Aimee Flubacher ’79
Alumna reflects: When you take a chance on yourself, anything is possible!
Aimee (Romanow) Flubacher ’79 wonders: “How did my parents let me go to boarding school 3,000 miles away when I was just 16 years old?” With a son nearing college-age, Aimee can’t imagine it.
Thinking back to her teen years, she can vividly remember taking a flight from Los Angeles, with a layover in Chicago, to the Allentown airport. Reliable and welcoming, the little blue shuttle bus from Perkiomen was always waiting for her when she landed.
The youngest of four grandchildren, Aimee fondly recalls her maternal grandfather, Pop-pop, her only living grandparent during her teen years. An influential businessman with a strong faith, he called every week on the Jewish Sabbath. One day, listening in on the extension while her parents caught up with the family patriarch, Pop-pop turned his attention to Aimee and asked about her grades in school. Aimee’s response was flippant and dismissive, for which her parents scolded her. However, Pop-pop was neither put off nor discouraged by her response, but instead, it seeded an idea. Soon afterwards, he called Aimee to ask if she would like to fly from California to Chicago to meet him for a long weekend so she could share more about school in- person.
It was a weekend one never forgets, filled with shopping, great meals, exploring museums, and a fancy hotel to boot! During their weekend together, Pop-pop offered Aimee the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of her older brother and cousins to attend private school anywhere she wanted in the United States! She flew home to California after a whirlwind, magical weekend, knowing she owed him an answer the next day.
Aimee’s mom joined her to visit multiple schools on the east coast so she could be close to where Pop-pop lived in New Jersey. Aimee recalls stepping onto Perkiomen’s campus for the first time and declaring the search to be over. Something about campus made Aimee think, “It was where I was meant to be.” A couple of short months later, her decision made, she was back in Pennsylvania shopping for winter clothes with Pop-pop and getting ready to take her first leap into a new world.
Often in life, it’s the steps along a journey that define the final destination. Aimee may not have known what was next, but something inside told her, “You go, girl! You’ve got this!” Arriving as a junior, she lived in Ruhl Hall, staffed The Griffin yearbook, became a cheerleader, rode her bike daily, looked up to faculty members Cheryl Price ’73, Jim Weeks, and Richard Strelecky, and made remarkable, lifelong friendships along the way. Through it all, she didn’t go very long without a visit from either Pop-pop, her older brother who worked nearby, or her parents who would fly in regularly to see her.
After Perkiomen, Aimee’s life continued to take her breath away! She went on to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising back home in California. With a degree in hand, she hopped between Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley, working at I. Magnin and Company, a high-end store at the time. Later, she made her way to Abercrombie & Fitch where she helped outfit cast members for the television show Dallas and the film Rocky IV. Seeking further adventure, Aimee took her skills and talents back east, accepting an opportunity to open an Abercrombie & Fitch store in South Street Seaport in New York. There, she knew not a soul except for her Pop-pop, whom she visited once a week. They went out to dinner, attended Wednesday matinees in the city, and enjoyed each other’s company as Aimee navigated another transition as a young adult on the East Coast.
In time, a close friendship led Aimee to Delaware where she took another chance on herself, once again transitioning to another state, to sell service agreements for a heating and air conditioning company which would allow her to stop working nights and weekends. Upon her arrival, she remembers seeing a road sign with the words, Wilmington: a place to be somebody. In a similar way she felt when touring Perkiomen’s campus years ago, Aimee thought, “Maybe this is my place and where I should be.” Next door to her new home in Delaware lived Todd, the man who would become her husband.
Today, you can find Aimee and Todd spending time with their son Avery, daughter Marlice, and three dogs: Sydney, Sadie, and Jackie. Aimee stays busy volunteering at Sanford School, where their children attend, and spends the weekends at The Freeman Arts Pavilion near her home. When the occasion presents itself, she can also be found there “rocking out” to the likes of the Beach Boys, Diana Ross, Tom Petty, and cover bands for The Eagles. Sometimes, she simply walks around her house and thinks of her Pop-pop, saying to herself, “I’m a very lucky person to be where I am today, thanks to his love, attention, and guidance.”
Noting their shared love of music and the arts, Aimee is overjoyed to be dedicating a music practice room in Perkiomen’s new student center to honor Pop-pop: Mr. Aaron D. Miller, or A.D. as he was known.
She may look back and feel wonder at how her parents, known to their friends as Roz and Bob, could have let her fly across the country as a teenager, but Aimee knows it took courage and bravery for them to make that decision, as well as an understanding of the wealth of opportunities outside their immediate community. They demonstrated a leap of faith that became a pivotal theme in Aimee’s own life. Smiling, Aimee reflects: “The most important gift my parents ever gave me was letting me go. I hope to do the same for my children.”