I met Judy the second I made it to JFK. Her friends were crying at her departure and I said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of her."
We landed and roommates were assigned. Judy was placed with Lena, and we made a trio: laughing, sharing stories, drinking the free drinks that were thrown at Judy at the bars (and that were handed over to Lena and me, who never had any money). We traveled the British Isles, did normal college-worthy excursions, took classes together, explored, and found all sorts of mischief. Actually, mischief only arose when Judy brought it around, because she was a magnet for the adventurous sort and I was always invited, with Lena, to tag along.
I had the luck of doing the rest of my college years with Lena (and her roommate Becca) and Judy I continued to travel the United States after we graduated (she spent many Christmases at my house, too - loving mom's holiday cookies and giving herself a tummy ache every season). Judy remains the only friend I have, too, who has visited all my relatives and zapped them with her personality, energy, flavor and funk.
I wish I could join them on their reunion later this month (it's been 25 years), but my calendar is full. Seeing the photos brings me back to Wigmore Place, Regents College, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Canterbury, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and all the fringe theater we saw.
It was a trip full of spontaneity and growth - one that put me on the direction I've been on ever since. There, I studied with Carol Boyce Davies who single-handedly changed my worldview, global perspectives, and life-mission.
I am cherishing these photos immensely, especially because they came out of the blue.
No grays. No aches. For a little while, we lived totally stress free, wide-eyed and frivolous in our world. If only we could go back and live it all over again.