Can this be day three of Fun With Flannery? Again we had a deep and insightful discussion which included viewing a movie based on O’Connor’s short story, “The River.” We will also watch a film version of her short story “The Comforts of Home” in a future class. The film interpretations of O’Connor’s stories have added significantly to our discussions and understanding of Flannery’s work. So grateful that Prof Prior has included them in the class. Paul Anderson, Director of Programs at the Glen Workshop, was gracious enough to take a class picture of the Flannery Glensters. Good country people, every one of them.😊
Plinky’s question for the day was, ” What broken relationship do you wish you could restore?”. This made me think of friendships from childhood days. I have not, since I moved from Seattle in August of 1970, had any contact with friends from school. The person I wish I could meet again is one who went with me through Catholic elementary years at St John’s in the Greenwood neighborhood in Seattle – grades 1 through 8, and Catholic highschool, Holy Angels in the Ballard neighborhood – grades 9 through 12. Her name is Mary Elizabeth Johnson, born June 2nd, 1952, oldest daughter to Florence and Edwin Johnson, older sister to Ellen.
It’s been a long, long time since I have seen Mary; May of 1970, to be exact, the month and year of our highschool graduation. Our long relationship was broken then, by time and distance and growing up. Broken by choices which seemed noble at the time. Broken because that’s what happens when people finish school, move away from home and get a life.
Mary and I had been friends since second grade, and we did all the goofy things kids do growing up, including writing our names, in crayon, on the wall in my bedroom. We knew we would get in trouble if they were found, but no one did find them until I was a junior in highschool and Mom said I could paint my bedroom if I would pull the wallpaper down. I cut our signatures out of the wallpaper that I removed, and kept them in a book for many years.
In highschool Mary christened herself “Nag” because I insisted on shortening her name to “Mare”. She also thought that if she signed the notes she sent me in class with her pseudonym, no one would guess she was the author – how funny! Who else would be writing me a note??? No one!
Mary, I wonder where you are. I have looked for you on facebook, but the name Mary Elizabeth Johnson is extremely common, and not one of the scores of profiles that I have read has been a match to yours – to ours. I am not one who looks wistfully at the past, full of regrets and ‘do-over’ desires, but in this one area of my life, in this particular relationship, I wish that I had not been so determined to leave my past behind and strike out into a completely new world. I wish I could have had the wisdom that my younger sister, Claudia, has. She has remains in contact with several of her elementary school chums to this day.
Maybe you have heard this song by Kristin Andresssen? http://youtu.be/EELEjeYzfjM You come to mind whenever I hear it.
I hope we meet again some day, Mare. I would provide the crayons, and we could sign our names on the wall in my bedroom one more time.