I met Maggie 40 years ago this September. (That’s right—Forty freakin’ years ago!) We were both attending Central Washington University (then CWSC) in Ellensburg, and both doing our classroom “Early Field Experience” in Selah, a small community about 35 miles south of the college.
I commuted with her the entire fall quarter, and we “bonded,” as they say. She was driving “Pearl,” a 1974 white Pontiac Firebird, and we sang songs and talked teaching on our trips to and from school each day.
Upon graduation, she began teaching music in Walla Walla, and I ended up on the southwest Washington coast—a driving distance of nearly eight hours from WW2. Nevertheless, we’ve stayed in touch.
In 1981, Maggie stood up for me at my wedding (I’ve forgiven her for that). In 2000, she came out to do the “Bridge Walk” with me (although a nasty heel spur prevented me from actually walking that year). And once we went to the Tri-Cities together and got makeovers and sang Karaoke in a country western bar (now THAT’S bonding!).
Throughout our careers, we were both very active in the WEA—the teachers’ union—and compared notes on our respective school district contracts. But when I retired in 2006, Maggie, the energizer bunny, kept right on teaching. (I didn’t quite understand that—wasn’t 30 years enough?)
Through the magic of Facebook, I watched as Maggie’s children got married, and as she became a grandmother. And when I found myself drooling last year over her new Mustang convertible, I knew it was about time for me to have another muscle car, too!
Maggie finally retired a couple weeks ago. Although she was still having fun, she decided 38 years was her magic number. In a few months, she’ll join me at the 60 mile mark, and there are lots of fun things on her bucket list.
Viva la Retirement, Maggarina! Come visit soon!