Yes, I know that I forget my computer passwords, my keys and even why I opened the refrigerator door, but I never forget July 10th.
It’s the anniversary of my first trip on an airplane. Along with a group of other Rutgers Camden students, I left the USA for seven weeks to study French and to have adventure.
July 10th! Indelible date! Also, very importantly, I must add, July 10th is the birthday of my Lausanne roommate and lifelong friend, Linda Rezende Mundy–Happy Birthday, Linda!
Upon the advice of Mme. Alminde, our chaperone, I brought only dresses or skirts–and, in 1970, that meant mini. I rejoice that I was twenty when that was the style. I lucked out.
Although my friend, Sue Hudson LaPierre, might remember that those short dresses kept us from entering St. Peter’s in Rome. Sorry, Rome. What did a girl from Cramer Hill know?
Perhaps Sue and I must take a trip to Rome again, but not in mini-skirts. How about that?
I ended up having to buy a pair of corduroys for a mountain trip. In a little department store in Lausanne, I found out that there were unisex dressing rooms. My dear friend, Stan Straiges, went shopping with me and he laughed as the saleswoman pushed him into the dressing room with me. He averted his eyes while I tried on the black corduroys. Always gallant. Always remembered. No longer here with us. Miss you, Stan.
But, I wore my mini-outfits to school, the University of Lausanne, as I trudged up the steep hills from our hotel in my plastic white sandals. It seemed like a long walk or perhaps it was that I kept getting lost on the way and having to ask people directions–in French. Oh, French. I had a terrible American accent and I thank the good people of Lausanne for their patience and I thank my lucky stars for the ones who spoke English.
It couldn’t have been a better trip.
Youth! Health! Energy! U.S. dollar! Friends! Travel! Dancing! Movies! Chocolate! Mountains! Lakes! Air beyond compare! Romance! Freedom! Geneva, Lausanne, Rome, Vitry-le-Francois, Paris!
Even a small improvement in my French…
I’m smiling. Happy 46th Anniversary to my first airplane trip, to seven joyous European weeks and to fond memories that haven’t faded. How grateful I am to have had this time in my life.