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Designing Women S5 E2 Extra Sugar - A Reunion Roundup

Anthony meeting his dad in episode two had us thinking about “reunion” stories of all stripes: family, friends, lovers, and classmates. And with that in mind, we’ve assembled a roundup of some of the most interesting ones we could find: from the funny to the sweet and the utterly bizarre.

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!


Come on y’all, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Hey, everyone, and welcome to Sweet Tea and TV's extra sugar.

Nikki: Hey, y'all.

Salina: Hey again.

Nikki: Hi.

Nikki: Long time no talk.

Salina: Hello.

Salina: Sorry.

Salina: So in this week's Designing Women episode, Anthony meets his dad for the first time.

Salina: And that got me thinking about reunion stories of all stripes.

Salina: So reunited family members, reunited lovers, friends, and classmates.

Salina: So today, for your listening pleasure, I have rounded up some of the most interesting reunion stories that I could find.

Salina: Some of them are funny, some are sweet, and some are just downright bizarre.

Salina: Are you ready to get into it?

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: She was, like, really giving it the deep thought.

Nikki: I was giving it some thought.

Nikki: I didn't want to just say yes.

Nikki: And not be ready.

Salina: So, funnily enough, you and I both have opted to not do our reunion of classmates.

Nikki: Some called us a class reunion, reunion of peers from educational buildings of your.

Salina: Grades nine through 1210 through twelve.

Salina: Some places maybe.

Salina: So it's kind of funny that we're starting there, but I started looking around and there are a ton of stories, but to be honest, when you boil it down, most of them are badly planned events.

Nikki: Correct.

Salina: Fueled by alcohol, correct.

Salina: Other substances with a fist fight for kicks.

Nikki: I think that was my high school reunion.

Salina: And that's fine.

Nikki: It's fine.

Salina: But that's not really what I was going for.

Salina: So I've selected one story, and I found it on board panda.

Salina: And I'm just going to read straight from it because, well, it's better that way.

Salina: Trust me.

Salina: Okay, so bear with me.

Salina: My ten year reunion was hosted at a nice hotel banquet hall and had a decent turnout.

Salina: More than 100 people.

Nikki: This sounds great.

Salina: There was one guy I'd known all throughout high school who was also a well known stoner.

Salina: I'll call him Chris.

Salina: Chris walks into the banquet hall, stops in his tracks, turns around in a very slow circle, and surveys the entire room.

Salina: He then says, whoa, and looks visibly alarmed.

Salina: Once his eyes settle on me, I say, hey, Chris, long time no see, man.

Salina: He slides over to me and whispers in my ear, this is really weird.

Salina: I'm pretty sure I know every single.

Salina: Person in this room.

Salina: That's when I realized he's wearing the same clothes as the banquet hall workers.

Nikki: Oh, my God.

Salina: Chris is working as a server at his own high school reunion, and he has no clue what is happening.

Salina: So I walk him out to the front lobby, explain it's our ten year high school reunion.

Salina: He is mortified and beyond embarrassed.

Salina: He was never contacted and didn't realize it had been ten years since we graduated.

Nikki: Oh, Chris.

Nikki: I think he was contacted multiple times.

Salina: He just knew he was working another catering gig in a never ending series of catering gigs.

Salina: I make him take me to his manager and explain what's happening.

Salina: I tell the manager there is no way this guy is working his own high school reunion.

Salina: Awesomely.

Salina: The manager agrees.

Salina: We find a different suit jacket and tie for him, and I take Chris back to the party.

Salina: He ended up having a good night.

Salina: So there's several reasons I like this one, because one, I feel like everyone probably has at least one Chris in.

Salina: Their high school experience.

Nikki: At least one.

Salina: At least one.

Salina: Maybe a few chris's.

Salina: Maybe you are Chris.

Salina: Whatever the case is, there's something that felt very relatable about that.

Salina: But maybe I'm Chris.

Nikki: I was just thinking, am I Chris?

Nikki: Do I not remember?

Salina: What day is it?

Salina: Is this my high score?

Salina: These shirts all look really familiar is what it feels like to be high.

Salina: No, but I also like it because it's not mean.

Salina: When it got down to it, so many of these just felt mean to.

Salina: Me, and this is so weird.

Salina: And I was just like, we don't.

Salina: Need that energy here, so let's do something that's like, you know, he brought.

Salina: Him into the fold.

Salina: That was real nice.

Nikki: That is nice.

Salina: I like that.

Salina: I like to think this guy, this.

Salina: Friend of Chris's, was Southern scared to dream.

Salina: Next up is friend reunions.

Salina: And I found this one quite inspiring, Nikki, because a few of these really show a level of dedication that you just don't see anymore, at least partially because technology has spoiled us everybody and everything is just so creepily findable, you know?

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Look out, look out.

Salina: So for the first two reunions, I'd like to focus on the links that people went to track down their friends.

Salina: First up is thanks to NPR's Story Corps pac Yan and Joe Chan were two childhood friends in Hong Kong.

Salina: But Chan moved to the US.

Salina: With his family when they were in the 6th grade.

Salina: They tried to write letters, but that eventually fell off and they lost touch completely.

Salina: Many years later, when Yan was about 30, he moved to the States.

Salina: He wasn't sure how to find Chan.

Salina: But one day and I gather some time has passed just based on the you'll see, in the ages, he decided to plug his name into Yahoo.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: There were 108 Joe Chans, he called all of them.

Nikki: Oh, bless him.

Salina: And he found them.

Nikki: How many did he have to call to get there, do you know?

Salina: It didn't say.

Salina: I'm like I didn't ask.

Nikki: He got to number, I want you to know.

Nikki: 107.

Salina: I would have asked, but that's the thing with StoryCore, I think they just call and leave their voice recording and so no one gets to ask the question.

Nikki: He left out some important details.

Salina: I had the same thought.

Salina: I know.

Salina: What if he called like, one?

Salina: Yeah, right.

Salina: I like to think he called like.

Nikki: At least there were 108 and he called two.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Incredibly lucky.

Salina: It was a very difficult ten minutes.

Salina: So now they're in their seventy s.

Salina: And at least once a week they go bike riding together.

Salina: They eat dinner together.

Salina: They're besties.

Nikki: Oh, jeez, that's sweet.

Salina: Isn't that nice?

Nikki: That's really sweet.

Salina: Our next reunion comes to us via a Huffington Post article and it highlights Susie and Sarah who became best friends in their hometown of Columbia, South Carolina.

Salina: So in 1943 they were already friends and Susie's family unexpectedly moved to California and only returned one time in 1952 for Sarah's 16th birthday.

Salina: It's the last time they saw each other.

Salina: So 40 years later, Susie began what became a ten year quest to find.

Salina: She tried the local high school's alumni directory.

Salina: She wrote letters, scoured old phone books, she even enlisted the help of two librarians.

Salina: Eventually it was two researchers that worked for Genealogists who tracked Sarah down.

Salina: Lots of hard work paid off and the two were able to reconnect and catch up on all they had missed in each other's lives.

Nikki: Oh, that's nice.

Nikki: 40 years past.

Salina: And just think, she could have done all that with a Google search today.

Nikki: Google search and the right person.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: Not just any I don't know, she could have Yahooed.

Nikki: She found 108 Jenny's or whatever called them all.

Nikki: Ask Jeeves, where's my best friend?

Salina: Help me.

Nikki: That's a really lovely story.

Nikki: Moving from South Carolina to California in the 1940s is the part I got stuck on.

Nikki: That's a very large move to make and very unusual.

Nikki: I wonder what they moved for.

Salina: Family, I think there was way down.

Salina: Susie had a lot to say.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: I bet she did.

Nikki: That was her journey.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Finally, thanks to an ABC News story.

Salina: I'm calling this like a deja vu reunion.

Nikki: Deja vu reen.

Salina: I tried that, but I didn't stumbling real hard and I didn't want you to have to hear me apologize for it for a long time or edit around it.

Salina: And by that I mean apologize for it for a long time and then.

Salina: Everyone else here too.

Salina: So this is better.

Salina: Anyways, this has multi generational besties.

Salina: So two young women, Nisma and Roya, met their freshman year at Berkeley and they became fast friends.

Salina: In fact, they decided to live together their sophomore year.

Salina: But there's a twist.

Salina: It turns out they'd already met before, years ago in another life.

Nikki: Now that will be a parallel universe.

Salina: Hold on to that on another planet.

Salina: Hold all those thoughts.

Salina: Et holding.

Salina: So they've met years before when they were just babies because their moms were best friends and had lost touch 16 years prior.

Nikki: Oh, it makes my chili willys.

Salina: Their moms had also gone to college together and had even been pregnant with the two at the same time.

Salina: So in the story they have pictures there of them in strollers, rolled up next to each other and then years later as like roommates together.

Salina: So their children's friendship brought them back together all those years later.

Salina: Isn't that nice.

Nikki: I'm not going to cry.

Salina: I'm not even moved by that, not even a tad.

Nikki: I don't even want to hear about that friend reunion.

Salina: Well, so I will go ahead and.

Salina: Say since I'm talking about it now, for those who want to read the longer stories, of course those will be in the show notes because I am again drilling down a little bit.

Salina: All right, from the sweet to the Mushy stuff with two love reunions.

Salina: First, from Oprah Daly.

Salina: I had to tell this one because it is right out of a Charlene Fraser still filled world War II fever dream.

Salina: Okay, so when K.

Salina: T.

Salina: Robbins was stationed in France in 1944, during World War II, he met and fell madly in love with Janine.

Nikki: Of course he did.

Salina: But their romance was ripped apart when he was transferred to fight on the Eastern Front.

Salina: The war ended and they both carried on with their lives.

Salina: KT returned to Memphis, and they both eventually married different people.

Salina: But the 75th anniversary of D Day in 2019 found KT back in France, where reporters helped him track down his long lost love to the nursing home where she now lives.

Salina: The article quotes him telling her, I always loved you and you never got out of my heart.

Salina: They vowed that day to meet again soon.

Nikki: In heaven.

Salina: I knew you were going to say that.

Salina: No, like later that day.

Salina: Sorry.

Salina: That's sweet.

Salina: Thanks for telling that story for, like, a movie.

Salina: They were still alive.

Salina: All right, you're going to have to.

Salina: Edit around me laughing like my grandma.

Salina: Sorry, Grandma.

Nikki: Okay, I'm going to mute my microphone.

Salina: From here on out.

Salina: No, I'm enjoying it.

Salina: I just don't know.

Salina: It'll be the best listening experience.

Nikki: Not in heaven.

Salina: Goodness gracious.

Nikki: I meant the heaven of her eyes.

Salina: Oh, surely.

Salina: So, our last Mushy installment is a bit more pragmatic, and it comes from the New York Times Modern Love column.

Salina: So I'm calling this one a planned reunion.

Salina: Karen and Howard were together when she was 18 and he was 21, and they'd been dating for a while.

Salina: When she proposed that they meet back up in five years to see if it was really meant to be, howard agreed.

Salina: In five years, they would meet at the New York Public Library near the Uptown Lion at 04:00 p.m..

Salina: They sealed the deal with a dollar bill they'd torn in half, each inscribed with a plan.

Salina: Now, look, that's illegal.

Nikki: Well, charlene money defacement.

Nikki: I mean, I'm just saying I wouldn't have told The New York Times that.

Salina: Oh, well, I think it's probably okay.

Salina: So the thing is that's the US.

Salina: Treasury karen and Howard, they did stay.

Salina: Together for another year and a half, but the relationship came to an end at some point, and Karen wound up in Minneapolis, Howard and California.

Salina: When the five year deadline came around, they really hadn't talked in any way in a few years.

Salina: And this is before you would see each other randomly on social media and kind of know what was going on in the person's life.

Salina: So despite protests from her mother, karen went to meet Howard at that five year mark anyway.

Salina: And Howard also showed up just as planned.

Salina: Conversations turned into a cross country trip, which turned into living together for a few years.

Salina: Eventually they returned back east to New York where the two married.

Salina: Now the rest I'm going to read directly from the article because it's better than anything I can recap.

Salina: Also, I think it gets at the heart of this selection and the background of this part is a lot of people will try and tell her like, this is an epic romance and you were always meant to be.

Salina: So this is starting out as her reaction to that telling of their story together.

Salina: She says, no.

Salina: That was the whole point of the agreement.

Salina: We didn't always know.

Salina: Even after the meeting, it took a while for us to move in together.

Salina: When we moved to New York, we agreed we would have to see things, how things worked out with jobs, before making any promises.

Salina: What is true is how the story has helped sustain our relationship through times of trouble.

Salina: I would have hated to end the story with, unfortunately, it didn't work out.

Salina: With a story like that.

Salina: Of course, we had to stay together.

Salina: A romantic past we've discovered can help you keep belted in place until you find equilibrium.

Salina: Still, I insisted the story was about foresight and prudence, not romance.

Salina: I only shared the story with people who wouldn't think I was trying to live my life like a movie.

Salina: Who would know the story was about being smart in love, not starry eyed.

Salina: For years.

Salina: I ended the story with I thought I was just being practical and giving us a second chance.

Salina: It turned out to be a good plan.

Salina: Well, the plan may have been practical, a friend said recently, but the fact that you both showed up there's the romance.

Salina: And he was right.

Salina: It was our complete faith in the other person.

Salina: Despite others cautions that defined the romance.

Salina: We showed up for each other.

Salina: We now have been married for 35 years.

Salina: Howard still shows up for me and I still show up for him.

Salina: The torn dollar bill is in a frame on his dresser.

Salina: Anyways, so that's the Pragmatic love story.

Nikki: How romantic.

Salina: I love it.

Salina: I cried earlier when I was reading it.

Nikki: Lot.

Nikki: I'm going to have to process that one for a little while.

Nikki: That left me with something.

Salina: Well, luckily you can read the full thing in the show notes, so when it comes to family reunions, I read a lot of heartwarming tales.

Salina: But here's the thing, we're not going to do that because we got to talk about the gym twins.

Salina: Do you know about the gym twins?

Salina: Okay, so, according to MyHeritage blog, these two identical twins were separated at birth and met when they were 39 in 1979.

Salina: Different towns, different families, no idea the other existed.

Salina: They were both named Jim.

Salina: Now, that's not that big of a deal because that's a pretty common name, especially then.

Salina: But here's where it gets interesting.

Salina: Their childhoods were very similar.

Salina: Both had dogs named Toy, both dealt with migraines, and both bit their nails.

Salina: Each had married a woman named Linda.

Salina: Each divorced a woman named Linda.

Salina: Both remarried someone named Betty, and they both named their sons James Allen.

Salina: They liked the same things vacationing in Florida, drinking Miller Light, smoking Salem's, and watching stock car racing.

Salina: I would argue that that just sounds really Southern.

Nikki: Say, that sounds like me.

Salina: But both disliked basketball, and they had the same hobbies.

Salina: And it's a pretty specific hobby, building doll furniture in their basement.

Nikki: That's not specific.

Nikki: We all do that.

Salina: I'm doing it right now.

Salina: They both even had similar backyards with circular white benches around their trees.

Salina: They died on the same day from the same illness.

Salina: They never lived together.

Salina: So we'll link to more information for those who are interested.

Salina: There's also a book by Nancy Siegel called Entwined Lives, and that includes the twins as a case study in that.

Nikki: Did they meet at some point?

Salina: They did.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Salina: They met when they were 39.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah, you're like, they're not even related.

Salina: That would be we were just named Jim.

Nikki: And I thought you were saying Gem G-E-M and you were like, that's not that unusual.

Salina: And I was like, that's pretty sorry.

Salina: I should have said GM.

Salina: GM.

Nikki: GM.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: GM.

Nikki: Oh, GM.

Salina: It was also impossible to read about the GM twins and not think about the 2018 documentary, Three Identical Strangers.

Salina: Have you seen this?

Salina: No.

Salina: Okay, so I haven't seen you're like, I don't like Pragmatic love.

Salina: I don't know who these twins are.

Salina: Please stop asking me about Docs.

Salina: Okay, well, Three Identical Strangers was really.

Salina: Popular, so there was a reason I was asking about that.

Salina: Anyways, I haven't seen it either, but I've heard incredible things.

Salina: I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it and want to, but it is about three identical triplets who were all adopted by different families.

Salina: And then they all met each other by chance in 1980 at age 19.

Salina: There's, like, a bit of a mystery to their adoption, so I'll stop there.

Salina: But certainly I will tell you this, it rivals the jams.

Salina: So I'm about to wrap on this one, but I probably should have asked.

Salina: This at the beginning.

Salina: Nikki, do you have any reunion stories.

Salina: In your back pocket?

Nikki: No.

Salina: Yeah, I got a reunion story for you.

Salina: My love is romantic.

Nikki: What if I was like, yeah, I made a promise with a man at twelve years old.

Nikki: That when we were 38, if we weren't married or if we were.

Nikki: So we're meeting in New York later this year?

Nikki: Story like that for you?

Salina: That would be great.

Salina: I don't it would not be good for Kyle.

Nikki: He'd be fine.

Nikki: He'd be no.

Nikki: I got no good reunion stories.

Salina: I don't either.

Nikki: I was afraid of being one of one.

Nikki: What was the guy's name?

Nikki: Matt.

Nikki: At the very beginning.

Nikki: Sean.

Nikki: The stoner guy.

Salina: Chris.

Nikki: I was afraid of being Chris at.

Salina: The high school reunion.

Salina: I don't this is so weird.

Salina: I thought you were going to say I was afraid.

Salina: I was a gym twin.

Salina: So the only other thing I'll say.

Salina: Is, as I was digging into this one, I was thinking about a lot of these happened a long time ago.

Salina: And so it feels like social media and DNA testing and the Internet at large, they make most of our footprints that much bigger and easier to find.

Salina: So I honestly can't decide if we'll get more of these or less of these as time moves forward.

Salina: But I do know this.

Salina: I really enjoyed seeking out some and mostly happy stories.

Salina: They really actually, some of them warmed the cockles, not the cockles of my sometimes jaded heart.

Salina: And I hope that it warmed yours, too.

Salina: You know the drill.

Salina: DM us, email us, or contact us from the website.

Salina: Find us all over the socials.

Salina: And that's this week's.

Salina: Extra sugar.


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