Monday, November 5, 2007

Bradley Speech Team Alumni Reunion

This last weekend we went to Bradley University so I could attend a Bradley Speech team alumni reunion of sorts. Team members from various years dating back to the late seventies & early eighties attended the event. The event coincided with the anual LE Norton invitational tournament; a college speech tournament dozens of the best teams in the nation attend. Friday night people gathered at a local pub to meet, and Theo and I stopped in for a few hours, although I did not take pictures. I took all my boys to see the campus and the tournament on Saturday, but we were unable to stay very long. Ben had not napped, and he was way too tired to function by the time we were there. I did manage to snap a few picture of Bradley Hall, and the statue of Lydia Moss Bradley in front of it.

During my brief visit to the tournament I got to see Marianne and Sarah, former teammates.
Saturday night a banquet was held at the Radisson near the campus. So many special people were here, many whom I had not seen in nearly a decade.
This is Jill, a teammate and Wendy, a coach I had:
And myself...
Ben and Sarah, the same couple we see occasionally in Madison. Ben and Sarah were both my teammates. They announced rather recently they are expecting baby #2, and Sarah could not have been more beautiful. So excited for them, and jealous, too.
This is Gina, Dawn, and Eugene. Gina and Dawn were my coaches @ different times, and Eugene was the team's Vice President when I was a freshman. They are all wonderful friends... and Gina and Eugene are expecting their 2nd baby right now, too. I saw pictures of their first daughter, Bella, and she is an angel! Oh my goodness!
This is my former head coach Dan speaking to us after dinner. I was so excited to see Dan, and his message was great. Very inspiring.
These are my former roommates, Becky & Cindy. I was so very excited to see these girls. I think I could have hugged Becky all night! The times we had in our home on Moss Ave, rank as some of the very best in my life.
This is Amy, myself, and Sarah. We were all teammates. Seeing Amy was a delight, it had been nearly a decade. Sarah and I have been in touch my e-mail, but it had been way too long since we saw each other. She brought her wedding pictures, and she was an absolute princess on her wedding day. Seeing old friends is such a warming experience.
This is Sarah, Dawn, Dana, and myself. Hadn't seen Dana since my wedding. I wish I could go see her stand-up routine, but she performs in California. She was truly a highlight in my evening.
This is seconds after we tried to take a group picture of all the people who competed during the Dan and Karen era, probably about 94-2007... Can't wait to see how the professional ones come out!
After the banquet some folks went to the Hotel Pere Marquette for more drinks and laughs. This is Jill, Chrys, and myself. Jill is one of the most special people I know. Theo and I talked about taking a date night to go and see her perform in Chicago soon. Chrys was my teammate and he manages the restuarants in this hotel. He's incredible. So fun to see him, and talk about speech a little. Chrys, if you see this... I did some writing last night partly because of our conversation. First time I picked up a pen to write poetry or prose in 6 years.
This is Gina and myself. We both pulled out picture of our kids and acted like mommas. She absolutly made my evening! Isn't she beautiful?
This is Jenny and Athena. I had never met Jenny before, but she was hilarious; she was Athena's teammate, and Athena was my persuasion coach. Athena is now married to my former teammate Josh, and they have a little girl, too. So cool to see everyone so happy and grown up and such. Crazy.
This is Marianne & Eric, both former teammates. Marianne has her PhD now, she studied in Arizona, so we have not seen each other in 7 years. I loved hearing her talk about her studies. Very cool stuff. Eric was my duo parter, and he is married to another former teammate and friend, the beautiful Jaime. I did not get a picture of Jaime and I together, I'm bummed. But they live pretty close, we plan on getting together soon. My plan is for Ben, Sarah, and Harry, their son, to come down to our house, and Eric and Jaime to come up... meet in the middle. Wouldn't that be fun? Yes yes yes.
Here's Jill, Marianne, and Eric:
I wish this one would have some out better, but my flash was not firing. I think Eugene got one with his camera, and I'm certain it will be a hundred times better. This is Jill McCall, myself, and Gina. Jill was a senior when I was a freshman. She was such a lively and wonderful influence on me back then, and a teammate in the truest sense of the word. I think her performance in prose semis at NFA was the most memorable performance I have ever seen. I remember I was sitting beside one of her judges, Tiffany Post, and we had to share a tissue box for our tears and snot. Jill is magical.
This is Jill, Jill, Gina, Misty, and Marianne. Beautiful, beautiful, ladies. I did not know the first Jill personally, but she performed at a camp when I attended when I was in high school and I still remember it; that attests to her talent for sure. Misty Sue was teammate and coach, and I wish I would have taken more pictures of her as well. Misty is a soul mate of sorts.
Adding myself and Jill to the picture. Happiness on a mega-level. The most inspiring people I know, for sure.

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