Dear Hearts, this is Carlee and Spike, two students that I taught in the early '60's in Cartersville, Georgia. They drove up from Atlanta to see me yesterday and took me to lunch in the new Ironstone Grill on Sylva's main street. We spent three hours in a kind of drunken reverie. These two were "a hot item" in the halls of Cartersville High School, but things didn't work out. Carlee ended up in a significant position in Atlanta that I don't understand; Spike went to South America as some kinds of "communications expert." He writes a bit, acts in the local theater group in Indiatlantic, Florida and watches the same foreign film that I do. He is also a Cormac McCarthy addict ....but yesterday, we talked about a world we once shared in Georgia: Carlee did Amanda in "The Glass Managerie;" Spike acted in a surreal Russian play called "Theater of the Soul." We won the district and the state, I think.
All of this was 50 years ago and somehow, we have remained friends despite radical changes in our personal lives. Yesterday, it all came rushing back and I remembered Georgia's intense heat, a hundred local scandals, our shared memories of the high school principal who was a sexual deviate, a dozen local eccentrics and the fate of a hundred friends. We even talked about a class reunion this fall and the possibility that this decrepit old man might attend.
I am especially moved by the fact that these two have remained friends despite marriages and homes in different parts of the world. Each time I start feeling a bit depressed about my life, I remember Carlee and Spike.