A Tale of Two Tartars

40 years ago, Gregg Stump and I were roaming the halls and walkways of Torrance High School, in beautiful Torrance, California.  Like many seniors, we were counting the days until we graduated and began our life’s adventures.

And adventure we did.  I headed up north with buddy Greg “Tank” Lucas to make Seattle, Washington, my new adopted home.

Greg became a family man during his senior year and within a couple of years of graduation, found himself heading off on an American hitchhiking adventure.  Remember, we’re old enough to have brushed the tail-end of that whole hippie mindset.  Eventually, Greg found himself living in Elkhart, Indiana.

With our class reunion approaching next year, there has been massive reconnection going on with the Torrance High School Tartars, Class of ’73, through Facebook.  Gregg and I had connected some time ago and when he was flying out to see his daughter and first grand-child in Federal Way, he reached out to me and said, “Want to get together?”  The week of his visit came, I knew he was here, but he was with family and busy.  My usual committment-filled schedule would prove a challenge and so, on Thursday, when he wrote, “I’m still here but about to leave,” the only time that would really work was Saturday morning, at the airport, before his flight home.

The idea of “waiting until next time he was out” came up, both of us are easy going.  But for some reason, I felt compelled to make this happen.  So, the alarm went off earlier than desired on a Saturday morning, I threw on some clothes and headed out to Sea-Tac.  Starting shortly after 7am, we started to compact 40 years of life, stories, questions like “Whatever happened to….?” and “Do you still keep in touch with….?” and every possible reflection that could come to mind.  It was just a great 45 minutes of reconnection with someone who I shared some classes with, so very long ago.

He’s flown home.  Not sure if we’ll see each other again, although we plan to. It just depends on so many things.  But for 45 minutes on a Saturday morning, we drank coffee, reflected on the home town, the teachers, the students…and then packed up all of our memories until the next time that two Tartars have the chance to gather.  You like to make every minute of your life count and this weekend is off to a roaring start.

Great to see you, Gregg!  See ya on Facebook.

Tim  Hunter

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