Reuniting with college classmates whose friendship has endured over 50 years is a natural high. And that is what I felt when we all met Friday and Saturday nights in Bloomington, Ind. “We” are George’s Kids, the IU Junior Year Abroad Group of 1965. Not one of us could believe it has been 50 years since we all met, underwent orientation in Washington, D.C., and then spent 10 months studying and playing together.
|George and his "kids" July 2015|
The most remarkable thing about this reunion is that of the 20 students, 17 of us made the trip. (One has never wanted to participate; one cannot be found; and one, unfortunately, died in a plane crash.) In addition to the 17 of us, George, our director, as well as his son Craig, was also at the reunion. Craig, now 52, was only 2 years old when he and his brother Eric (who was about 3 months old) accompanied their parents. Craig became bilingual, a skill he continues to use today. Several spouses also attended.
|George and little Craig (second in front row) with Peru Group 1965 spouses|
What did we do doing the weekend? We talked. And talked. And talked. And still there was not enough time to talk with everyone.
Jim said on several occasions that he didn’t understand why there were no planned activities, aside from dinner on Friday night and Saturday night. What he doesn’t understand is that family doesn’t need planned activities. Family just wants to get together and catch up.
So, that is what we did.
It was wonderful.
We are all getting older--all of us are in our 70s. So, like last time, we are planning our next reunion in two and one-half years. We hope we will all be together again.
This reunion, thanks to the work of Nancy Villalobos and Cheri Biddle Engber, we all paid tribute to George by reflecting on what that year abroad meant to us and how it has affected us personally and professionally. Those tributes were moving.
I am a writer, but I do not have words that adequately describe how I felt. You will just have to believe me that it was an Indiana High.
Your Reluctant RoVer,