My mom loved to watch Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” She wasn’t the only one. The show ran for 14 years on national television and was watched by millions each week. I thought of the show because I heard this comment made by a youngster, “It’s too cold to think.”
That’s how I’ve felt this past week and wondered whether I should write about the obvious — it’s cold outside! Nah, too obvious. So, instead I’ll write about “Love Story,” preppy winter fashion, disappointments, and two young men. What?
In 1970, there was such a thing as flying “student standby.” For a pauper like me, that was a boon to get myself from San Francisco to Montana to see my folks, especially in the winter. There was usually an available seat (unlike the chaos nowadays), a stop in Salt Lake City, and arrival in Bozeman or Billings. A lot of time to read.
On the trip in 1970, I chose the popular book at the time by 30-year-old Yale professor Erich Segal —“Love Story.” By the time I reached Montana, I finished the book and struggled to hide my tears. Jennifer Cavalleri died of cancer while in college at Radcliffe and in love with Oliver Barrett IV, a Harvard jock.
I never quite understood the famous line from the movie version: Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Nonetheless, other than that line, the iconic “preppy” fashion from the film still inspires designers today. In fact, the word preppy was propelled forward by the classy, timeless pieces Ali MacGraw’s character wore on campus in a frigid winter: cold weather sweaters, camel coats, leather gloves, and chic hats.
I always wanted to sport the kind of knit hats that she wore. They never looked as cute on me. Now, here in the Methow in this cold weather, most everyone is wearing the knit hat, including me. A little of Jennifer Cavalleri still abides.
Flying student standby is long since gone and airline travel has become increasingly challenging — especially if you live in the Methow. Here comes disappointment. Our family was excited to have my son’s girlfriend join us for the Christmas weekend; her first visit in the winter. Flying out of Oakland to Spokane turned out to be another casualty of inclement weather and the “why don’t we have a crew?” problem. After waiting five hours in anticipation of boarding, the flight was canceled. My son was heartbroken. Disappointment at its finest.
There’s positive news, though. When you serendipitously meet some extraordinary young people, they make an impression. Such was the occasion while attending Methow Fresh launch party hosted by the Inn at Mazama on Thursday (Dec. 22).
While sitting in front of the big fireplace tasting samples (the food was delicious, by the way), we struck up a conversation with a young man who was staying at the Inn. Not long after, his older brother joined.
Conor and Rick (Ricky, according to Conor) are the kind of people from the younger generation that give hope for the future. They both were engaging and obviously passionate about their pursuits in life. Conor currently works for Easterseals Oregon, which provides housing and employment assistance to veterans, and as an English second language instructor. He describes his primary interest as “assisting individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities find and maintain meaningful work.”
Both Conor and Rick are fluent in Spanish, having attended a Spanish immersion school program while growing up in Seattle area. Rick is closing in on graduating law school at University of Washington with an emphasis on immigration law. He describes himself as passionate about new perspectives. “I believe everyone is worthy of respect and dignity. I see challenges as opportunities.”
These guys were here with their mother for a mini vacation before the holidays. They were looking forward to trying a cross country ski (short one, they added) before heading over the mountains. Hopefully, they made it.