Finding Lisa

If you’ve had some luck in life (and I hope you have) some extraordinary people have been in your life. Sometimes years may pass without connecting with them.  If and when you do reconnect, and discover the bond remains unbroken, you realize how delicious and beautiful life can be.

It seems I’ve had some luck. Yesterday I spent nearly three hours on the phone with Lisa and the bond between us is clearly unbroken. I’d been trying to find her for some time with little success. Finally, it occurred to me, why not write to her old address? The place she lived when we were first connected in life, when we were boyfriend and girlfriend, when she was 15 and I was 17.

It worked!

While the fact we genuinely loved each other may not seem particularly special (it was) or come as a surprise, we were also friends. We genuinely liked each other.  We really talked, valued each others opinion. We pursued what interested us, even if others may not have understood. If you’d been looking for us in June 1972, say, you would have found us hunkered down in her family’s garage watching the Bobby Fischer vs, Boris Spassky word chess championship. We watched every single game and loved every minute of it.

One of the things that joined us back then was neither one of us were (or are) followers. We very much marched to the beat of our own drums and we were lucky enough to notice our rhythms matched. Neither of us had to sacrifice self in order to connect in life.

I suppose I should not have been surprised to hear she has the same voice. It has an enchanting quality. A reality that makes her very-direct and very funny sense of humor even more entertaining, and adds a layer of solidity when her formidable levels of intelligence, compassion and perception are on display.

During our conversation yesterday I thought, No wonder I fell in love with her. I thought of the line in the Jackson Browne song, “Hold On Hold Out,” I love you. Well just look at yourself…what else would I do?

It didn’t take very long in yesterday’s conversation to realize Lisa is still someone I very much love, like, and deeply respect. For all of us the glass of life is half empty and half full. Yesterday I was reminded how absolutely wonderful the half full part is. A joyous reality if ever there was one.

Finding Tischa

We were about nine years old when we met and were fast friends right from the beginning. Tischa was a wonderful ballet dancer at an early age, was rapier sharp and thus demolished any and all myths that blondes are dumb. Yes, she was and is a blonde, for all you brunette and redhead readers in need of an explanation.

There are old friends and then there are old friends who are family members in our hearts. At least this is my truth. To this day the friends I grew up with on Buchanan Street in Pearl River New York are family in my heart: Patty and Barbara are, then now and always, sisters in my heart a soul. Billy and Brian and Mark and Richie are now and always brothers in my heart.

I fell in love with the ballet at age five and began taking classes at age eight. In my first year of dancing I met Thea, a remarkable girl my age. She didn’t love dance to the extent I did, but we became fast friends and Thea is now and always a sister in my heart.

Recently I reconnected with Tischa and I am overjoyed. She is happily married to a wonderful man and they have two sons. Tischa is a social worker and all that I’ve known and know of her tells me she is a great one. Like all those mentioned in this missive, Tischa new my father and mother. They knew her and both loved her.

Tischa’s mother was a wonderful woman named Lee. She was one of my dance teachers. Her father was (in my mind) named Colonel. He headed the New York Military Academy in Cornwall on Hudson in New York. My grandfather, Prescott Beach, attended the academy, then under the leadership of Sebastian C. Jones, many years earlier before he went into the Army and fought in World War I.

This September I will see Tischa again for the first time in more than 30 years. We talked on the phone recently and it was as if we hadn’t missed a beat. I guess that’s the way it is with sisters some times, especially the ones you love and love you back.