Saturday, June 27, 2009

City changed, hearts the same, part 1.

My time warp started in Portland on the airplane, when I overheard the gentleman across the aisle share his history as the actor from Dukes of Hazard who played the sheriff in the neighboring town. Later, in Minneapolis, I walked into a bar near the law school just as the Playmate from December, 1968, yes 1968, was concluding her two-hour appearance. In between, I took a quick look around the city I left ¼ century ago. New towers, new condos, new parks, etc. It took awhile to find much that I recognized.

The apartment where I lived for two years was razed and replaced. Grandma’s, the hot spot back then, looked long abandoned. Instead of cocktails at Grandmas, I found fashionable people packed into the new(er) Spill the Wine. Bullwinkle’s had not changed. Perhaps 20 feet narrow, but tall enough to have a loft, the bar’s only upgrade seemed to be flat-screen TV’s. First year of law school, classmates got to know each other at Bullwinkles. Who knew then which of us would be judges, who would succeed in becoming partners at big accounting firms only to have the firm dissolve, who would die of AIDS, who would help corporations with mergers, and who would represent people. Ghosts from 1980, sandwiched among the ghosts from the decades before and since.

This evening, I met K and S at the newer and nicer brew pub across the street, where we started our process of catching up. K was now clean shaven while I was sporting my graying goatee. K predated law school. We met in 1978 at orientation for transfer students at Macalester College in St. Paul, where I attended for a time in place of Stanford. To me, K & S looked the same, despite the passage of decades. Finallyy, four hours after landing at the airport, I finally felt like I was back to my former home, and not just another city.

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