Monday, June 1, 2009

Greece Reunion Party

On May 17th, a group of revelers took over the dayroom at the Davis Rehabilitation Center to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our trip to Greece. In 1999, there were 18 of us from Salt Lake City touring the Cyclades with our guide and scholar, Charlie Frazee. For two weeks we steamed (smoked?) from island to island on our converted, WWII patrol boat. Very tight living conditions but such a convivial crowd that we parted on warm, friendly terms and needed an excuse to share our stories and pictures again.

Claudia Hackworth came up with the reunion idea several months ago and initially planned to have it in her backyard. Since Brooke was unable to travel that far, she brought the party to him. There were naysayers, but she was intrepid and Brooke and Peggy gave her the go-ahead. She coordinated a pot-luck dinner, music and personally turned the day-room into Little Greece, with balloons, flags, columns, photos, etc.

As we were greeting each other and setting out the feast, the nurses would occasionally stroll by to watch the festivities. Of course, there were so many wine bottles they may have been checking to see if they needed to call in a bouncer. (Phyllis brought the Retsina to really get the party started.)

There were 14 of our original group in attendance, plus Claudia's husband, Tim. Brooke was the last to arrive, regal as ever in his self-controlled chair. As has been noted here before, Brooke is still Brooke. The flashing smile and hearty laugh are less frequent but no less startling. And, his "breathy baritone" (quoting from the Trib) still amuses and enlightens.

The party lasted two hours and we were all much embraced--embraced by arms, embraced by eyes and embraced by memories. Thanks for inviting us in, Brooke.


albertthethird said...

Hi Brooke,
I just learned over the weekend, from a Hotchkiss classmate (Dave Kranz) at a college reunion, of your incredible misfortune. Your, and Peggy's, struggle and courage and compassion touch my heart more than my words can express. What an example both of you offer to the world! I just want you to know that, from now on, I will be an ardent daily reader of your blog, from which I know I will continue to gain inspiration by the power of your perceptions, the precision of your words, and the openness of your heart. I suspect that your teachings will reach a far greater audience than you might ever have imagined. With love, Denny

Leone said...

I read your experience and I admire your strength of mind. Your love for life - built of sacrifice and dedication - is an example against the individualism of contemporary society. And a great lesson : we need life to love the life and love is the only medicine that deserves tenacity. Thank you.
Leone (Milano – Italy)