I recently got this letter in the mail from a fellow Newark High School graduate Chuck Cover. Seems I sent it to him about fifteen years ago, prior to a reunion. I tried to trick him into thinking me fit and fancy.
I’ve been to several NHS reunions, but two stand out clearly in my mind.
My favorite reunion prank was played with a writer friend, Jane Guill, author of Simon and Schuster’s Nectar From a Stone. Jane and I made up a fancy classmate, named her “Deweybrat” and spun an exotic world trotting lifestyle for her. Weekly we would meet for breakfast. Jane would dictate tales about beautiful Deweybrat, owner of a lingerie factory. Dewey traveled the world marketing her products. She also had a gorgeous hunk handsome man in her life. Jane based him on her hunk handsome Welsh husband, Andy.
I asked family members and friends if they had any exotic trips coming up. Jane wove the locations into our letters. My friends then posted mail from all over the world! I have no idea how many we sent, but the prank went on for the better part of a year. I even paid for a ticket for me, as Alice, and for Dewey, anonymously.
It was a gas, and we had the reunion committee racking their collective heads to figure out who Deweybrat was. There was some finger-pointing, but I denied any knowledge.
Deweybrat, being fictional, was unable to attend. Jane invented a fire in Dewey’s garter belt factory. Emergency! Deweybrat couldn’t attend! I then sent the committee a last-minute Western Union telegram voicing Dewey’s regrets. Boo Hoo.
I specifically asked Western Union if point of origin would show up on the telegram. I was assured not. WRONG. My cover got blown on the afternoon of the reunion. That evening the committee presented me, aka Deweybrat, a white feather boa. It was very Deweybrat-ish, but a disappointment after nearly a year of crafting letters and sending them from afar.
My second favorite reunion was my ex-husbands. I wore the name tag of some woman who failed to show up. All evening people were talking to me about how I’d changed, Pretty funny. There were amazing and amusing stories I learned about my fake me. Fibbing has its advantages.