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Saturday, April 13, 2013


Longine and Chris, my landlords, invited me to a party yesterday. I had a pork pie in my freezer that Linda had made them and I was going to cook it for them. But at the last minute, they postponed the party till today. Yesterday was not a good weather day. It was cold and windy and it was sleeting for a good part of the afternoon. It was not a problem. I was going to be with my mother today, but I would be back in plenty of time as the party would not begin till 6:00.

Then Chris calls me at 4:00 to tell me that she let herself in to get the pie as the party was starting at 4:00. She forgot to tell me. Oh well. So I went home and had a salad and thought I might not go. There were a lot of people there and most of them, practically all of them, I did not know. But Christine would have none of that. She came to my door and nudged me into going. I couldn't say no.

I brought my coffee and after a few minutes, found myself sitting at the table next to a man who looked rather familiar and I don't know why. We started asking each other questions. He was short, grey haired with a diamond in his left ear. I was sure I didn't know him, but there was something about him.

This is the chorus from St. Theresa's Grammar School. He had this picture on his phone. I am the second one in on the left in the second row. Raymond Pare is in the front row to the right of the short boy.

We were in the same class with the same nuns, knew the same kids. Had the same outcast problems. He now pronounces his last name as Pa-ray. But back then he was Pareee. It is like our last name. We were the Messiers. You may be messy but we're messier.  now it is messy-ay. We change our last names to be what? - more presentable? I don't know.

So we talked and compared our lives. He ended up having a band in the seventies and eighties with the white pants and shoes and loud shirts with the girl singer. I will keep his email address so I can get more information from him.

It is a strange world indeed. I have not seen him since 1963. Fifty years. And now this picture. I just love this.


  1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could take some of the other childhood pictures and write about them like you have done here. You could even go further with this one, like what do you remember about the choir? I can't remember how we were made to sing in the church. I can barely remember practice in the school. I know it was all singing, no instruments. I remember only one nun there. I can still see her face in my mind. I liked her. She wasn't mean. But she wasn't very bright either. She had assured her young students that electricity was an act of God. Duh.

    As I read your blog I remembered the name Raymond Pare from our youth, remembered it as having been pronounced Pare-eee. Then when you went on about the change in pronunciation I started to consider why. It must be that his name was actually Paré originally, and the accent was dropped for US English. Just as our name was originally Mess-ee-é and was mucked up for US English. Mucked up again with the -ay ending. It's all language, no?

  2. Oh, I didn't think of that. Mess-ee-é would definitely have been the French way of pronouncing it. Like Paré. Even I was mistaken. Who would have thought. Still, your pronunciation is still a better French than the current one.