“The Show” Reunites!


The setting: 1978, a colonial home in rural Virginia: the living room has a stone hearth and stone benches surrounding a large fireplace.

The characters: Two 10-year-old girls with a lot of time on their hands.

The music: 45 RPM records on a turntable in the corner, playing I Will Survive, Cats in the Cradle, Mandy, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, We Are Family, Boogie Fever, Afternoon Delight, etc.

The scene: Karaoke to an empty audience. The girls take turns, each singing lead for her favorite songs in front of the fireplace with microphone in hand, and the other singing and dancing back-up standing on one of the benches. They have a set list and a routine, and it’s called, “The Show.” It is the best thing since sliced bread.


So much tragedy and triumph has occurred in each girl’s life. The deaths of loved ones as well as personal achievements beyond the ordinary. They connect with each other across the country when they can.

Forty-two years later, one girl shows up at the other girl’s house.

The Show goes on.

At least as far as Tracy’s willing to listen to them reminisce about it!

Seriously, Karen moved in to the house across the forest from me when we were five years old, and throughout our childhood we played games of our imaginations. In her living room, in the woods between our houses, in my mom’s dressing room, in the barn. We hid in her basement and I read entire Lord of the Rings trilogy aloud to her. She heard me calling for help the night my father died.

We veered apart at about age 15, to reunite every five or two years during the most extreme peaks and valleys of our lives. And right now seems to qualify as both of those.

Ray Roberts Lake

Tracy and I are camped at a state park in northern Texas at Ray Roberts Lake, thanks to Karen’s most excellent suggestion. The sites are large and private, and the sunset on the lake is stunning, night after night.

There are paved trails through the park as well as dirt ones that wander a bit more, and both Banjo and Karen have walked their butts off with me each day.

Denton, Texas

We’ve gone down closer to Fort Worth once, to relieve Karen of the Santa’s Sleigh worth of packages she received in the mail for us, and to run our usual errands. Lucky for us, the town of Denton, between our campground and Karen’s house, is pretty funky (for Texas) and has several outdoor beer gardens.

And check out those slices of brisket and the pork ribs Tracy’s about to dig into.

The campground is lovely and the campsite private, with a delightful view of the lake. We’ve dried out and gotten caught up.

But there is no describing the value of hanging out with an old friend. I recognize the cadence of her voice and her particular speech patterns. I know the look of her hands as if they were mine.

The best part is that after Tracy and I establish our residency in Texas next week, we’ll be back once a year for doctors appointments and paperwork, and I’ll get to sit with Karen and try to remember all the songs we sang in the show. Maybe after thinking on it for the next several years, we’ll remember them all.

11 thoughts to ““The Show” Reunites!”

  1. Nothing like a long-time friend.

    I hope you’ve already voted in MD or can register to vote before the election in TX. Every vote counts!