Monday, January 16, 2012

Where the Palais Used to Stand

You may be among the Americans enjoying the day off today. Although it is not actually his birthday, today is the day set aside this year to honor the birth and the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And while the National Basketball Association - a professional sports league whose biggest stars include a number of high-profile African American athletes - views today as a 'work day', for a number of public and private organizations and their employees today is a 'non-work day'. For us at the Firm it is business as usual. Whether the workplace you call home has a space that needs your face today or not, do yourself a favor. Spend a few minutes here. Learn a little something about the man.

In addition to being a federal holiday, today is my sister Jill's birthday. I am not brave enough to disclose her age publicly but I can say this. If you took arithmetic at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School then today you would be calling Jill to wish her well as she celebrates her birth "Two score and seven years ago" on this date.

I hope Wilma has a wonderful, happy birthday. There are six Kenny siblings. Jill is the one who is closest to me in age and the one with whom I have probably had the closest relationship my entire life. It is not an exaggeration to say that had Jill not loathed the entire time she spent on campus in South Bend as a freshman at Notre Dame, which loathing led her to transfer to CU, I likely would never have ended up in Boulder.

She and I are similar enough in terms of our personalities that once ND proved to be a brutally poor fit for her, I never bothered to apply there. Seemed like nothing but a waste of my time and Mom's money to fill out and mail in the application. Moreover when I could not decide as a senior in high school where I wanted to go to college - a decision made all the more difficult by Georgetown's and Boston College's separate but similar decisions to reject my effort to matriculate to one of their institutions- it was Jill who brought me the CU application and who encouraged me to not only apply there but to enroll there.

While I was running Saturday afternoon, a song from a lifetime ago popped up on my iPod. It made me think of life way back when as a teenager, which made me think of some of the funny (often hilarious) jams Jill and I got ourselves into as kids. My personal favorite is when - during my first impromptu driving lesson (using Mom's Chevette) - I managed to make a left turn right into the railroad ties that the guy whose house was located at the corner of Amwell Road and Wertsville Road used to mark the border of his property. While the exact details of the ridiculous story we told Mom to "explain" why it appeared as if someone had jammed an entire set of Lincoln Logs under her right front wheel's rim have been lost to the fog of time, I do recall how earnestly the two of us tried to sell it to Mom. Whether Mom bought it I know not. Considering that we were children 5 and 6 - all of whom had tried to sell her on one thing or another at some point - I suspect that she did not.

Jill's oldest child is a freshman in college this year. I suspect without knowing for certain that Jill's principal role has been transformed from seller to potential buyer. And having learned from the best, I suspect that she knows exactly how to handle it.

My sister's married and she lives on an Estate
Her daughters go out, now it's her turn to wait.

She knows they get away with things she never could
But if I asked her I wonder if she would....

Happy Birthday Wilma.


No comments: