Neal and Carol Bandlow laughed when I brought up how a car full of us Morrisville Agricultural and Technical College journalism students would pull into their driveway just a couple miles east of the campus and think nothing about knocking on the door and being welcomed in.
That was back in what I consider my glorious first two years of college, from August 1975 to May 1977.
Neal, my teacher back then, and Carol, his very understanding wife, remembered as clearly as I did as a bunch of us sat around a table sharing lunch and way more at the Copper Turret restaurant in the Madison County village that houses the State University of New York college.
Carol reminded me of something I heard back then, too.
She pointed out the window and across Route 20, to the space where the couple first lived when they moved to upstate New York from Michigan so Neal could teach journalism and Carol could teach in the nearby elementary school.
“We moved from there because students were always coming over at all times of the day and night,” Carol said.
Yes, indeed. Teachers and students were all in it together back then.
And we still are, class upon class of journalism students and several generations of journalism teachers.
Hundreds of students gathered for the 25th anniversary of the program in 1992. At least that many came back for a huge bash when Neal Bandlow retired in 1999.
Neal Bandlow suggested this lunch get-together last week to celebrate the birthday of Mike Sorenson, class of ’74, who drove east from his home in Fairport.
We talked about the teacher who had the reputation as being the toughest, Dan Reeder, and the Bandlows talked about a vacation they took together just last summer. We talked to Jerry Leone, aka “Big Jer,” the department head and photography teacher back the, because Carol Bandlow connected him to the party on her cell, from North Carolina.
And there are big plans for more …
If you’d like to read my piece about the longstanding tradition of friendship that embraces SUNY Morrisville journalism teachers and students on waer.org, click the link below.
Do you keep in touch with teachers from college? High school or further back? What traits have you admired most about your teachers?