Tuesday, November 22, 2011


In 1967 I was a freshman at what we then called SUNY Albany. The fall was a magical time for me. I marvelled at, and revelled in, the college experience. I had made some new friends, found History, Spanish, Literature, Math, something called Sociology engaging enough, had, somehow, made the freshman basketball team, and began to appreciate the simple joy of a local tavern listening to yarns from fellow students as well as old timers who were, no doubt, twenty years younger than I am now.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving I decided to take a bus home and surpise my folks by arriving a day early. I got a ride to the bus station and took a Trailways to Port Authority arriving around 11. There I subwayed to Penn Station and took a late night train to Hicksville. From there I took a cab to our home.

I left my suitcase in the living room and tried silently to climb the stairs. I woke up my brother. He had been feeling under the weather and had just gotten to sleep. So, while happy to see me, he needed the sleep and now at about 2 in the morning I did too. Seconds later, I conked out in the twin bed that was "mine' in the bedroom we had shared as we grew up.

In the morning my father was readying himself to exit the house en route to work. There he saw my suitcase in the living room and bounced upstairs to see that I had come home in the middle of the night. He woke up my mother who was delighted to see me as well. She, excited, woke up again my poor brother, still not finished with his rest.

The thing is that all of them. My mother, father, and brother were excited about my return. We were together again. And it was this, far more than the turkey we ate the next day that was the most nourishing part of the holiday.

Love is the foundation. I am aware of my good fortune.

1 comment:

  1. You are a lucky guy. I'm lucky because I married a woman with the same strong foundation of love that you have. I can't recall 1967, but on Thanksgiving 1968 my Dad told me not to come home if I didn't get a haircut. Sounds absurd (there may have been a few other factors like pot, hating Nixon, etc.)
    I would also lose his financial support at school. I ended up staying with a friend in Schenectady and going to a lawyer and getting emancipated. I got free hardship tuition, room and board . A few months later my Dad, not knowing about the emancipation (deep down a loving guy) felt guilty and sent me the school expenses. I went and bought a nice motorcycle, stereo, and some Thai sticks. Alls well that ends well. But I'd rather be greeted back home with joy.