Alumni Weekend at Franklin & Marshall College

It’s not often we have house guests, so we were glad to welcome Karen and Justin, both friends and F&M alums, to stay with us for Alumni Weekend. Both arrived Thursday by train. I was happy to pick them up because going to the train station is a bit like stepping back through time for me. Lancaster has a grand old station with a columned facade, wide stairs leading to the concourse, and wooden benches worn smooth from decades of weary butts. Of course, the place is due for a renovation, and I’m sure those who trudge through the doors day after day find plenty of faults to dim the romance. My classmate Karen hails from sunny Santa Barbara, Calif., but for some reason, she keeps coming back to the dreary Northeast. She is spending the next year in grad school at the Teacher’s College of Columbia University. She brought along a sour cream apple walnut pie from the Little Pie Company in Grand Central Station.

I worked with Justin for a couple of years at F&M before he moved on to a job at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s very knowledgeable about higher education and will someday make a fine college president. He also bleeds blue and white…but for F&M, not Penn State. He gave us the baby’s first stuffed toy, a teddy bear in U-Penn colors.

Friday night, we all at dinner at Lancaster’s best Mexican/Peruvian restaurant, El Serrano, with a few more friends. Steph, another classmate of mine, flew in from North Carolina to visit her family and attend Alumni Weekend. Terri, a friend from work, was also there with her husband Nate.

On Saturday the mists of England that had descended upon us over the previous days gave way to sun and blue skies, so it was a great day for all the events on campus. I snagged free tix to the $11 picnic lunch for alumni. Lucky I did too, as I would have hated to pay for the mediocre fare they offered.

We all went with Terri and Nate to their church on Sunday. The services at Lancaster County Bible Church offer rock music, stadium seating, funny skits, multimedia presentations, and Longaberger baskets for the offering. Aleisha really enjoys it, but I’m too much of a Lutheran to take much more than small doses of contemporary worship. Afterward, we went to breakfast at a small café downtown called Wish You Were Here to wrap up a great weekend with friends we don’t see nearly enough of.