Maddy called Tuesday, and of all things, wanted to get a group to come see the show. The “It” girl calling me! Who’d have thunk it? (Swear, back in the sixth grade I was afraid to talk to her). That was a long time ago—when we first started hanging out with the ladies.

There was us: Bob, Joel, Stuart, Arthur, and I can’t remember if it was Wieder or Herman. And them: Maddy, Susie, Sue, Linda, Phyllis, Arlene.
Timid me…I could never talk to a girl one-on-one. Too full of fear. On a good day maybe Linda or Susie. (They were safe–I saw them at Sabbath School). Or Sue B, —her parents knew mine. But Maddy? Not this cowboy. She was a rock star.

Things loosened up a bit during the Bar Mitzvah cycle. (We MUST have danced). Still, you can make book that I was one of those clowns the girls always motioned another guy to cut in on. So be it.

I remember when she moved away in the eighth grade. Out west.
It had marginal impact on Wieder and me, but Snyder wore black the rest of the semester.

Over the years we had minimal contact, if any. “Hello” at reunions—no more. (Sort of like sixth grade again, but without Harry Kliot). Then, sometime in the early 90’s she returned to raise Brandon in Ohio. Still, our paths rarely crossed, but she did run with the Treinishs. (Indeed, Ronna gave me the “heads up” a few years back when Maddy’s mom died). Since then, though, we’ve developed an adult friendship—making it our business to stay in contact.

Last summer we even walked. Somewhere off Route 303…a bicycle path in the woods. (Her call, not mine). Trudging in the humidity (and warding off mosquitoes), I learned more in one hour than I’d ever known from our youth. About California, her son, her future.

Frankly, I much prefer Maddy in air-conditioning. She can hike with Alan and Ronna next time. Their son Gregg is already an accomplished photographer, recently becoming the first person to backpack the length of the Andes. (Heck, I couldn’t find that mountain range with an atlas!)

Alan, by the way, is another Rowland alum whose friendship has strengthened over the years. Back in high school we were on different ends of a large circle of AZA buddies. He was cooler than me, dated, and was actually hitchhiking before I even started shaving. Anyway, we keep each other posted on the goings on of the group at large,

Which brings us full circle to Maddy. Last night she corralled Ronna, Alan and a grown up Brandon, and the quartet schlepped to Willoughby, Ohio to support a friend on stage. Me.

They were on the aisle, of course. No surprise there.

That’s always where you seat the rock stars.

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