Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Old Friends and Firelight

The cows were chasing the hay wagon last night--and I was laughing.

Mostly I was laughing because I was not on the hay wagon with everyone else.  I was the one (the only one) who stayed behind and stood by the open outdoor hearth (sneaking extra fistfuls of chips, spoonfuls of apple cobbler, power-drinking a ... Diet coke--really) while everyone else had clambered aboard the hay wagon (some more gracefully than others, I must note in the name of Honesty), and headed off down the dirt road, then across the field where the cows, noting a new food supply (Hey, guys!  There's hay on that thar hay wagon!), took out after the wagon with a kind of lumbering grace and intensity that bore with it a bit of alarm.

Eileen had called the other night, had said she was getting some of the old group together.  Eileen Kutinsky, one of the greatest teachers I'd ever seen.  (It was a toss-up between Eileen and her sister.)  After she retired she sold her farm in Streetsboro and bought another one down near Alliance and Atwater, a beautiful place with woods and water and fields where cows can chase you when the mood strikes.

Harmon Middle School
Aurora, Ohio
Also there--a real gathering of the Elders: Mike Lenzo (just a wonderful principal I'd worked for early in my career), Debbie Langford (who'd taught math at Aurora High and played great piano in a number of our middle school shows), Steve Gotch (who taught science and whose talented children I had the privilege to teach), Dale Veverka (another science teacher; his room was next to mine for some years, and my students loved it when Sex Ed came around in science: we could hear the soundtracks of his slide shows and films right through the flimsy wall: This is the penis!), Denny Reiser (science and math who went on to work for the National Park Service and still loves the outdoors--always hiking, biking, helping others understand the wonders he sees), Joan Gnabah (who worked in the Harmon Office and tried, with moderate success, to keep the rest of us on the right page).  Spouses and some children and grandchildren were there, too, but I'd better not start on that.

As we ate (too much), I bounced around from group to group, catching up.  I'd not seen some of them since I retired from Harmon in January 1997.  Conversations ranged from "Remember the time when ..." to comments about political issues (no one was too insistent or too venturesome: nothing like a good old political donnybrook to wreck a nostalgic picnic) to queries about who is where now and what the kids are up to ... and aren't grandkids cute!

But when hay wagon time came, I just didn't go.  Don't really know why.  (Stubborn old goat?)  Joyce did, though.  She couldn't wait to hop on that wagon behind Eileen's tractor and bounce out into the field and meet the cows up close and personal.

While her hircine husband baked his butt back by the fire and fattened it in the fading light with more chips and cobbler.  And heard laughter floating over the fields.

Along with a few moos.

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