BGSU Magazine Summer 2009

Life Lessons

The Ohio and BGSU Bond

Not knowing much about my mother’s family, I can’t say for sure where the wanderlust gene began in our family. Although my family was lower middle class without much extra cash for air travel, we did manage to do some out-of-state car traveling. Most of the travel was related to visiting family and friends who used to live in Ohio. I was one of the first in my family to leave home to attend college.

So it began for me in my teen years, a little traveling with BG friends to Virginia Beach, to Arizona, to California, to Michigan, to New York City. It was always a highlight to meet someone from Ohio and, of course, I always had to mention that I was attending BGSU.

As I was ready to graduate, the BG placement service was willing to feed this need to wander. The Peace Corps offered me a job in Africa; the Department of the Navy offered me a job in D.C.–and there were always BG friends that were “in it” with me. Before I could commit to the jobs, I committed to marriage and those jobs didn’t fit in with the plan. I was obviously ready to feed that wanderlust gene, though.

Soon it was obvious that my soon-to-be husband also had some of the wanderlust gene. After we were married, we traveled to the Bahamas, Tahiti, Aruba and California, California, California, California. (My mother finally decided to spend her retirement years in San Diego. We visited San Diego once or twice a year and always met Ohioans and someone who knew someone at BG.) It’s always nice to come back to Ohio, but there are so many places to see and people to meet. Deep down, people of all nationalities have the same needs: friends, family, security, knowledge; and it’s an experience finding out how they fill those needs.

Now that I was in my 50s and needed to find a “hobby,” I joined a hiking club and soon found out that they plan lots of trips in and out of the country. So here we were in Portugal sitting at dinner with some hikers we had never met. (Somehow BG always gets into the conversation even though it’s been 39 years since my graduation.) Wouldn’t you know the couple we sat with not only graduated from BG but also were there the same years I was. Of course, the next half hour was all about life at BG and, from then on, we always had a common bond when we saw each other on trips.

The wanderlust gene continues in my niece. She attended BG (she says because I bought her a BG bib when I was a student.) Her wandering has been a little more multifarious than mine, though: Russia, Bahrain, Brazil. However, like me, no matter where she goes, Ohio and BG are a significant part of what she is.

Barbara Tabor Rasmussen ’70 | Secretarial Administration
Burton, Ohio