Monday, May 24, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air Supply

The theme for the end of May is new beginnings, but instead of a new beginning, what about going back to a beginning? Back to where where life was just beginning.

I had a family emergency over the weekend and couldn't do my scheduled Saturday blog post. Many many thanks to my Casa sisters for jumping in and taking over for me. The emergency was over on Saturday and that brings me to my "back to a beginning."

After the emergency, I had a lot of emotions, a lot of things to deal with. And I had concert tickets for an Air Supply concert. The question was whether or not I was going to go. After what had happened, actually, going was the best thing I could have done.

My best friend since high school had gotten the tickets. She and I were huge Air Supply fans in high school. We had every album, knew every song in order on those albums, knew the words to every song. We'd seen them numerous times in concert as seventeen and eighteen-year-olds, so when she saw they were coming to the area, she called me up and asked if I wanted to go. "Yes," popped out of my mouth before I'd even thought about it.

We were so young in those days. So full of expectations. Where would life lead us? Who would we become? Who would we find in our life? What would our families be like? Air Supply's songs are very romantic, full of falling in love, wanting to be in love. Whether or not you're a fan of the music, if you read the words, you'll see the emotions. As two teenage girls, these words touched us. It's really no surprise that I became a romance author, because I was a huge romance reader and following this group was just a part of that.

So, regardless of the events of the weekend, I was going to go to that concert. And I am so utterly thrilled that I did. The venue was much smaller than when we'd seen them 20-some years ago. Russell Hitchcock's hair was grayer, the band members were younger, the notes couldn't be held quite as long, but the voices were there. The excitement was there. The emotions were there. And we knew all the words to the old songs, though none of the four new ones they played. (Note to self: buy the new album.)

I escaped from the aftermath of the emergency. I went back to that time of innocence and expectation and hope. For a few hours, I got to relive the past. And it was a lot of fun. No one knows you quite like your high school buddies. All the silly stuff, the inside jokes, the stupid references, the giddiness of what happened at the school lunch tables.

The picture is of my and my friend, Val, at Harrah's Casino in Chester before the performance started. You might remember that I dedicated Wild Blue Under to her and named the heroine after her. There were lots of reasons that I did so, but the biggest being, she's my friend. Knows all my foibles and shortcomings and likes me in spite of them - and vice versa. We've known each other thirty years - and while new beginnings can be exciting and fun and something to look forward to, don't discount the past.

It was so nice to escape to it for a few hours.

Do you still keep in touch with those people who knew you "back when"? If not, have you searched for them? Facebook is great for connecting with people from high school; I've really enjoyed that, how about you?


  1. My best girl friend from junior high and high school in Florida. We did everything together. Our fathers worked at the Cape, and our mothers worked at the same store. We shared pizzas and movies and trips to the beach, and a snapping turtle infested lake. But when my dad was laid off with thousands of others at Cape Kennedy, we moved and there went my dream of being a roommate with her in college. We corresponded for a long time, visited a couple of times, then lost contact. I found her on the Merritt Island High School Alumni page a couple of years back...and we've been corresponding ever since. Plan to see her again in Orlando!!! She lives there!

  2. I wish I had kept up with friends from High School. I have found quite a few on Facebook. Have contacted a few. But, it's just not the same. Maybe one of these days it will get better...we shall see.

    Air Supply is a great band, always was, always will be. I loved their music, not quite as much as Judi, but I still liked them.

  3. I have a few friends from high school and one from elementary school that I don't necessarily talk to regularly, but when I do, it's like we never stopped talking. I moved from the town I grew up in when I was a sophomore in high school, so Facebook has been great in connecting with friends with jr high and elementary school!

    Great post--it was really touching to ready :)

  4. You're right - Facebook is great for renewing old friendships. I just got in contact with one of my best friends from Junior High, and it's been great. I've resolved to work harder at staying in touch with old friends - I lost contact with too many along the way! I'm sorry to hear about your emergency, Judi, but glad to hear you got to enjoy the concert. Good friends and good music will cure what ails ya!

  5. Oh, yes! I have 2 good friends I met in 7th grade. We still keep in touch and see each other regularly. It's fun to see how we change and stay the same.

  6. You know I'm all about going to concerts, Judi. It never fails to re-energize me, take my mind off things, and get me out of a rut. Sure, I can't hear properly for a couple days and usually end up with a crushing headache, but it's well worth the jar to the senses. I'm so glad you decided to go. You needed some silly girl fun.

    I actually saw one of my very best friends from high school a couple of weeks ago when I visited Las Vegas (she lives there). I hadn't seen her for over ten years (where DOES the time go), but we fell right back into our comfortable pattern. My high school and college friends are scattered all across the U.S. and none live anywhere near me, so I don't get to see them often. I have lost contact with a couple of close friends and can not find them (even of facebook). I think about them often. I actually googled a friend from grad school last week and caught up with him after ten years of no word. It's a small, small world wide net.

  7. What fun!! I have kept friends from along the way, various schools & jobs. The one I've known the longest is Val (coincidence). We met when I moved to her street. I was 5, she was 6, both Leos although we didn't get that then.
    We didn't go to the same school but were inseparable otherwise. I even sat with her during her piano lessons. She travelled all over the world as an orchestral musician but we never lost touch. It helped that her parents stayed in the same house & we could reach each other any time. Thanks for bringing back memories.

  8. Terry - how great that you'll be able to see her again at National! There are a few more people I'd love to reconnect with; I'm in love with FB for just this reason.

    Jessica - yes, you could definitely call Val and I die-hard fans. :) We went to a concert early one time and Graham Russell (tall, blond singer)was in a car with a driver/assistant who couldn't drive stickshift. I was half tempted to offer. Looking back, I wish I had. Just to have that story!

    Danielle - that being able to talk to those old friends even though you don't do it often, but have it be like you never stopped is one of the BEST things about friends from those ages.

    Joanne - keeping up with old friends is just one more piece of the puzzle these days. I need to figure out how to survive on less sleep!

    Shana - and you can always be a kid with them. Val and I have sooooooooo many inside jokes (like 4 pages of them in the "remember when?" things we wrote in our yearbooks to each other.

    Olivia - yep, definitely a small world wide net. I recently caught up with someone else who lives on the opposite side of the country. Amazing thing, this technology.

    Mary - glad to hear about you and your Val. :)

  9. I've got a girlfriend who has been getting in touch with old boyfriends on FB. She's had some interesting experiences. :}
    Fun post as always, Judi!

  10. Add me to the list of being thankful that I still have friends who knew me when.

    Sorry you had the emergency to contend with but sounds as if you made it through it all right and felt better for sharing dreams from the past with your best freind. Wonderful!

  11. Air Supply - Man! That brings back memories!!

    So sorry about your family troubles, Judi. I am glad to see you back. It does help, I have found, to go about the usual business of life when a difficulty arises. It isn't easy, and one can feel guilty about it, but stress needs an outlet.

    I hope all is well. Our thoughts are with you.

  12. Going back is a funny thing. I returned to my tiny island, and during the flight was wondering who would be the first person I'd run into. No joke, second person I talked to, first, the cabbie got me up to speed on all the new doings, and the second was a casual friend for high school who I didn't even recognize! He's like, "Is that you?" I hadn't been back in 20 years. He grew about a foot taller and put on easily 80 lbs. to top out at about 6'5" and 220 lbs. So not feeling guilty about totally missing that one.

    Proceeded to run into a handful of friends and recognized them by their smiles and eyes. When all else changes, those two things often hold true. Judi, I know I'd know you by that smile alone.

  13. This is just awesome! Sorry for the family emergency, but how wonderful to be able to take such a wonderful "vacation" back to happier times!

  14. What a great story!

    I adore going to concerts of bands that are on the downside of their popularity. A couple years ago I hopped on-stage and danced with the members of Loverboy (er, before security escorted me away). And I had Firefall dedicate "The Woman That I've Always Dreamed Of" to "the woman in the front row wearing the green 'Firefall Rulz' tank top" (er, that would be me).

    So glad you went ahead and attended the Air Supply concert after all, and I hope your week is going better now.


  15. Sorry for the emergency, but it sounds like the concert was just the thing.

    I'm still in touch with friends. I just don't live in the same country as them.

  16. Kathryne - tracking down old boyfriends? LOL, that's a good one!

    Amelia, Sharon and Kat - thanks for the kind words. Yes, the emergency wasn't pleasant, but good friends can take the sting out of a lot of things. And I do love that music.

    Ah, VA, you say the nicest things! :)

    Tawna - I want to party with you! Just saying...

    Hi Sheila - that's the beauty of the internet, being able to keep in touch with people all over the world. My brother travels to China a lot and lives on the other side of the country from me, so thanks to the internet, we can keep in touch.

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by, and, again, to the Casababes - thank you so much for filling in for me!

  17. My best friend since high school lives on the next block and I've connected with a few old friends from high school on

  18. Hi Judi~

    I still keep in close touch with all my best friends from high school and Jr. High, I see them whenever I can, one lives in San Diego, so I see her when she comes east to see her parents, I have a really close relationship with two of my best friends who married each other (that was convenient) my kids and their kids are "cousins" --we've been friends for over 30 years. One of my best friends seems to follow me around the country. He came out to Idaho when I was there and stayd, and then followed me to Maryland too. He's a part of the family. It's great when you get to pick your family members.

  19. I keep in touch with some--wish I were in touch with more. The older I get the more I value the old friends with whom one has a history--like being able to share again the same band we heard twenty years ago.

    Glad you got together with her and "took a breather."

  20. It is wonderful to remember younger and sometimes more carefree years. Music can do that for me. I hear a song and remember being back in high school or hanging out with old friends. sounds like you had a great time!