Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Has Anyone Seen Julie?

There are many things at which I excel. I am a competent knitter, an accomplished cook, and I am pretty good at my day job. At least that's what I want my boss to think.

One thing I do not do well, and which causes me sadness, is keeping and nurturing long-distance friendships. I am friendly and kind. I and welcome people warmly into my life. But my story of my life is peppered with friendships formed which withered and died when they or I moved away. Distance is my enemy.

Every time I pick up my knitting, look through a pattern book, or see a beautifully knit sweater, I think of one of those friendships with a real sense of loss.

Picture it: The far north side of Chicago – 1993. As a lobbyist, I had a job which only kept me fully occupied 6 months of the year. The other six months I spent in various yarn shops, knitting, gabbing, and making friends.

At Thorpe Yarns in Evanston I made one such friend. Her name was Julie Pack. A native of upstate New York, she was a music major (Horn) at Northwestern University, and without a doubt one of the finest knitters I have ever met. (She knit some of the most amazing Kaffe Fasset designs -- I was always in awe of her.) She was also a good friend and we had many a good laugh together. And a couple of good cries, as well.

Like many of the important people in my life, Julie moved away. First she moved to Texas where she played First Horn in a symphony orchestra. The last I heard from her, she had moved to Colorado and was set to marry her boyfriend, Dick (whose last name escapes me), who also played the horn and had been her professor at NU. we received an invitation to her wedding, but because Myfanwe was pregnant and money was tight, we were unable to go. We moved to a new apartment right after Myfanwe had the baby, and we could never find her address or phone number in the craziness which was our life. (Actually, we moved three times in three years. We're lucky we didn't loose our minds!) I’ve felt bad for the last 9 years. I even stopped knitting for a while because I felt such guilt and such loss. (That didn't help my sanity a bit!) I miss her. I would really like to reconnect with her. I'd like her to know my son. I'd like to cook her a Morrocan feast. I'd like to know what she has been knitting.

I’ve tried Googling her, and mostly I find a Julie Pack who is involved in rodeos and roping cattle – things MY Julie Pack would not be doing. I did find a couple of out-of-date links to MY Julie Pack, but nothing functional.

Knitters are amazing people. Please, spread the word. A knitter somewhere knows Julie. Wherever she is, she's bound to be one of the best knitters around. If you know her, please direct her to this site and let her know I’m looking for her. We have so much to catch up on!


Last night was the Stitch n Bitch at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. I’ll have pictures tomorrow – but let’s just say that it was HUGE. Lots of fun and HUGE. Franklin Habit and Andrew from Stitches in Britches ™ were there, as was my friend NancyKwik -- who graciously gave me a ride-- thank G-d, ‘cuz otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go with my feet.

I also met a wonderful, creative knitter, Jen, whose recent submission to Knitty was on display and wowed the crowd, to put it mildly. She designs imaginative knits for babies and young’uns. Check out her site and don’t overlook the kits she sells – they would make great gifts.


the fiddlin' fool said...

Sorry we couldn't make it! We're planning on making it next month, though.

Sherri said...

I just started reading your blog. Re: Julie - do you know anyone at Northwestern who might could tell you the name of the man who could have been Julie's teacher? Who taught horn in year X and went by the name "Dick"? Just a thought, one you've probably already had.:-(

Anonymous said...

Because I love a good hunt...could her last name be Buennostro, Giacobassi or Landsman now? I searched with "jule" "horn" and "symphony" in Yahoo and those were the Julies primarily mentioned.
BTW - love your blog.

Flossie said...

There is probably an alumni organsitation at your old university. They might be able to help you?

Hope you are able to find her.


Sarah said... has 53 Julie Pack's in their database.

Some are duplicates but it might give you an idea if one is your Julie.

Good luck!

Aidan said...

Sarah -- thanks for the Zaba link. Anon had sent me the results of a Zaba search for Colorado, and those results were not current. There are a couple on the list that might be possibilities, so I will check those out.

I've had someone in alumni relations check, and they do not have a current address.

I really appreciate all the help and support. JULIE PACK, WHERE ARE YOU?

Courtney said...

Hi there, I'm a knitter and a classical musician. I heard about your search for Julie on Cast-On. Do you know which orchestra in Texas she played with? My husband works for the San Antonio Symphony and he knows of no Julie there, but there are also orchestras in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. There's a regional orchestra in Austin too. Anyhow, the music community is weird and small and everyone at least knows someone who knows everyone else. I'm sure I know someone who knows your Julie. If you can remember which orchestra in Texas she played in, it would be a good place to start because it's likely that someone there knows where she is now.

Aprilynne said...

I wonder if you have thought about having someone check the marriage announcements for the basic time period she was married. It might have to be a GOOD friend who would search the microfilm in the library - but at least then, you might be able to find the last name of the husband, which would probably really help this quest =)

Aprilynne said...

OK I'm sorry I didn't think of this while I was in the previous comment, but I have reconnected with LOTS of my long lost friends thru - even tho it helps to know the high school you can search for names, too, I think - they may even have a college part too. Even if you can't find her right now, you can put your profile in with a note that you really want to reconnect with her, in case she finds yours later. =) I hope she shows up

and since the classsmates thing goes by maiden names for us girls, it helps

Julie! said...

Aidan! It's me! Julie! Julie Pack. The one and only. (not the other 51) No, not the cattle roping Julie Pack. No, I would never do those things... but you might be surprised at what I AM doing... I've missed you too!! You have a son??!! Let's catch up! How do I get ahold of you? This is crazy- I thought of you also and wondered what you are up to... I feel very lucky to have found your blog! I'm trying to think of a way to contact you, I don't have any of your info... I'll keep watching your blog for an update! I love you! I'm hearing Tchaikovsky themes in slow motion right now! What a day this has been for me. The planets are really linin' up big time!

Aidan said...


Aidanknits AT

E-mail me! NOW!