Amy and I shared a love of science, but that's not where our story began...it began in BAND CAMP.
We became close friends at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey in the mid-1970s. Thousands of hours of lunch room chats and band practices culminated in a whirl-wind senior year. It was a crazy year because it was the year leading up to July 4th, 1976...the country's bicentennial anniversary. We both played bagpipes in the Governor Livingston Highlander Girls Pipe Band, a group that performed both separately and in combination with the entire GL Highlander band. Our band was wildly popular for bicentennial events; on top of our usual football half-time shows, band competitions, and Scottish Games. It seemed like we lived in kilts on school buses the whole year. Two trips to Florida for national championship competitions, parades ad nauseum, late-nights marching and marching and marching on the practice field, plus prepping for college and once-in-awhile... visits with our families, discovering boys, and LOTS of teenage angst. It was amazing! We had a blast.
During our college years, we had a small group of close friends who got together to talk and share our lives during every school break. Gradually, most of the group went their separate ways, but Amy and I stayed close. I wound up studying for my doctorate at Harvard, while Amy's boyfriend Fred was doing his graduate work at M.I.T. During those years, Amy would often visit from Cornell, where she was also working on a Ph.D. The three of us traveled all over the Cambridge/Boston area taking advantage of the concerts, the parks, the pubs, and all the other fun activities available to students in this cultural hub.
After graduate school, all three of us wound-up, once again, in the same part of the country. I did a post-doc in San Francisco, while Amy and Fred did post-docs at Berkeley. We got to explore another bay area cultural nexus...Chinese New Year in SF, wine in Napa Valley, the 50th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge, and much, much more... when we could get out of the lab! I have many fond memories of those years. Unfortunately, as so often happens in life, we gradually drifted apart after our post-docs. I took a job in the pharmaceutical industry in New Jersey doing cancer drug develop, while Amy and Fred landed academic posts in Houston, Texas. We rarely saw each other after that. Still, I mourn my friend's passing and will always remember all the good times we had together.