Saturday, May 2, 1970. I was a 16-year-old high school junior. I had signed up for the Scholastic Aptitude Test for my college applications. I took the test that day at Cheltenham High School, located in a neighboring suburb of Philadelphia. Before the test began, while I was among a group of students, one of my peers approached me. He said, “Gary, it’s Lee Fuiman.” We had been friends in elementary school. In the third grade I had attended his birthday party. He just said hello. Not another word. That was our meeting, our conversation, and our parting. I had last seen him in the spring of 1964, six years earlier, when we were ten years old. We had been in the same fifth grade class. I was mystified that he recognized me.
Lee Fuiman is now a professor of marine biology at the University of Texas at Austin.
Friday, March 16, 1990. It was my niece’s 15th birthday. I remember the Sunday she was born, in 1975. I was a senior in college, working on a degree in journalism at Penn State. In the afternoon, when the telephone rang, I put down the book I was reading. My mother was calling to tell me my sister had delivered a baby girl. Perhaps my mother told me the choice of a name, “Meredith,” but I do not recall now. I had been engrossed in a recently published book about Freud and the psychoanalytic movement, titled Freud and His Followers by the Canadian scholar Paul Roazen. I had purchased the book days earlier. That school term I took a course in Jewish history taught by a rabbi, and I had chosen as the topic of my term paper, “The Jewishness of Sigmund Freud.” I used Roazen’s book as an historical source for the paper. I was intrigued by Freud’s project, namely, begetting a scientific discovery then gathering about him a body of disciples to disseminate that idea to the world. I probably read for the first time in Roazen’s book about Freud’s self-analysis and his investigations into his dreams in the 1890s, which led to his discovery of psychoanalysis. I recognized myself in Freud. In reading about his life and work, it was as if I had met up unexpectedly with an old friend.
Be that as it may.