An older woman came into our office today. When I mentioned that I'd grown up in Methuen, she asked where I lived and I said, "Right behind the Stephen Barker School."
She said, "I used to teach at the Stephen Barker School. I'm Marion Girardi."
And instantly, the memory came flooding back.
"Bobby is your son, right? I graduated with him. And let me tell you a great story about him."
"When we were in sixth grade, our class was the very first class to go to environmental camp. After we came home, the school board asked if our teacher could attend a meeting with several students to give them feedback on how we enjoyed our trip.
I was chosen, along with Donna Mellor (unbelievably, our teacher's granddaughter!) and Bobby Girardi to go to the meeting. Mrs. Mellor, our teacher, drove us in her car. And afterwards she brought us to Friendly's for a little treat.
Now, I don't remember a thing about the school board meeting. I don't remember riding in Mrs. Mellor's car. But, the only thing I do remember is that, after eating a Jim Dandy Sundae, Bobby Girardi threw up in the Friendly's parking lot!"
Mrs. Girardi laughed her head off! She said she'd never heard that story. And right there in the office, she tried to call her son. She left a message on his phone. "Bob, I just met up with a classmate of yours, Karen Frechette, from Stephen Barker school, and she told me all about you going to the school board meeting after environmental camp, and she told me what you did in the Friendly's parking lot. Call me later!"