared some special times.