Leaving the Cousineau’s farm, a quick hug with Bernice before she went to work. Warm good-byes to Marie and Mark. We left with a mixture of reluctance and joy at the great memories we forged and excitement to be back on the road again, looking for what’s around the bend. We headed for Iron Mountain and Kingsford, another place I lived and where my grandmother Lydia Moore Kraus lived before she died. Her funeral was the first time I had ever been to one.
From Karen Halderson Bruchman we learned my other best pal, Judy Gedvick Orler lived in Quinnesec. I love the name Quinnesec, and Keewenaw, Ispeming, and so many other Native American names that dot the Upper P. And, of course, I love Pasty. We had a brochure like this one on our dashboard and bingo, there it was in Quinnesec which is on the way to Iron Mountain.
We pulled in and enjoyed an early lunch. I can honestly say, this was the very best pasty we’ve tasted so far. Moist, enough meat, flaky crust. Scrumptious. We bought two extras for the freezer and if there had been more room, I’d have filled it up with pasty. A full one pounder for $4.24. How can you beat that?
Since Karen gave us rudimentary information from memory about Judy’s whereabouts, her married name, Orler. She lived on a street that sounded like Maple but wasn’t, probably Mapes? I asked to borrow a phone book at the Pasty Oven but they didn’t have one. At lunch, Jim whipped out the computer and checked Google Earth. No maple or mapes, but he found a street a short distance from the The Pasty Oven called Marpe. We drove up Marpe St. about a half block when I spotted a guy outside working near his garage. I walked up and asked him if he knew the Orler family, I was looking for Judy Orler a childhood school friend.
“The woman across the street is a Judy, about your age. I don’t know her last name, though.”
And, it was the right Judy from Longfellow School in Foster City. She didn’t remember me but I remembered her and Karen with such great fondness. No one knows how meaningful a childhood friendship can be or what affect a person you meet along the way will have on you or you on them. She and Karen would periodically come to mind and I would think about my school days, and wish that someday I could see them again. I would wonder what happened to them and what their lives were like. Serendipity twice. It was a full circle for me of pleasant surprises, and I am so grateful that on this trip to Michigan I found them both. I really believe that memories light up our lives.