|Crafts by the other Joan|
|Wheaton High drill team 1978|
Many people dislike their own names, but I’ve always loved mine. There were no other Joans in any of my grade school classes as far as I’m aware and I didn’t know any in college. The famous Joans were gutsy or clever or fun or, in some cases, all three. Saintly badass d’Arc comes to mind, as do Plowright, Fontaine, Crawford, Rivers, Collins and Cusack. Joan Jett apparently rocked my high school, but before my time. And of course the brilliant Didion, whose prose I discovered late, which means there’s more for lucky me to read.
The mom of my dearest friend of forty years was gutsy and clever and fun. A transplanted New Yorker, she was coifed and on-the-go to Mahjong or Wednesday bowling with wine-colored lip liner, blue-shaded eyes and appliquéd jackets. During junior high and high school, it was this mom who buoyed me when my own high-strung and detached mother was unapproachable.
She kissed me as if I were her own child, locked eyes when asking a question, nodded and smiled as she got the answer. She crafted spirit gifts long before today’s high school football and cheerleading moms were born, wrote poetry that gave us courage to march and shake to a 70’s beat while hundreds of our peers looked on, inspired my stubborn self to perform in 20-degree parades and remembered everything – birthdays, pom-pom routine songs, favorite candies.
She was a vibrant and caring role model for her three children, inspiring smiles and warm hearts, facing medical challenges with steadfast fortitude. She was a supportive wife to a man with whom she shared an infinite optimism and energy and devoted daughter to her mother (called Nana), whom she called every day without fail, and father, who at 77-years-old was among the hundred hostages in the 1977 B'nai B'rith headquarters takeover. When she became a nana, her joy multiplied—by seven.
|Joan and Karen, captain and co-captain|