Go, Huskers! Of Milton High

Dear Marcella,

Thank you for the e-mail regarding the upcoming 20th reunion of our class of Milton High. Doesn’t it seem like only last week we were decking the halls with green and gold crepe paper and trying to make giant corn cobs out of oil drums? Where did the time go?

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend your soiree. As personal assistant to Meryl Streep, I will not be anywhere near Milton, Indiana in the foreseeable future. Working on a film, Ms. Streep and I will actually be in Milan at reunion time. It would be impossible for me to slip away to the old Holiday Inn on Route 262 where we all used to park in back of the dumpsters to make out and drink our fathers’ beer. How charming of you to hold the reunion there, and I hope you get an excellent turn-out. (So many of our classmates still live in the area, depressed and depressing though it is. How convenient for them though!) It’s so lucky that the Hoosier House Cafe in the motel still offers those wonderful Hoosier Hoggy-Hoagies and double-fried onion strips, the signature food of our class! And how delightful that Stan Pennick, our esteemed senior class president with those dreadful sideburns back then, still has a cover band who are willing to forego all that reminiscing and mingling to play for the evening. I will be sorry to miss that!

I know you are terribly busy on the reunion committee (you always were a little committee bee, weren’t you?), but would you be able to pass on a friendly greeting to Janelle Tripp, now Gainsmetter. I was just wondering how it worked out for her and my dear friend Hank. He and I were quite the item, and I believe somewhere buried at my parent’s (and I do mean buried, near the kitten Hank got me who was run over by a combine), is the ruby-chip promissory ring he gave me at Halloween of our senior year after our two solid years together. Did Janelle finally lose all that weight after the five children? Did the insurance cover the full cost of their house after the unfortunate incident one of those adorable progeny with a slight emotional problem inadvertently caused? I sincerely hope that Hank is doing well with AA after the intensive rehab. However did she manage through all those terribly rough years? Always a fighter-to-the-end, our Janelle! I now see that I have asked a lot of questions, so please just pass on my greetings or forward this e-mail.  I do want them both to know that I think about them often.

And please, if you will, give an air kiss to Darcy Lampert, or whatever her married name is now. Old Darcy and I go back to Miss Detweiler’s fourth grade class, though Darce never believes that! Such a tease! Always pretending not to remember that we were in many of the same classes at Milton, overlooking me for her basketball team though I was the very best player in Miss Zim’s P.E. class and everyone knew it, always commenting in a most helpful manner on my mother’s way of cutting my hair and on my wardrobe, and then one day even asking me so discreetly if Hank’s mother were in prison. Such a caring girl, our Darce! I do hope the husband she brought to the tenth reunion is well and happy, somewhere. Quite the ladies’ man it appeared! I hope she has done better for herself now.

Well, Dear Marcella, if you have any energy or time left to convey my greetings, I would so appreciate your giving a Husker’s Hug to Stevie Tyne. He was such an angel to me after Hank “abandoned ship” for the S.S. Janelle! My goodness, the things little Stevie taught me that madcap senior year! I think of him every time I see a pack of Salem Menthols or a can of Miller’s High Life, which, of course, is incredibly seldom now. I do believe if he had not been sent to live with that uncle in Missouri after the episode at the Harkers’ silo (which really wasn’t all his fault as we who were there all know), my last name might now be different!

Marcella, I am afraid I have simply loaded you up with tasks as though you are my personal assistant! Well, that’s a taste of my life with Ms. Streep. I must dash now. Thank you for your help with these greetings and have a simply marvelous time at your reunion.

Carolynne Strick

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