No Second Chances? Who says? Fifty Years After —

The link here doesn’t seem to work any more. I’ll try and figure out a way of getting the story posted more permanently. Fifteen minutes of fame, no kidding! 

Yes!  for complete story, see post above. 

Original lead:  

Interesting to remember, fun to write! Check it out, peeps — in our daily newspaper in Northampton, complete with photo. As Andy Warhol promised, my fifteen minutes of fame —

No second chances? Who says? Fifty years after first visit, writer settles into life in Northampton | GazetteNet.com.

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This entry was posted in Enlightenment, Etcetera, Happiness, Home, Memory, Personal Essay, Pioneer Valley, Writers. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to No Second Chances? Who says? Fifty Years After —

  1. I so very enjoyed the article! How lovely to have settled in an area that is both familiar and new; yet continues to inspire and brighten your soul.

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  2. Smallpeace says:

    Oh Judith, what a lovely photo and inspiring article. You are officially my “aging fiercely” guru. No pressure.

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  3. Patti Kuche says:

    Judith, what a thrilling expose into the road to contentment what with the interesting stops you made along the way and continue to travel with all your wonderful activities. Thank you so much for your gentle inspiration which endures way longer than any 15 minute fame frame!

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Oh, well, I grew up with the “so what have you done for me lately” syndrome. Which means I’ll always be thinking about what comes next anyway. But shots of contentment at frequent intervals are good for the soul!

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      • Patti Kuche says:

        Would love to hear more about that syndrome!

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          Obviously you didn’t grow up Jewish, in New York, m’dear. Grownups had work ethics. Kids had, what shall I say? school ethics? Achievement ethics? Anyway, just because you did really well on that report card, for example, by the next day another achievement was due. Resting on your laurels was right out.
          A variation of the syndrome: What happened to the other two points?
          Say you got 98% on a test, sure enough came the question, So, what happened to the other two points?
          Tiger mothers weren’t invented by today’s Asian parents!!!!!

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          • Patti Kuche says:

            Oh that syndrome . . . . which you are right, I didn’t grow up with but would have given anything to have done so. I, an only girl with many brothers, could get all the A’s in the world, but it was C for Celebration in our house when some of the slower boys moved up the ladder from E’s and D’s!

            Mr Kuche on the other hand grew up with a very demanding father who always wanted to know about the missing two points. He hated it!

            We were both brought up Catholic which came with its own set of work ethics, the feature being sufferance! It was meant to be good for you!

            How did this translate into the parenting of your own children?

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          • Touch2Touch says:

            I knew Jewish girls with brothers (I had none) who suffered your same experience. One friend was still bitter in middle age at being automatically denied the college education she would have graced (hey, girls don’t need education!) for the sake of the brother who dis-graced it.
            Ah, yes, and whichever way it goes, it’s always meant to be good for you. Which explains the old adage, The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Because the intentions are usually good. (Although not entirely or automatically.)
            As for my own parenting? Not my strong suit. Reacting AGAINST things can bring you, oddly enough, into the same not-good places, albeit from another direction.
            All of which could lead us to a discussion of forgiveness, much devalued in our world and sorely needed. But that would really open up a discussion!

            I like the new pope’s style. The substance is still the same, true, but when he says, Who am I to judge? it really makes a difference.

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  4. I do think life is just a lot of side roads and many of them do loop around. As they might say in Thailand, “same, same but different”.
    I don’t know your area (Boston and Lowell [worked for Wang back in the day]) but Smith was unfinished business in the best of senses.
    Funnily enough I’m writing a story about ‘going back’ right at the moment.
    Great article btw.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      A straight line isn’t always the best way between points! I love your Thai saying, Same, same but different. Sums it right up.
      We’re now a couple of hours west of Boston (and Wellesley) etc. More country.
      I remember when Wang was the BIG NEW STUFF. What did you do for them back in the day? Will your story be on your blog? If not, I’d love to see it somehow when it’s finished.
      🙂

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  5. Gemma says:

    Look at you! How awesome is that? Fame and living the good life. Great article!

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  6. Oh Judith, I loved reading this. So filled with energy and an insatiable joie de vivre! And the pictures of you are fabulous.

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  7. Pauline says:

    Look at you! I remember meeting you when you first moved to the Berkshires and how impressed I was to have made such a wonderfully talented new friend. Isn’t it wonderful to feel that “at home” feeling! Yes, you’re a good fit with Northampton and it’s lucky to have you!

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Well, thank you, my original Sheffield-ite. It was the same for me. I will never be as “at home” in Mother Nature’s world as you are. I was awed and impressed and delighted, and still feel exactly the same about you!

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  8. Patti Kuche says:

    As much as Mr Kuche hated the pressure, he was very forgiving of his father whom he believed did everything with the best intentions. This is the polite version. Interestingly enough when it came to our own children, all boys, Mr Kuche refused to push whereas I was a little more inclined to nudge. As you say, reactions against . . . we can’t seem to help ourselves!

    As for the new Pope, I never expected to hear such a sensibility! Would love to know what the Papists in the family think of this renegade.

    Love your bright-eyed photo for the article Judith, it has a depth of serene confidence to it!

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Seventy-eight years rub off a lot of jaggedy edges. There are losses, don’t get me wrong, but they’re mostly physical. Psychologically, on the whole it’s great!

      For eight years (longest traditional job I ever held) I was a campus minister at Fordham at Lincoln Center. (Not “big” Fordham in the Bronx at Rose Hill, they never would have hired the motley likes of me.) Working with Jesuit and other priests at this “mission territory” institution was an amazing experience. I got to give homilies at daily Mass (does it matter whether or not they were formally called that? I don’t think so; they were what they were and everybody knew it), and some of the Jesuits encouraged me to step out and do all kinds of pastoral things, where I was inclined to hold back (that’s what a childhood as an orthodox Jew will do for some women). It’s all been interesting.

      I don’t usually suggest this on my blogs, but perhaps if you can rustle up a copy somewhere in the NY Public Library system, you might enjoy reading Convergence, my spiritual memoir. Adventure comes in many guises, that’s my experience, and the book is the story of my biggest adventure.

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      • Patti Kuche says:

        Judith, this all leads to so many more questions. The path you have travelled is truly fascinating. As for your memoir, I have ordered it on Amazon and can’t wait to read it!!!

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          I hope you’ll find it interesting. In many ways it’s a “New York story”; and in many ways you are a New Yorker now! I don’t know if that applies to Mr. Kuche as well, of course.
          🙂

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  9. YOU are a Rock Star! xoxo

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  10. Lovely article! It’s wonderful that after so many years you get a chance to return to this road in your life, and more importantly find that it feels like home. Love the photos too! 🙂

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  11. 2e0mca says:

    Very nice Judith – who needs time machines when we can roll back decisions and renew our old passions and interests 🙂 Today is only Yesterday’s Tomorrow 😉

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  12. djmrakiey says:

    Wonderful and inspiring … just go to show … life adventure is all about choices …. 🙂 thank you for sharing.

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  13. Madhu says:

    A great read Judith! How wonderful for you that you were given a second chance to return to a place where you felt you belonged. I feel hopeful of achieving some measure of that contentment someday. And yes, you look absolutely gorgeous 🙂

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Madhu!
      It strikes me that I’m carrying out the promises made in the poem Warning, by Jenny Joseph:
      When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
      With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

      It’s a terrific poem, you might want to read it and think about it in preparation for the faraway day when you find yourself traveling in the Land of Old, a very different place from any other.
      (And not at all bad, I’m here to tell you. :-))
      xoxoxoxo

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      • Madhu says:

        Almost there Judith! And no, it doesn’t seem too bad at all from where I stand. At least not as bad as I expected, when I assumed fifty was ancient!. Except for time seeming to race by so much faster 🙂

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          Energy and enthusiasm are youthful traits, Madhu, and you have them in abundance. Energy may begin to flag (and does) but enthusiasm, the looking forward to the new, the unusual, the learning — that can continue. As you say, The urge to wander, whether in person or in mind and spirit!

          OTOH, that phenomenon of the swiftness of time, oh my, it does keep accelerating. I don’t know any solution to that. But every so often I just sit down and breathe deeply, or look at something beautiful for a while.
          🙂

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