Saturday, December 28, 2013

On This Date in 1998

Dear Chris,

Whether you like it or not, I keep coming back at-cha, year after year, one unsolicited Christmas greeting after another. You are one of a trio of people from the UB era of my life that I’m still in touch with, the others being Tony Szczygiel, the Colden Kid, and Michael Kanter, our Cambridge Massachusetts health food entrepreneur. Everyone else has fallen off the face of my earth. Remember Ralph Pearson? Jane Moy? Al Marmulstein? Eric Barr? There’s a lot of other faces I remember but too many names I can’t recall. Every once in awhile, I fantasize about an Allenhurst 1968-1970 block party reunion. But would I actually attend? This year I skipped by 30th high school reunion. The reason: Andy, our older son, was playing in a baseball tournament that weekend. Couldn’t get away. As it turned out, Andy and his teammates provided much better entertainment with their gutsy third place finish.

Are you eating your Flutie Flakes for breakfast every morning? Who’da thought that Mr. Hail Mary could bring back the Bills from the dead. Tomorrow I’m going to be rooting for them to pound the Jets deep into the ground. The Packers haven’t given us a whole lot to cheer about this year. The Wisconsin consensus is that Brett Favre was hungover during the first three quarters of the game against Tampa Bay. Our favorite colors right now are not green and gold. We’re now the ladies and gents in red. Go Badgers! My Rose Bowl prediction: Wisconsin 24, UCLA 7. It seems like the Pac 10 hasn’t been focusing on defense this season.

I heard this song tonight that instantly transported me back to our freshman year in college. JoAnna and I were on our way to a party, and she had tuned the radio to an oldies station, one that plays tunes primarily from the years 1964-1968. It was an instrumental, “Soulful Strut” by the Youngholt Unlimited. All these memories having to do with 482 and Norton and Diefendorf and Hayes Hall cascaded over my brain. It was a moment that was difficult to share with my wife since she was in kindergarten at the time. As one of my best friends blurted out minutes after meeting JoAnna, “Gee, Nellie, you really did rob the cradle!”

Obviously, this is not your typical Christmas letter. It’s an original. It’s spontaneous. Some might even say it’s an upchuck kind of experience. What it says is that I still think about you and our circle of friends and acquaintances after all these years. A reunion would really be an interesting experience.

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