The cute brunette in the photo is my friend Carmen, a former college roommate and fellow music major at the University of North Texas during the time Phil and I attended there. Carmen is a cellist (I used to be her accompanist--remember, Carmen?) who now plays and teaches professionally in Hartford, Connecticut.
Well, guess what? Carmen--whom I have not seen in over 20 years--is coming to visit me this weekend! I am thrilled to have her come. We had great, fun times together, and she graciously put together the string quartet that played at Phil's and my wedding reception (I don't know why there is a line going across the photo--it is not on the original.)
It should not only be a fun weekend, but an interesting one. My good friend and my fiance used to have some passionate discussions about politics back in college, as Carmen was a liberal Democrat and Phil was a staunchly conservative Republican. Neither of them has changed since then! (I was in transition during my college years, moving from my Democratic upbringing towards following my more conservative instincts, getting helped along by that handsome boyfriend. So at the time I was even less vocal than I am now, choosing to listen more than anything. What I always appreciated, though, was the intelligence and reasonableness of the discourse that I heard from Carmen and Phil. They always managed to argue in good cheer.)
Even though I was politically unsettled during my early college years, I think the indications were there that I would ultimately end up a Republican. Here's a photo from my stint as a security worker at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, pre-engagement to that conservative boyfriend.
Carmen is supporting Barack Obama in the coming election and Phil and I are supporting John McCain. Leave it to us to decide to spend the weekend before the election together! But hey, if Mary Matalin and James Carville can live together day in and day out, I guess a couple of old politically opposed college friends can survive one weekend. Hmmm, I wonder if I could arrange a flat tire on the way to the airport Monday . . . you know, just long enough to delay my Democrat friend's return home until after Election Day!