Monday, July 23, 2012
Old friends, new friends, good times
Daughter Courtney hosted the party, and when the attendees weren't hitting Vickie with 'old' jokes (remarkably few, actually-- it was a kind crowd) they were fawning over Vickie's first grandchild, Courtney's Sawyer.
It's been nearly 20 years since I met Vickie's family while on a four-month trip
around the country talking with kids about growing up. In that series, we talked with kids in different family environments, regions, social situations. Vickie's other daughter Libby was the main subject of the story, a high school dance student at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.
The focus of the story was how young people of gay parents grew up. Was it any different than other kids', did they miss out on any social aspects? Twenty years later, I have the same opinion I did then-- no one can have too many mothers. Libby and Courtney are like any successful, talented, smart, happy and beautiful woman. Vickie did very well, indeed.
Libby used her training to become part of Dance Kaleidoscope, a professional dance troupe in Indianapolis. This week, she's in Oregon for a special arts festival. As Libby was telling me Saturday, she is easily the 'senior' dancer now, but there's little doubt she can still dance rings around the rookies. She has the social skills and patience of her mother--a kindergarten teacher-- while helping youngsters learn to dance.
Courtney was 10 years old when I watched her bounce all over the room opening presents on Christmas morning. Until Sawyer was born, Courtney traveled all over the U.S. opening Texas Road House restaurants. She has a new job at the restaurant now, one that lets her stay at home with Sawyer and boyfriend Wade.
Their lives have changed dramatically in 20 years, but Vickie's family and I remain good friends. Of those 16 stories we wrote and photographed two decades ago, Libby's is the one that touched me most deeply. I cherish our lasting friendship.