It was a pretty good weekend by my standards. I reconnected with quite a few old friends from my time in Iran just before the fall of the Shah, and subsequent evacuation of most of the American community living there in late 1978.
Late Friday night, I stumbled across a facebook group called "Tehran American School", and was stunned to find a couple of my good friends and classmates from there, who remember me, and some of the classes we were in together, reconnected with someone whose family had lived less than a block away, AND the American DJ who did the morning show on the English language station owned and operated by NIRT (National Iranian Radio and Television)
I'm not ashamed to admit that I spent most of Saturday on this facebook group looking at pictures posted by other group members who had been there at the same time my family was, and had a few emotional moments when I saw pictures that had been taken during the last days of the American community, and our subsequent evacuation. I corresponded with the two classmates I found (Will and Paul), and we all agreed from our photos that we were recognizable to each other, but we had all most certainly aged. (I guess that's to be expected, since we were only twelve years old the last time we were all together) It was good to chat with the two of them again, as none of us who were students at the Tehran American School (TAS) ever got the chance to properly say goodbye to one another. With the level of unrest in Iran in October - December of 1978, TAS was closed frequently for the safety of the students, culminating in the Elementary, Middle, and High schools closing for good on December 5th, 1978... never to reopen again.
My last day at TAS was December 4th, and I didn't attend any of my classes, I had been sent to school solely to collect my belongings and gym clothes, and get my grades because we knew we would be evacuating sometime in the next few days. We were evacuated from Tehran on December 7, 1978. The only one of my friends that I was able to say goodbye to was my buddy Paul Racey, who I unexpectedly ran into in the chaos of Mehrabad Airport. His parents were there, but only to put him on the plane. They were unable to get a seat on a flight out for a few more weeks. Our goodbye was brief, we only got to talk for a few seconds before my mother dragged me away. She was overly paranoid about living in Iran from the beginning, and had even managed to convince herself during the last days that if I heard gunfire on our street I would run outside.
My mother is really kind of an idiot. I could write an entire book on how NOT to raise children because of her.
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Now that we're into fall, I think about Manhattan quite frequently. Autumn has always been my favorite time in New York City, and sitting in Washington Square Park (pictured above) with a coffee and people-watching was a favorite pastime of mine when I lived there.
It dawned on me Sunday morning that I haven't been back to visit the greatest city on earth in nearly three years.
I really miss New York City. That's probably why I've held on to my old Manhattan Sunday Morning ritual for so many years, and went back to it when I relocated to this neighborhood.
But instead, this Sunday morning, I donned my Urban Superhero persona, and met up with my neighbor Wonder Woman for coffee at Anodyne on Nicollet, which I hadn't been to yet, and then we walked across the street to the Kingfield Farmer's Market. I liked the vibe at Anodyne, because it was Sunday morning, it was buzzing with activity, so I will definitely go back. Cafe Tempo however will remain my main neighborhood coffee stop, because it's more relaxed and has a more laid-back vibe.
After what had been a generally gloomy, rainy, snowy couple of weeks, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the temperature actually got up into the 60's.
It was actually a Manhattan-like fall day weather-wise. I ended up hanging out with Wonder Woman most of the day, (another dog person in a dog-friendly neighborhood) and got my first close-up look at Martin Luther King Park, which dominates the entrance to the Kingfield neighborhood. We were informed by someone at the Farmer's Market that they have a dog park area planned for MLK Park, and there is an informational meeting this week that I was invited to attend.
I guess it's safe to say that I am now officially an involved member of this community. It looks like I'm 100% back to my old self.
I'm misplaced in the midwest.
But life is good.
See you tomorrow.