Virginia and I had not seen one another for fifty years. A lifetime for some! A very long time for anyone.
Changed, of course, as we do, but the glue that held us together for such a long time still holds.
Time and space has nothing on this sort of connection.
She is as lovely as the Wyoming sky is wide.
We live such remarkably opposite lives- She a New Yorker, monied, incredibly slender and tall and elegant.
Well connected in her world of fashion, music, artists, intellectuals, and did I mention money- yes, that!
I am utterly and pathetically opposite, yet we still have a bond.
Pretty remarkable, and I would say, generous !
I collected her from the tiny airport .
We spent one day hiking around Vedauwoo , Neither of us acclimated to the elevation, we had to stop and catch our breath many times. A first for both of us to suffer altitude sickness and no matter what they say , all of the drinking of water, rest, will not help, it just takes time. Virginia is a Master Swimmer, still suffered from altitude.
I drank a bathtub full of water, probably- still felt light headed, achy, dizzy, unable to breathe.
By the time I left, ten days later, I was fine...
Just about every one's Dads worked for the Union Pacific "Rayroad".
Our Dads , more specifically worked on the caboose, Conductors.
Virginia had not driven a car for fifty years- When Erik was eight years old I took him on this very same dirt road to let him drive- Virginia took the wheel- went 10 MPH for less than one mile . Her confidence restored.
Though I did all of the driving- we covered a lot of territory! No traffic in WYO, easy to lead foot it.
There has always been this stand of aspen South of our little town, where grandmother's and great grandmother's and great great grandmother's produced the best , most memorable picnics for family, for the entire town!
The stand has thinned, and there is threat of road developers taking it out entirely.
Walking and talking- old friends.
Bill and Virginia- her first LOVE.
We stayed overnight in Bill's hand built , Log house, huge by log cabin standards and about the prettiest place I have ever stayed. Babbling stream out back and an adorable dog wandering about being cool, sussing .
Introduction to the house ,renewal of friendship...We drum- rhythm becomes trance inducing high. We meld as old friends do, comfortable , easy, in love.
From there we drove to our little hometown 130 miles away which only took an hour and ten minutes because - lead foot/no traffic...
It is a sad wasted little town, sucks the life right out of you - we did feel it. We only stayed there long enough to look at our old haunts, have lunch at the best Mexican cafe in the USA, and go to the cemetery.
We also went to the museum thinking that they may appreciate a painting that Virginia had done of Front street back in the day, When all of the bars and "cat" houses were in full swing,( most of it torn down now) She was sixteen - went down one Sunday morning to paint it. Some one called her Dad and he collected her scolding her all the way home for putting herself in danger.
Anyway, the lame-assed museum person did not even know about front street,it's notoriety, it's wealth of stories, it's cowboy shoot 'em up nights, the gals with flare, had never hear of
Gerry Spence , a legend around our little town for defending a murderer who murdered our friend's older sister, right there in the court house in front of her mother and her little children. He used Virginia's painting as an illustration in one of his books, FAMOUS, right? He even sent Virginia 500.00 smackers to use it. (years ago when $500.00 was a substantial amount)
The museum person said " Ok, We'll take it off your hands if you don't want it, I am sure we could put it someplace"
Um....no, no thank you, we'll be keeping it...
Glad we went but, really, could not get out of that little town fast enough-
we had sense enough to escape when we still had enough life left in us- again!