Thursday, August 05, 2010

The office air-conditioning broken, I'm released from work at noon on Friday, July 23rd. Happy to get a jump on the weekend, I decide to drive to lunch at one of my old East Dearborn haunts, the M & M Cafe, and on the way over, I happen to hear a report of a Cessna crashing into Lake Michigan, at about ten o'clock that morning. The pilot, co-pilot and three passengers, including a cancer patient being transported to the Mayo Clinic, are all missing as of the time of this report.

Sad news, I think, but tragedies in this vale of tears are a dime a dozen. I have my whitefish lunch and drive home. I post to my blog the following day, on the completely unrelated subject of the Royal Oak Parking Gestapo, still oblivious to the fact that my old college sweetheart, Irene nee Iseminger, was on board that doomed aircraft.

I am online Sunday morning when the AOL headline piques my interest. It seems a letter was recovered from the crash: the doomed passengers' parting message to kith and kin. The story sounds too poignant to ignore. That's when I see her name.

I'd fallen hard for her. In the back of my mind, I thought some day, innocently, perhaps over coffee at her hometown's greasy spoon, we could relive old memories.

Thirty years are like the twinkling of an eye. They buried her today.

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