“You can go, but there has to be a chaperone.” Words spoken by my mother, when I asked to go to the beach with my high school sorority sisters. Going into my senior year, I was naive and sheltered, but ready for adventure. And boy, did I get it.

We girls were invited to a party, and boys were there also, some unknown. One of them caught my eye, and I  must have impressed him by strumming my ukulele when we all sang together. I knew nothing about music, just a few tunes. (He later graduated from Oberlin, music major.)

In the movie “South Pacific,” Ezio Pinza sings “Some Enchanted Evening,” about seeing a stranger across a crowded room. One of the lines is “and somehow you know, you know even then, that somewhere you’ll see her, again and again.”

Flashback to that night long ago, when the boy and I exchanged glances across the crowded room; a bit of magic happened, and our first impressions of each other were strong and meaningful. Later that night, I took a solitary stroll on the boardwalk, and coming the other way was the same boy, with his brother.

We started talking and walking, climbed to the top of a lifeguard stand, and continued talking until 3 o’clock in the morning. His parents were not happy with him, my chaperone wasn’t pleased with me, but we managed to see each other again on the weekend, and again and again and again.

It has now been over 60 years, we have had different lives, but we still manage to see each other, write, talk, email. A lasting friendship, from a favorable first impression. What a treasure!

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