Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Once and Future Dandy of Sigma Chi

But for the wonderful world of interactive media and social networking, the point of confluence between two other separate and distinct events would have raced right past me without my even having noticed.  Try to mask your surprise.  The thought of something going on about which I was unaware?  You would not exactly be risking next month's mortgage payment laying money on that particular bet. 

Nonetheless, I was alerted Monday by way of an anniversary greeting he communicated to his lovely wife that Monday was in fact the 19th wedding anniversary of Dave and Christine Joy.  Nineteen summers ago, Margaret and I spent a beautiful - albeit historically hot - July weekend in Vermont.  Dave and Christine married at a little country chapel that looked as if Rockwell painted it and Currier & Ives sold its image on lithograph.  The ceremony was beautiful.  I recall it - to the extent I do - because I was the Best Man (insert your joke about Slim Pickens - or Pickins' - as you wish). 

I did such a good job as Dave's Best Man that exactly ZERO people have asked me to do an encore in the nineteen years since.  The upside of that I suppose is that it has been nineteen years since someone asked me - in performance of that task - to wear a tuxedo that weighed as much as I did when I was soaking wet and it was bone dry on a day that courtesy of 90-plus degree temperatures and a country church without the modern extravagance of air-conditioning the tuxedo and I were both soaking wet. 

The weather was warmer than anticipated but the ceremony was beautiful.  And almost a score's worth of July 18ths later, the Joys are indeed still full of their surname.  And along the way they have added a mini-gaggle of Joys to the troop.  While I have never met any of their children, knowing from whence they came, I feel as if I have known them their entire lives.  To Dave and Christine - a couple of days late (for which I apologize) congratulations on the first nineteen and continuing success over the next nineteen.  In my defense might I say that my Best Man's toast was pretty good....and unlike this anniversary wish it was delivered on-time.

Being clued into the fact that this week was the week that was for Dave and Christine reminded me of course that this is also the week that my favorite landscaper - Margaret's nephew Frank - celebrates his 19th birthday.  Frank was born the weekend that we were in Vermont for Dave and Christine's wedding.  He is Child #4/Son #2 in the sextet of kids that Margaret's brother Frank and his wife Chrissy have brought into this world. 

Nineteen already.  I still remember sitting in the empty dining room at Catari's in Bound Brook with my brother-in-law when Margaret and I returned from Vermont that Sunday night, toasting the birth of his new baby with some of Frank's fine homemade red wine.  At first it seemed to me that my math was bad and that Frank cannot already be nineteen.  He is of course - having graduated from high school in June and preparing to start college in September.  Even I knew both of those things. 

What I did not know until I read it on-line Sunday night was that this Thursday evening he is going to participate in an All-Star Football Game called the Snapple Bowl, which is contested annually between players who went to high school in Middlesex County (Frank's team) and those who went to school in Union County.  This apparently will be the final chance for him to place up his pads and play football and he appears fairly jazzed about the chance.  The Snapple Bowl is an endeavor whose proceeds go to charity so it fits squarely under the heading of a win-win.  Here's to hoping that in what he presumes shall be his final game, his squad ends up with one in the "win" column. 

Actually, here's to hoping that all the kids get on and off of the field without getting hurt so that even for those of whom this shall be "their final game ever" it does not impact upon their ability to live the next nineteen years of their lives.  And the nineteen after that.  And....well you get the idea.

She thinks I'm crazy but I'm just growing old.....


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