Hejira

old friends

february 13. 2000

Suzy's PaintingI've finally had the chance, after much delaying and busyness and such, to see some of my friends and teachers from Governor's School. Governor's School, or PGSA, for those of you who don't know, is a summer camp for the arts held every year, sponsored by the state of Pennsylvania. I was a part of PGSA in the summer of 1998, and it there that I met some of the most wonderful people and friends in my life, affectionately referred to as "govies". It remains one of the best experiences of my life. In most cases, I hadn't seen these people since last summer, during the reunion for the class of 1998, so it was going to be a treat.

I had debated whether to take Public Transportation, but I chickened out and decided to drive. It's pathetic, really. I've taken the subway exactly once since I've been living here. What kind of New Yorker am I going to be? Sheesh.

I regretted this decision in the end, because I had the most hellish time trying to find a place to park once I got in proximity of Kate's apartment. She lives right near South Street, which is normally very busy to begin with, but that coupled with my inability to parallel park, I ended up driving around the area until I found a space 6 blocks away on South Street. Arrgh. I was not in a good mood by time I got to Kate's.

Before the dinner at Kate's apartment, she, Becky (another govie) and I went to see Suzy's (also a govie) work being shown at this little downtown pub called Fergie's. I have to say right here that Suzy is one of the few artists my age that absolutely floors me, in regards to talents and dedication. When we were at Governor's school, she was a sculpture major, although her painting skills kicked most of the painting majors around the block. She was always doing these beautiful and creative things in so many medias.

This show was no exception. It was all very recent paintings that she did last semester, you can see a sample of one of them above. Needless to say, they were beautiful, wonderful, extraordinary. She's going to Art Academy of Philadelphia, which unlike most art schools, really doesn't have a foundation year, and lets you get right into your major. Becky and I were bemoaning the fact that we were still doing color theory and such while Suzy was painting these amazing paintings.

Suzy sat down with us for a while and we were able to catch up on life and school and such. Once again, I found myself wishing I could live downtown, and be near all of them so we could hang out, and to be in the city so I didn't have to drive a half hour to see anything worthwhile. I'm living in a shitty little dorm in North Philadelphia, surrounding by nothing, and they all have apartments and roommates and the city at their feet. I had thought about moving downtown and still going to Tyler, but I realize that's probably more trouble then it's worth.

The dinner back at Kate's place was a lot of fun. Her apartment looks like something out of "Friends", but it was still a very beautiful place, filled with art and pottery, including one piece by me that I had given Kate in the summer of 98, and had quite forgotten about. It's weird to see my pottery sitting around in people's homes.

The sculpture and ceramics teachers from PGSA, Jon and Joe, were there, and in no time, Joe was drunk off his ass and being his usual charming abrasive self, and Jon was playing the straight man and firing off his usual one liners. It's mighty strange to see your former teachers carry on like this, but it was nonetheless amusing.

Well, the food was good, the company was good, the memories were good. It was nice to see everyone again, and to see how they're changed and how I've changed. Kate drove me back to my car because it was raining, and we bid farewell with several hugs and I promise for me to come and help her use up the seventy pounds of clay she had hanging around.