I went to Syracuse last week for business. I’ve only been to that city once before and that was 38 years ago. Back then, I was a sixteen year old whose only wish was to see the world. The words swirled and throbbed in my head like a wild drum beat that wouldn’t stop. My friend Michelle had moved to a nearby town and invited me up for a week the summer she had left our neighborhood. I jumped at the chance to travel on my own and begin my tour of the world.
My mother, a 1950’s woman, insisted I purchase a “traveling outfit.” It consisted of a pair of beige polyester bell-bottom pants, buffalo sandals with a snappy red paint blob that I added as a decorative element, a black floral polyester top and a polyester scarf around my neck tied in a fashionable knot. I was a country girl trying her best to be chic on a Greyhound bus. There wasn’t a natural fiber on me which is classic for the 1970’s. You can’t imagine the thrill I felt as my bus pulled out the Port Authority Terminal in New York. They might as well have announced on the PA system – “She’s off!”
I should also note that I was the only one dressed for the occasion.
Syracuse to me then seemed like such a far off distant place with exotic promise. Seeing it now I could only laugh. The first stop in my “world tour” was a tired city. Salt and the Erie Canal brought wealth years ago and there are buildings with amazing architecture to prove what once was. Still, it remains the first stop in what turned out to be an amazing adventure.