Thursday, June 16, 2011


Last week I attended my 50th college class reunion.


I saw him walking with his wife about 30 yards away, making their way to the registration tent. I couldn’t make out the faces but knew in an instant that it was my old roommate. Sam is about 6 feet tall, and his gait and posture are distinct enough for me to recognize them after 50 years. He holds himself very erect, with his head high, but not too high, and his gait is measured but sure, with arms held quietly by his side. As soon as he recognized me a shy smile came to his face, which radiates quiet authority and competence rendered totally disarming by a veil of shyness.

Sam and I shared a room with 2 other men in our sophomore year at college. We were both pre-med students and although we went our different ways socially we shared a lot of the same classes. While I was rather outgoing, Sam was quiet and reserved. Sam was also brilliant; I don’t know this for a fact but would venture to say that he never got anything less than an A in anything he did.

We had no contact after graduation even though we both went to medical schools in Philadelphia (as did another of our roommates from that school year.) I knew he specialized in cardiology but did not know he has been practicing in the Boston area for all of these years.

I don’t know if was our shared profession, or the fact that he was one of the first of my associates at college (I transferred to LVC in my sophomore year), but I was absolutely delighted to see him after all these years. I enjoyed meeting his wife and hearing about his family. I know he must be an outstanding cardiologist, and I admire and respect his accomplishments. I could not help thinking…I wish I had made an effort to stay in touch with him…we may not have become “buddies”, but I think I would have enjoyed the relationship.

Sam made the reunion a worthwhile experience for me.

My experience with Sam has set off a cascade of thoughts about time and relationships that I hope to explore in future posts.

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