The weekend of October 16th I returned to my hometown of Pittsburgh to attend my thirty year high school reunion and to do some author events. The weekend kicked off with my reading and talk at the Mt. Lebanon Pubic Library. While the building has changed dramatically over the years, the soul of it is the same as I remembered as a young girl. Mt. Lebanon library was a frequent stop for me growing up. It was within biking distance of our house and provided me with unlimited opportunities to learn more about the world and to plan my future.
The room filled up with friends, family, and library supporters. As I looked out in the audience I saw people from my past, high school buddies, my Mom, best friend Gwyn and her husband Lester and many new faces. It was a highlight of the whole book tour.
Gwyn hosted a lunch back at her house after the event with a group of friends from high school. Many of them we had not seen since our ten year reunion or even high school. It was startling to see how quickly we all fell back into our high school banter and reassuring to know that once you are connected to someone it rarely changes just because you lose touch. We ate, talked and most of all did what made us all friends in the first place, we laughed.
The reunion that night was overwhelming. The turnout was great. Thank goodness for the name tags with our high school photos on them as that helped a lot. I spent the evening sharing memories from grade school through high school with lots of classmates.
Sunday I signed books at Barnes & Noble and was visited by a few more friends from high school, including a friend who missed the reunion due to flight delays. Again, it was such a good feeling to reconnect.
Driving back to New York after the weekend I realized I don't really talk a lot about my time in high school. My memory of it was filtered through my burning desire to get out of Pittsburgh and get on with my life. I had forgotten about how rich and important my bonds were with those amazing people. In high school, those friends helped mold me into the adult I became, they accepted me for who I was and encouraged and supported my creative endeavors. They helped me believe I could have a life in New York.
In my haste to move on, I had forgotten that...until now. I am grateful for those days and the love of so many accomplished classmates!