Recovered memory

When I was about 7 years old, my family hosted a married couple from Tehran, Iran, in our home for a year.

Let me be clear: I had totally, entirely, black-out-style forgotten about this until last night, when I came across a picture of me, my brothers, my parents, and those two students in their early twenties in front of the Kennedy Monument in Hyannisport. We’re all of us rockin’ the seventies in our knit ponchos, plaid bell bottoms and seriously groovy hair. My Dad has some sideburns you would not believe, and I’m still a shockingly white-blond kid with a thumb-sized gap between her two front teeth.

How weird is it that I had no memory of that until now! Now that I see the picture, I remember so much detail — some lovely, cross-cultural dinners we shared with them, waking up early and waiting for the woman (Talitha? Tah-something, I think) to get out of the bathroom, going to the playground with them and sliding down the slide into her arms, introducing Tah-whatever to instant chocolate pudding (my culinary specialty at the time)… She and her husband were going to school, I think at Bridgewater State, to continue their studies in medicine. This would have been, what? 1978? 1979?

They were sweet and careful and reserved and funny and generous and studious.

So hey! What was all that all about? How did we get hooked up with that gig? Where did those guys go from here? Where are they now? What was that phrase she taught me that made me laugh so hard?

Where can I get a poncho like that again?

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