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Betsy's Letter - 14 April 2008


Dear friends,

I’m thinking about all of you especially today, because this afternoon, I took the time to view the DVD Will made for us of our reunion last August. There you all are laughing with each other, reminiscing, sharing and talking opening in “morning meeting” (Saturday morning of reunion) about your lives and what has taken place for each of you on your journey post BRS. For some the journey has not been easy, for others, good mixed in with the bad. You all have your stories. For me, it is not the content so much of what you are saying but the ease in which you all fall right back into talking about yourselves and your lives even though for many of you you haven’t seen each other for 20 years of so. Some of you have reported that one of the reasons BRS was so special was because of the way you could talk to each other and that you haven’t been able to find that comfort in the groups you have been in since then. That is probably not true for all of you but it seemed to be a theme at the reunion.

One grad shared with me that when the school closed, she felt really angry because she didn’t feel prepared to leave this open community and go home which was not a safe place to share feelings and be listened to. It was difficult. The closing ended so abruptly. As she was telling me about her experience, I could really understand what she was saying. That made sense to me, because Bruce and I had a similar experience. Through the years after BRS I often wondered what impact the school had on those who went there. I think the reunion helped me to better understand that. In one of my free writings I wrote:

“BRS is about living and going to school in a small community far far away from the mainstream of the materialistic world living closely to the land with 24-30 other human beings where there is

  • No TV
  • No soda or junk food machines
  • No drugs or alcohol (o.k.. that is probably not true)
  • No sugar
  • No Malls
  • only one phone (Literally) for the entire community
  • No computers
  • No copy machine

  • 25 miles from the nearest town
  • No gymnasium
  • No competitive sports
  • No classrooms
  • No hamburgers and fries
  • No coffee?
  • Etc. etc. etc."

I have almost completed a first draft of my memoir of BRS. It has been an overwhelming project but I think I’m beginning to understand why Bruce and I even thought of taking on such a momentous project and with no money. I know that my experience with RC changed my life drastically. After being part of that community, I never was the same again. My perception of everything changed. As a result Bruce and I began to build a different life for ourselves built on our new awarenesses.

I hope you who were at last year’s reunion will come back again this year and those of you who were not able to come will consider coming this year. All of you have had a huge impact on our lives and we love being with you and listening to your stories, your poetry (Rebecca) and your thoughts about life, specifically and in general! Please write back if you would like.

Those are some of my thoughts on an incredibly gorgeous spring afternoon in Stewartsville, NJ.


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