Sunday, February 12, 2017

Next year in Naples

Since 2007 a number of fraternity brothers have reunited in February to catch up.  Sometimes we meet twice a year rendezvousing in October as well.  Each time we've connected in Albany where we met, studied, and cavorted as college classmates in the late 60s and early seventies.

February is not the balmiest of months for those who live in Albany. Usually the snow is up to your knees and it is every bit of frigid. In 2016 the temperature during our weekend was atypically warm. We ambled easily around the municipal golf course with hundreds of Albany denizens who were strolling or walking their canines on that atypically spring like day for February.

This year we decided to change it up a bit. We decided to meet in Boston where two of the regulars of the crew reside.  We have had this planned for six months.  One of our cronies bought tickets to a Harvard hockey game on Friday night. I purchased ducats to a Northeastern basketball contest for Saturday.

The problem was that on Thursday we on the east coast got whacked with a storm.  One attendee from Chicago could not fly in. Another driving from Montauk faced a daunting drive through slick highways and decided, wisely, to take a pass.  That left four of us. We made do.

What do four guys pushing 70 who went to school during the revolution discuss during reunions. Here were the items that got the most air time.

  • Donald Trump.  Not only did none of us consider voting for Trump, we spent a good deal of time talking about how anyone could.  When we met in October it was the weekend when, on Friday, his "you can grab their pussy" comment was broadcast.  At that time we made fun of him as a goof, and also as someone, of course, who was sure to lose.  This time we identified incident after outrageous incident. The Trump conversations often concluded with one of us asking rhetorically "how could he have been elected?"
  • The weather.  Albany is typically colder than Boston, so we figured that this year it would be a little more balmy than are our usual rendezvous. Not.  Much of our conversation this weekend was about how cold we were.  We had great seats for the hockey game, but were right near the ice, so it was not summery at the rink.  But let me assure you that the walk from the rink to the car after the game was the kind of stuff you might consider would make a prisoner confess and give up his mother.  It was so cold that we four sat in the car for 15 minutes with the heat trying to blast us warm-- wagon train waiting to exit the arena, then drove another 15 minutes to a restaurant, yet we were still frozen a half hour later when we parked ourselves at the table.  Saturday night was a little better since the basketball arena was more temperate and the walk to where we dined shorter.  Still damn cold. I think we will speak about how cold we were this weekend for several reunions to come.
  • Children. The other three who made up our group, are parents. It was interesting to hear them talking about the joys and tribulations of parenting, in much the same way as we--in our early twenties--talked about the joys and tribulations of being parented.  I imagine that our folks talked about us in 1967, in much the same way as the guys this weekend asked/talked about their kids.  Do the kids have relationships. Did they like their kids' others.  One of the guys said that when his son had asked him, years before, about what to seek in a partner, his response was simply "low maintenance."  This seemed to resonate with all.
  • The Patriots.  It was fun to talk about the recent startling super bowl game. Each of us relaying "where we were then" almost like talking about the Kennedy assassination.  Where were we watching it? How did we react when the Patriots went down so big?
  • Old girlfriends.  This has been a bigger issue at other reunions, but it got some air time this visit as well.
The party's over.  We, in  Boston, are getting blasted again by another storm. My buddy Kenny left at 10:45 driving into the teeth of it.  We dropped the other non-Bostonian off near his daughter's apartment last night and I hope if he knows what's good for him, he's nearly home already.

I always find it nourishing to see these folks.  One of the guys who did not make it has a condo in Naples, Florida.  Last night while cold, and recalling how much colder we were the night before, one of the fellows suggested that next February we meet in Florida.

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