Sara (Sally) Parkhurst Van Why
Sara ‘Sally’ Parkhurst Van Why I started the last Hood column with a quote about the importance of our college friends. Continuing with that theme, I asked through email for comments. Donna Simmons Maneely wrote that her Hood friendships are still important to her and ongoing 40+ years after graduation. She treasures sharing birthday and Christmas greetings (and a few e-mails too) between close classmates and enjoyable outings several times a year with another dear local Hood friend from the Class of 1968. “Whenever we are lucky enough to be in touch, I feel like a happy girl of age 21 again as all these easygoing uplifting friendships are refreshed. Time has not stopped the Hood bonds of caring and friendship.” Lorraine Sharp Kish shared that a group of her Hood friends try to keep in touch regularly through email and social media. Some even snail mail birthday and Christmas cards to each other. They are always in each other’s thoughts. Ann Jones just had an hour long phone conversation with Patricia Funari Bevacqua. Ann is so grateful for their friendship and even though they don’t see each other very often, they love to connect. They shared special memories of dad and daughter weekends. My roommate, Katherine Nixdorff Wilson, loves seeing folks at the reunions some 40 years after we all started together in 1969, sending birthday cards to each other through our 30ties, 40ties, 50ies and now 60ties, plus seeing class mates when they attend other events such as when a whole bus load who came from Frederick to support Marcia Coyle DiBiagio for a Hood book signing in DC. She also has monthly lunches with Marcia, occasional lunches with Deborah Christ Zourdos when she is not down south playing golf, and encounters with Charlie on the train from Baltimore to DC. All of this means the connections are still there and very meaningful. Charlotte Miller Ponticelli says her Hood friendships and memories of those friendships have been a constant source of joy in her life. What she loved about Hood was the ability to move among various groups and really enjoy the patchwork of friends who might unexpectedly emerge from one day to the next. She is so glad she has had the chance to attend every single one of our class reunions! She says it’s true we tend to have a pretty small turn-out, but at every single reunion, there’s that old patchwork of friends, some we were very close to while at Hood and others we hardly knew at all. All it takes is a couple of us coming together to talk about the “remember whens”. The years melt away, the friendships endure… and somehow there we are, in microcosm: The Class of ’73! I, Sally Parkhurst Van Why, am part of a group that have been writing a round robin chain letter since we graduated. Patricia Suydam Ritter says that she believes that some of the friendships that she made at Hood still exist today due to our chain letter. “It’s so easy to let things “slide” – but when you have made a promise to six others to keep the letter moving around so that you’ll get it back with new info within six months – you keep it going. This friendship is so special because we are all the same age and have all been through many different stages of life – both the good and the bad and have been able to share, support and celebrate with each other through them. It’s a privilege and an honor to be part of such a caring group of people.” Anntoinette Lucia sums up all these comments by expressing how she treasures her Hood friendships. “Whether it is through mini-reunions, dinners, letters, birthday cards or email, there is something wonderful about having women in your life who “knew you when.” Nothing compares to sharing a laugh or reminiscing about the old times, some better than others. What is especially wonderful is how our relationships have morphed over the years. We can credit those bonds that formed all those years ago for the loving and supportive friendships we have today.” I also treasure my friendships from our Hood days and new ones that have developed since I started writing this column. If anyone else has friendship stories you would like to share, please send them to me for the next column.