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September 17, 2004 - Image 92

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-09-17

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Last Call

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ksi a


May the coming year be filled
with health and happiness for
all our family & friends.


Dr. Jack and Beverley Singer & Family






ack in the
day, I
know who showed
up at the reunion
until the pictures
were developed.
But 30 years
later, it's become a
place for comfort
and solace.
It began in
1974, when a half
dozen strangers
became friends and
party animals on a dormitory floor
in the primordial soup known as
Michigan State University.
As freshman year ended and no
one flunked out, we decided to
meet at my roommate's family cot-
tage for a July weekend in Port
Huron and relive the past.
As we moved from dorm to off-
campus housing, the friendships
solidified and grew to a core of 25
young men and women, and we
stuck together like family.
One year, 13 of us moved into a
former fraternity house, built a bar
in the basement and called it our
And through the years — through
bell-bottoms and skinny ties, mar-
riages and divorces and sons and
daughters — we've looked forward
to a reunion in that cottage every
After college, we spread across the
country and kept in contact
through letters and phone calls.
We used our vacation time to
visit each other, too. But we could-
n't wait for Port Huron, when a
cottage that comfortably slept 12
turned into a KOA campground
with tents popping up along the
We used to bring photographs
from school days and past reunions,
but visual cues were hardly neces-
sary. The memories lived in the
Life got busy, as it always does;
and most couldn't make it every
year, but we could always expect to
get a phone call from someone or a

Harry Kirsbaum's e-mail address is

surprise guest from the dorm would
show up unexpectedly.
As we grew older and more
responsible, the tone of the week-
end turned from just pure fun and
enjoyment to something much
According to the MSU Alumni
Association, our reunion holds the
record for the longest sustained
gathering of a non-sanctioned
Michigan State group — but I con-
sider it more than a "group."

A Homecoming

In recent years, we changed the
time and the venue to a September
weekend in East Lansing during a
home game; and last weekend about
a dozen of us spent the weekend
watching MSU beat Central
Michigan in a very dull game.
We shared drinks and dinner at
our old hangouts. We joked and
laughed; but the gathering had
some serious moments, too.
We've heard some are dealing
with debilitating illness and some
are having trouble at work.
For the third year in a row, one of
us lost a father; and this year it was
my turn, when Dad recently passed
away after a 12 year fight with
He died in Florida. Two hours
after we buried him, we had to
evacuate because of Hurricane
Frances, so Mom sat shivah in the
back seat of a car.
I got to vent to my friends. I
talked about the unfairness of it all,
the basic Jewish rituals that my
family was denied in our greatest
time of need. They offered no
advice; just listened.
Those are questions better
answered by rabbis, anyway. I just
needed to be with my friends.
After two weeks mourning with
family in Detroit, my mother's
heading back to Florida. My broth-
er and his family will drive her
from Jacksonville to Hallandale.
Back at home, she'll find the com-
fort and solace only her closest
friends can give.
I understand. 111


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