Oct 31, 2004 – morning through lunch
After church Sunday morning, we all assembled at Hanson Field. First, of course, we had to get there. They say it’s 250 steps down from Ridgewood, I’m not sure if that counts just the actual stairs or also the (few) level bits.
A crew turned up from Sahara Television. They wanted to interview Sanjay, but he insisted that they also interview Durjoy, Chris, and me. In Hindi. The others spoke it impressively; all I could think to say was: “Meri Hindi sub kucch bhul gaya hai.” (“I’ve forgotten all my Hindi” – very frustrating, considering how many years I put into studying it.) So they interviewed me in English. We all tried to explain why we came so far for this shindig, and why Woodstock and our classmates are so important to us – we’re family! – but I don’t think they really got it.
Then Sanjay and I were interviewed by Tom Kidder (current or ex-staff) and his recently-graduated daughter for the Woodstock archive. “Move closer together,” said Tom, so we put our arms around each other. Then his daughter asked hesitantly, “Did you two meet at Woodstock?” Well, yes, but we’re not married.
Tom asked us why the class of ’81 is so special and united – a question that many of us were asked by various people throughout the weekend.
Sanjay’s answer was that he thought it was because so many of us had been together since early grades (see the photos above); we were the last class to have such a large group of long-timers.
I agreed with this, but added further that I think it has to do with the demographics of the class. I suspect that we were the only class to really fit Bob Alter’s “ideal” of 1/3 Indian, 1/3 North American, and 1/3 other – remember what happened when we tried to elect a Miss Woodstock? We were such a diverse group that we had to work hard to unite (as I recall, we started to do so around 10th grade), and we have therefore stayed united. Yes, all my years of badgering and pursuing you as self-appointed class secretary had something to do with it, but I don’t want to take too much credit – there would be no interest in being in touch if we hadn’t all liked each other in the first place.
I’m told that someone asked one of our class: “What’s it like to have two millionaires in your class?” I don’t think that we think about it in those terms. It’s wonderful that Sanjay is so willing to spend his time and money to help gather us all, and he clearly does it with no thought of offering charity, nor even any desire to be thanked (he rather tends to shun the limelight). He truly enjoys being with his classmates and is happy to do what he can to make it possible. The attitude among the class, as far as I can see, is that he and Jeet are classmates like the rest of us – we don’t think of them or treat them differently just because they happen to have money. Maybe that’s why millionaires need their old friends.
shot Oct 31, 2004, 1:23 min, 2 MB