Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Book

The excavation of the Big Bedroom upstairs continues and our living room is just about packed solid, with one narrow pathway from the door to the couch, but every other inch of space filled with boxes, book cases, and books.

When you do such an in-depth excavation, you are bound to discover lots of long-forgotten gems.  A couple of days ago, Walt handed me this:

It's the book everyone got when they attended our wedding Mass, along with a couple of newspaper articles, our engagement announcement, and the invitation to the wedding.  I wonder where those treasures had been buried.

Then yesterday, Ned handed me the book.

In November of 1980, Curtiss Reed, of The Experiment in International Living came to visit.  He brought with him this guest book, which he charged me to fill with our international guests.  He was the first to sign and for 27 pages, up to October of 2000, it is filled with names and addresses of visitors.  Peggy was the last to sign, adding "I'll be back." Uh...I guess not.

But going through this book brings back 20 years of memories of people who came from foreign countries, people who came from Davis for dinner or something...a whole host of guests, most of whom bring back such memories.

You can tell when a group of kids from another country were here because suddenly there is a raft of names of people I don't remember, but they are all from Brasil or Chile or Japan.

This page, for example, has several kids who came in the last group from Japan that I coordinated, along with one of the Pinata kids, a couple of guys from Brasil, another coordinator for The Experiment from Cedar Rapids, Iowa (I had completely forgotten that he came to visit), one of the priests from Newman Hall in Berkeley, and my former Experiment in Int'l Living "boss," who by this time (1984) had quit and was now running an antique shop in Vermont.

My father, Walt's mother, sister and brother came to be with us on Christmas in 1980, while my mother and her husband came two days later.

There are two guys from Kinshasa, Zaire, now Congo, a woman from Brasil and a guy from Davis, who eventually, may years later, married and now have grown children.  There are friends now long dead.  

Good memories, bad memories, like Dimar and Gaby, from Zaire, who were two of the most unpleasant guests we ever had, topped only by Ricardo from Brasil.

But mostly the memories are good.  In 1981 Ned, newly returned from his year in Brasil, signed with his Brasil address.

This page also has a woman from Paris.  I don't remember ever having someone from Paris here.
It's such fun to read through all the pages of this book.  It is a sketchy history of 20 special years of our lives, which, along with many of the people who signed, are now dead.

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