By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury – Through social media, many people have reconnected with long lost friends and acquaintances. But recently two former high school classmates connected again after an astonishing 78 years, thanks to a special calendar.
Each year Benchmark Senior Living creates a calendar that features a monthly profile of a resident who lives at one of their facilities. When Roderick MacLeod, who has lived at Shrewsbury Crossings since May of last year, was looking through the 2016 calendar, much to his surprise he saw a familiar face – Stanley Gird. The two had graduated from Brighton High School in 1938 and had not seen each other since. Gird now lives in the Billerica Crossings.
After hearing about this, Susan LaBossiere, an administrator at Shrewsbury Crossings, got in touch with Billerica Crossings’ Programming Director Suzy Hicks to arrange a meeting for the two men. So, together with his daughter Joyce and Hicks, Gird came to Shrewsbury Crossings to have lunch and catch up with MacLeod Jan. 26.
Both men said they remembered the other right away, in spite of not seeing each other since graduation. When asked if they would like to meet again, both were thrilled with the idea, LaBossiere said.
During their conversation, the men both found they had a connection with art.
Although MacLeod was a talented artist in high school, even winning a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts School, he worked as a civil engineer after serving in the Navy. But he still found time to paint and draw as a hobby.
Gird served in the U.S. Army for four years and then became a carpenter. To this day, he still enjoys drawing cartoons; recently he held his first art show at Billerica Crossings.
Now that they are both 95, physically they may have slowed down a bit, but the men still have a stellar recollection for details of days very long past. They both are charming and witty, which they showed as they playfully made faces for those trying to take their pictures at the luncheon.
Gird has a lightness about him, a ready smile and is still very social, his daughter said. He enjoys musicals and visiting with his relatives and the other residents at his facility.
“He likes to make the girls happy!” she joked.
MacLeod is a bit on the quiet side, and enjoys spending time with his family, especially his son Dana, who also lives at Shrewsbury Crossings.
As the two old friends chatted and answered questions on their lives, it was apparent that it was a special day for both.
“Just seeing you again today,” MacLeod said quietly, as he looked intently at his old friend. “That’s the best part.”