WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/745407

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Page 76 of 211

Profound Connections A "rolling stone" childhood is the reason that Justin Bullion values the friendships he formed growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Chicago, and Santa Cruz, California. "I don't live near my childhood friends and can't have barbecues and beers with 'the old gang,' but moving so often gave me an innate understanding that time is fleeting, and I could leave at any minute. That's why I maintain very close ties with various groups of friends from my youth as well as the newer friends my wife, Ann, and I have made as adults," explains Justin. Justin's high school friends from California—the theater crowd and assorted others he calls "pseudo (and a few true) intellectuals"— are still his soul mates despite their lack of geographic proximity. He comments, "There's too much great history for us not to be close, at least spiritually." Justin begrudgingly thanks Facebook for helping him keep these friendships alive. "It was for this very group of drama geeks that I gave in and joined Facebook. So, I do know when important things happen to them: Dave's fight with cancer, Chad and his contin- ued love of the Cubs, Shawna's move to Evanston, Illinois, where she unknowingly met my brother, and on and on." Judgment-free Zone While social media exposes intimate life events to a wide audience, Justin understands that with longtime friends, "You don't have to hide because you can't hide." He explains his reasoning, "Your foibles and mistakes—silly haircuts, bad tempers, social miscues—are a part of that old friend- ship, and we have accepted each other in spite, and because, of our past. It's the ultimate empathy. I was there when you were a dope, and you were there when I was an idiot." Even friends who were not necessarily close years ago value the reassuring sense of acceptance they get from people with whom they share a common history. Mary Ellen Joyce, a member of the planning committee for the Wellesley High School (WHS) Class of 1980's 35th reunion, appreciates the supportive community of fellow classmates. She says, "By this time in our lives, everyone has had some cross to bear: divorce, medical conditions, abusive spouses, children in trouble. Gratefully, nobody is trying to impress anyone, anymore." Another member of the committee, Cheri Clark 75 w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e

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