We met on our first official day as Antiochians in September 1984. Jeff was sitting on the upper level walkway between the kitchens of Mills when Lynda pulled up behind the dorm. A warm hello and some help carrying Lynda’s belongings to her room was the first of many moments we would spend together that Fall. Our attraction to one another was immediate, spending the day together talking and laughing into the evening and on into sunrise. We discovered and cemented a deep friendship during that quarter, all while miraculously managing to keep our young hormones (mostly) at bay. There were obviously enough tell-tale interactions and lengthy massages exchanged in the human habitrails of the Mills TV room to get rumors flying; we were immortalized in a multi-panel cartoon called “Mills Street Blues” which showed up in a few places around campus. According to a few sources, our unrequited lust was considered legendary at the time, but we kept it platonic and said goodbye that December as our Antioch schedules sent us our separate ways until the following Fall quarter of 1985.
Back on campus, we reveled in a few intense weeks of romance until Antioch once again got in the way when Jeff left for a coop that lasted nearly 18 months. When we found each other on campus in 1987, our lives had changed and as we both left Antioch, we said goodbye for what we thought would be the last time. Seventeen years went by with no contact, each of us living our separate lives on opposite coasts. That all changed with one email in May 2004. Lynda had been living in Italy and emailed a mutual Antioch friend when she came back to the states. Scarlett replied that she had just talked to Jeff Wood that day. Lynda said “I want to talk to Jeff Wood” and got the contact info. The power of the internet fired up and Lynda’s brief “I hope you are happy in the world” email to Jeff was quickly met with a reply, followed by two months of daily emails and then a summertime visit full of sparks and promise. From there we did the 3000 mile commute for a year, seeing each other nearly every six weeks until Jeff moved from Seattle to NYC in June 2005. A year later, after a March marriage blessing in Varanasi, India, we were married in our Brooklyn neighborhood. We had a parade through the streets led by an old Antioch friend’s Balkan gypsy band and twenty more Antiochians joined us that day, celebrating with abandon. September 30th will be our first wedding anniversary and 23 years since we met and fell in love the first time.
The Antioch College experience can be enormously challenging to relationships of all kinds for many reasons, but it brought us together and gave us the chutzpah to take a chance, let go and grow, and then take a chance all over again. Viva Antioch College!
Jeff Wood ‘88 & Lynda White ‘88
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