Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Most Wonderful Thing Has Happened

Dear blog friends, I know I've been neglecting you. But it is because something wonderful has happened.

It all started during the 1971-1972 school year when I was a Fulbright scholar in Bucharest doing a research project on the piano music of Bela Bartok. I know you probably associate Bartok with Hungary, but after the first World War, the borders were moved around. Bartok's part of Hungary (Transylvania) became part of Romania. And one of Bartok's students was teaching in the conservatory in Bucharest at that point ... so that's how I ended up in Bucharest.

It wasn't long before I met up with a small group of other students, mostly American and French. Since we were all foreign students in a situation behind the Iron Curtain completely foreign to our experiences, we soon developed very strong bonds and had all sorts of wild adventures during the year ... being rebellious college-age types in the 70s (koff).

After that year I was able to correspond for awhile, but it wasn't long before I completely lost track of everyone.

Until the day before yesterday ...

... when one of the gang, David, an American now living in Shanghai, found me on Facebook. He's retired from a foreign service career, but his wife is still working and is now the US Consul General in Shanghai. Through their years of living all over the world he was able to meet up with some of the gang from time to time and is still in contact with some of them.

This morning another of the gang found me thanks to David, she was a Parisian when I met her in Bucharest, but now she's living in the Dominican Republic. (And she's the one most responsible for developing my French-speaking skills back then.)

And we're waiting to hear back from 3 more who haven't yet found any of our e-mails.

As David wrote the other day after we started remembering various misadventures, ....

"Wow, Mike! In terms of memories, this is like opening a barnacle-encrusted chest on the beach that reveals itself to be brimming with a pirate's treasure! "

So, my good friends, please bear with me for awhile as I dig through the treasure.