Thursday, May 08, 2008


I was looking for a particular class taught by Galina Khemeleva and happened on the Mile High Lace Knitting Conference in Denver. I'm all about lace AND I graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver (more than a few years ago) so clearly I was destined to go. It turned out to be a very small conference held at the Renaissance Hotel across from what was, in "my day", Stapleton International Airport. I won't bore you with how much had changed in places, but it was significant.

Truth be told the knitting was an excuse to look up and see old friends. The visits started on Tuesday when it got to over 80 degrees farenheit and was still 76 degrees as I headed home (the significance of this comes up next) from dinner with Stephanie Brearton. I met Stephanie when we both pledged Alpha Phi at Colorado State. The chapter didn't last, but our friendship did.

I arrived on Monday, but the conference didn't start till Wednesday evening, so I stayed the first two nights at what we've come to call Hotel Shelton, aka Robert and Edith's house. They are the parents of my good friend Mark and I always enjoy spending time there. I don't like to visit someone's house empty handed, but have a hard time thinking what to make men, so I packed a full biscuit "kit", consisting of Oregon ingredients: Bob's Red Mill flour, baking soda, and baking powder, Tillamook butter, and Market of Choice buttermilk (and salt) to make Robert. For Edith, I made Elisa's Nest Tote in Bernat Kitchen Cotton. I knit in the round (taking a cue from a Ravelry-er), left the stitches live and knit on the i-cord for the handles, and it was done in just a few days.

Before I left for my stay at the hotel, I took Robert and Edith to lunch.

The snow flurries began as we left the restaurant, and by evening there was a nice blanket of snow. Gotta love that Denver weather! One June day circa 1979, the week before summer solstice, I was scraping snow off my car onto my cold sandaled feet.

Thursday morning, I enjoyed the snow in the early morning as I drove to meet Linda Williams for coffee.

Linda Williams was the senior class president and was consistently one of the nicest people at TJ even to those of us who were bussed in. Our friendship has remained intact and I'm expecting her to visit sometime this year so she can meet her goal of visiting all 50 states by the end of her 50th year. She has Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska to go.

Friday I took advantage of the two hour lunch break and had lunch with Mark Forsyth, my date to the senior prom. Considering we haven't been in touch since we graduated, it was a remarkably fun lunch. Mark is a retired cop, teaching at Regis College in Denver. I asked Mark to the prom and he probably warned me that he couldn't dance, but I chose to ignore the fact, but he was telling the truth. At 17, that was pretty "tragic", but years later it's laughable. We shared only one class (that I know of) - photography, and all I have is the impression of how nice he was. Next month his daughter will marry and he's been told he must dance with her. And he will. He asked me to "dump" the photo I took, so in deference, here's a prom picture.

That evening, the plan was to meet also have dinner with Dan and Dori Hugo and their twin 18-month-old boys, but while the latter were calm and quiet in the morning, when the plan was set, by evening it was decided that Dan would have to meet me solo. Despite the disappointment, Dan and I had a great dinner and evening catching up. It was such a good evening, the camera never came out of my bag. I'm promised a family photo some day.

Saturday evening my good friend Randy Roorda picked me up and we headed for dinner at one of his favorite Mexican Restaurants in Aurora. We met senior year in Mr Miles Sociology class when alphabetically he sat in the desk in front of me. And the rest is friendship history. He's a teacher, who has been off the past year. He says if he doesn't find the right position in Denver he'd like to move to Oregon. We can only hope.