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Friday, May 6, 2016

Gray Matter: Youthful summer adventures

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I have often expressed the wish that my columns could be interactive. This one,  about the summer adventures of today's young folks, is a case in point.  I'm certain many of you have more interesting stories, but with no means of collecting them, I'm reluctantly using  examples from my own family.

            My granddaughter, Katie, who recently graduated from Montana Tech at Butte, will soon be home from a hostelling trip in Europe.  In the past, such treks involved a lot of parental anxiety, but that has eased a bit as kids now communicate regularly by e-mail.  In one message she told of being in total awe of Rome's ancient splendor, but she seemed  equally amazed by the profusion of haute-coutier names on so many shop fronts.  When she kept demanding pictures of herself standing in front of those places, her traveling companion amusingly chided her,  "There's a thousand-year-old cathedral across the street and you want a picture of Hermes!"  I can scarcely wait for a full-blown account of that junket.

            A niece and her husband who live in Iowa City hosted Justin, a delightful German student, this past school year, and they  plan to host another lad in September.  Their daughter Bethany, through her first year of college, has accompanied Justin back to his homeland.  His family sounds most interesting.  The father's people regularly vacation in southern France.  So the day after the kids were welcomed to his home in Bad Wurtemberg, they flew on from Stuttgart to Nice, to join the vacationers in Provence.  While in that fabled area, they toured the famed Grasse perfume makers and strolled the nearby beaches.  Bethany reported it was too cold to swim, but she at least got to dip her toes in the Mediterranean.

            Next the family drove back to their home in Germany, a long but rewarding trip, as it was through one of Europe's most scenic areas.  A dual-purpose visit to nearby Heidelberg was then scheduled.  In addition to touring that classic location, she met next year's student visitor, Marian.  He and his family are a bit uneasy about his adventure,  so it was reassuring for them to meet a member of his host family.

            Justin's mother, who is English-born , is planning to take their guest to visit London where her family lives.  Bethany also hopes to go to Austria as her grandfather, who came to America as a WWII displaced person, has sisters living there.

You see  what I mean about the fascinating stories.  I do wish it were possible to share some of yours.

Oh, I must tell one more tale, though it's really unrelated. You may have seen  the current TV show "On the Lot."  It seems a group of well-known Hollywood executives put out a world-wide call for amateur film makers to submit brief works. Judging from

these submissions, sixteen individuals were picked to compete for a million-dollar contract with  a major film company.

Trever James, from Great Falls, MT, was one of those chosen from thousands of entries. He was a classmate and good friend of  Katie's sister, Sarah.  I  met him two years ago when he was a groomsman at her wedding.   Trever, who works at film making in Hollywood, lasted "On the Lot" through the first two rounds. Unhappily, he was sent "off " this week.  I'm told he will continue following his dream in the film capitol, but winning this would  have gotten him on the fast track a good bit sooner. 

Still, it was great fun watching this family friend on prime time TV !