A few of us gathered for dinner in Boston in January. Attendees included Mike Dowd, Chas Horvath, Rick Eno, Andy Bjork, and Moshe Cohen. We almost didn't invite Rick because of the whole table manners and flatulence issue, but I decided to be on my best behavior and not scare him off this time. Andy and his wife, Carolyn Crump - brother Steve Crump's sister - finally unloaded the last of their mooching daughters, so they're selling the sprawling estate near Boston and moving to a smaller place in Newport. Andy got choked up talking about one of his daughters, which I thought was corny, until he got to the point, which is that she worked in a brewery, and then I got choked up, too. Moshe teaches and consults on dispute resolution, coaching, and other business issues, work which takes him all over the world. Earlier that week I heard him on the radio talking about Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer, if "explorer" is the word I want, given that Ernie's claim to fame with regard to the frozen continent is simply that going there didn't kill him. I hadn't seen Mike in years; he is hale, although he has about 6 gray hairs, which is the only way you can tell he's over 50. Chas tried to set us straight on his obsession with squirrels during college, but the stories have swamped the truth, and it was a losing proposition. Chas has many good squirrel recipes, so if you're from Kentucky, or just in the mood for a wiggly, furry treat, give him a call.
Mark "Taz" Ochs bought a classic Austin Healey and had it restored. It is a beautiful automobile, and he's going to let me drive it! I just have to meet a few conditions first, such as taking a sports car driving test, learning the shift pattern, and going 131 years without another major accident. I told him I was happy that he was so concerned about my safety, but he just stared at me blankly. Only 128 years to go!
Monti "Monti" Montione sent me an article about a guy who broke the 5 minute mile. My first thought while reading it was, as yours is, "so what?" Then I got to the part about the guy chugging beer during the run. Monti used to run the Phi Psi 500, see, and he was reminiscing. (The Phi Psi was a running-while-chugging-beer race, back when it was still politically correct for undergraduates to consume vast quantities of beer in public.) Monti seemed kind of jealous, mostly because the guy ran a better time, and also didn't run the last half mile covered in vomit.
I am in frequent contact with Dream Girl Lynda Hershey Spalding. Her two kids - one of each - are grown and out of the house. Lynda is still a sweet soul, ever thinking of ways to improve the world; if we were all more like Lynda, it wouldn't be that difficult, but then I wouldn't have any material to work with.
Our old frat lodge will be open for business again soon. A new crop of brothers will redeem our name on the Hill. Many alumni banded together and worked hard to renew our brotherhood. My message, from the bottom of my heart, and I think many of us share this sentiment, is simply this: don't screw it up.