Sunday, August 2, 2009

30th Anniversary of "Gourmet"

In the fall of 1979, when I started teaching at what was then called Scarborough Junior High School, I made some new friends on the faculty and we decided to get together for monthly dinners at each other's homes. Bob Underwood and I had been in a "Newcomer's" Gourmet group in Michigan and so we invited everyone to our home in Kennebunk for the first "Gourmet". The original group consisted of Bob and I, JoAnne and Dan Sizemore, Carolyn and Bruce Gowdy, Karen and Dave Chadbourne, and Carolyn and Ron Lambert. Suzanne and Mark Lukas later joined the group. Over the past 30 years, through job changes, moves, illnesses and some divorces as well, we have kept our little dinner group going. Members have left and new ones have joined but the original group remains pretty much the same. Many years ago, when Karen and Dave moved to California, Claudia and Bob Dalton joined the group and two years ago, Charlie and Alison Marchese were "initiated". Last night, with the Chadbournes back from California for the summer, we celebrated 30 years together at the Dalton's home in Kennebunk.
Bob Dalton traveled to Japan frequently on business and came to love Japanese culture. Here is a corner of the Japanese garden he built a the corner of his back yard in Kennebunk. (Now if only I could get Hank to build me one!)

Dave Chadbourne and Bruce Gowdy were "original Gourmands" and Hank has been in the group for over 20 years now.

JoAnne Sizemore, Karen Chadbourne and Carolyn Gowdy (matron of honor at my wedding to Hank) are 30 year members; Alison Marchese has been a great addition to the group...she's a good cook!

Hank and Carolyn

Charlie and Alison

Karen and Dave

Claudia and Bob, our hosts

"the girls"

and "the guys"

Karen has taken up the electric guitar (must be the California thing!). What you can't see in the photo is Carolyn and I waving our bics and laughing hysterically!

Best friends...Alison and JoAnne
Our little Gourmet group is about a lot more than food. We've skiied together, ridden in limos and haywagons together, dressed in ridiculous costumes for "theme" dinners, traveled together, laughed and cried together. We've supported each other through raising children, surgeries and illnesses, divorces, weddings and funerals. We've gained weight and lost it...same with hair. Right now, we are all supporting Bob as he goes through a second round of chemo and cheering on Alison as she plans for surgery on Tuesday. JoAnne, Alison and I still work in Scarborough, Claudia teaches in Kennebunk and Karen teaches in California. Our children are all grown now and we have gone from bright-eyed new teachers to grandparents. And still we have"Gourmet"...maybe it's the routine of it, the consistency and predictability of long-term friendship...that keep it going. I just know that I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Happy 30th, fellow "Gourmets"'s to many more laughs together!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the 30 year mark--no one looks a day older!