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Carly Simon's early '70s song asked "Doesn't anyone stay in one place any more."

A lot of people left StatNisland as soon as they could, seeking greener pastures, as did I.

You pick a spot and make a life, far away.

But your thoughts return, sometimes, to what you left behind.

You go back to a high school class reunion and meet kids with gray hair that you went to kindegarten and all the way through grade school with.

You never hear from them again.

The world has moved on, at a pace that seems the faster you run, the behinder you get, in the manner of the Pennsylvania Dutch expression.

People you were happy to say good bye to, now you miss. You could say we've grown a bit.

You look back and think every one of them has not missed a breath since you left, those that are still among us. They've lived. You've lived. With no contact among each other since, with a few exceptions.

My closest friends in San Francisco happen to be a coupla StatNislanders. When I printed out the "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," story posted by HLWhite from the mountains of California via S.I., and brought it to Da Caffe Roma, we laffed and laffed.

When I think back to the happy days at the beaches where I spent my summers, I miss my lifeguard friends and the beachgoing regulars that I can see so clearly in my mind's eye. That brings up my Curtis classmates.

Of course, then, we were trying to grow up, get an education, and get out into the woild. The last thing we wanted was to be stuck onto some Island held onto the mainland by three, later faw bridges. Grow up and get out was the idea. I saw one classmate at the 25th Curtis reunion in 1983 who took over his dad's pharmacy (Rich Papazian, from the PS 45 bailiwick, I believe) and wondered how he could stand staying in one place anymore. I had trouble understanding it, and am not envious at all.

We all have to make the moves we have to make. You pays yer money and you takes your chances wid life. Keep plugging away. Find something you like that doesn't seem like work, so you can keep doing it. Sounds good to me.

Do I miss things on StatNisland? Sure. But if I went back it would seem that I was seeing ghosts. My sister sent me some family fotos dating from before I was born until I left the Island. A foto of me as a tot in the park, Clove Lakes Park, of course. I recognized the octagonal paving and the swings.

You've gotta watch out you don't get caught too much up wid da nostalgia. Ain't nothing you can do about bringing back the past, and you wouldn't want to anyway, if you thought about it. Selective memory is a great thing.

It's nice talking to a bunch of characters such as gather here because we use the Island as the table for the kawfy klatsch. We all know we're a bunch of rascals with one thing in common, the StatNisland beaches, buses, ferries, schools, the people, especially, and what-not, going back years. That seems to be enuf to keep the conversation going about a host of things that have little to do wid S.I. except it's us doing the talking. This is good enuf for me.

So let's keep the conversation going, with or without da lists. :)


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