Metz and Matteo were not always Metz and Matteo. Once upon a time they were average high school students. Ok maybe not so average as all that, but they went by different names back then. Teresa and Matthew. Only they weren’t Teresa AND Matthew either. Barely acquaintances, they saw each other in passing through the halls of their high school. It took another mutual friend Dennis to forge that first link bringing these two together into what has turned out to be an unbreakable bond of love and friendship.
Back in 1986 Dennis shared a creative writing class with Teresa and it was there that the first inklings of Teresa’s unique creative spirit began to show. Throughout the school year there were brief hang outs and birthday parties and Teresa began to get to know Dennis and Matthew and she too recognized the three of them had a different kind of connection that fostered her creativity, leading to discussions that expanded her critical thinking and encouraged her inquisitive nature. There were adventures too, including a French Club field trip to The Art Institute of Chicago involving an illicit escape to a record store that everyone else from the field trip blatantly went to, thus deflating our elation at our successful stealth mission, a rickety elevator leading to a basement exhibit, and the joy of frustrating Dennis with our purposeful mispronunciations of French and mock ridicule of famous art.
Dennis graduated in 1987 and Teresa and Matthew were left behind to complete their last year of high school. As such things sometimes go, they drifted a bit apart that year, sharing a class in Ancient World History and briefly commiserating in frustrated dialogues and diatribes when circumstances beyond their control caused the class they’d both been working so hard and excelling in to go off the rails. Drifting again until June 1988, graduation day. After the commencement the celebrating seniors were feted with a 3 hour bus ride to Chicago, a midnight cruise on Lake Michigan, and a 3 hour bus ride back (with a bucolic stop in unseasonable freezing cold temperatures for a literally frozen al fresco “continental breakfast" on the beach). It was during those combined 6 hours of confinement in a cold and noisy school bus that Teresa and Matthew forged those final links in their friendship. They talked and laughed about everything, religion, politics, philosophy, music, books, art, and more.
After high school Teresa, now being called Metz (a story for another time), and Matthew busied themselves with work and exploring the countryside, hanging out with friends and generally enjoying their lives as best they could. But adventure beckoned, and together they set out into the great unknown, with just hopes and dreams and a tiny Ford Festiva packed to the gills with their belongings, driving from Michigan to California along the old Route 66 highway. That adventure led to more and and more and before they knew it, Metz and Matteo were living on opposite coasts, Metz raising a family on Long Island, and Matteo improving his photography skills while living and hiking around San Diego, until somehow in their mid 40s they found themselves back in their hometown, living in their childhood homes and reconnecting once more. While breakfasting at the local cafe one morning a passing joke about pasting inspirational messages on Matteo’s stunning landscape and artistic photos planted the seeds for what you see now. The launch of their next adventure. And this time, you’re invited to come along for the ride.