Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Demented and Sad....

Quite an action-packed weekend for my old bones 'NTSG.  Friday night the Missus and I took in the John Hiatt and the Combo concert at McCarter Theatre in Princeton.  Simply extraordinary show.  Mr. Hiatt has been plying his trade for a long time and has built up an extensive catalog of material from which to draw.  For two-plus hours Friday night he took us on a guided tour of it, including several visits to his newest release, Mystic Pinball.  The energy he brings to bear is exceptional but energy without talent is....well Bobcat Goldthwait.  Hiatt is a musical craftsman.  Friday night he did not disappoint.  An outstanding evening of music.  If the opportunity presents itself for you to see him on this tour, avail yourself of it.  If you are among what I presume to be the overwhelming majority of people who pop by this space and have never heard any of his music, avail yourself of that opportunity too. 
Sunday morning we headed off to Livingston New Jersey so that Margaret could work at and I could run in the 3rd Annual Livingston 5K, an event which is a labor of love of my law partner Arnold Gerst.  It was this year - as it had been each of its first two years - a terrific event.  Mother Nature was not as kind to Arnie and his army of volunteers as she might have been.  While the morning saw not more than the stray drop of rain, the sky had that gun-metal gray, autumnal look to it from sunrise on, which had a bit of an effect on the number of people who showed up an hour or so before gun time to register for it.  For reasons still not entirely clear to me, I ran my best-ever 5K time.   I remain genetically incapable of finishing with a time that is lower than 24 minutes.  But on Sunday I ran a personal best of 24:10.89.   A nice way for me to wrap up my fall racing schedule.  No events for me now until the Saturday before Thanksgiving when I take part in the 5 mile Turkey Trot in 'Squan. 
The filling in the middle of the Oreo of fun that was this weekend was the time spent in the company of those who graduated as I did from W-H.  On Saturday afternoon I went to campus for the annual Alumni Gathering during which two folks whose time at W-H overlapped with my own were the recipients of honors.  Roger Wood was enshrined in the school's Athletic Hall-of-Fame while Mary McCormack was honored as a Distinguished Alumna.  Mary's remarks in accepting her award were pitch-perfect.  And her good humor and patience in playing the "You may remember me" game that took place at the conclusion of the ceremony was nothing short of gracious - especially when talking to an alum who graduated a couple of years before she did and whose conversation with her centered around his son's appreciation of the way in which she brought a feeling of authenticity to a role that had her playing on television what his son does in "real life" every day.  
I ended up spending a bit of time post-ceremony not only hanging around on campus with some old friends - and a number of people who I knew either not well or not at all - and then to my surprise with many of that same group off-campus for a while thereafter.  If you live, work or both in or near Scotch Plains, New Jersey might I suggest that you spend a bit of time and hard-earned coin at the brand-spanking new Darby Road Pub on Park Avenue.   Terrific little joint owned and staffed by good folks and turning out good food and drink at a good price. 
By choice (mine - although the pleasure realized from it is all theirs) I spend little time with the company of those I first came to know a lifetime ago.  As someone whose life's history has consistently been one of brightening rooms through departure as opposed to arrival I have little doubt that my absence has been scarcely noticed - if even at all - by those who attend such functions regularly.  Thus their collective patience in tolerating my attendance on Saturday evening was well-appreciated I assure you.  My gift to them is my promise to not come 'round again for another twelve months. 
All kidding aside, while it may well be true that you cannot go home again, the occasional trip through the old neighborhood just to see what's what is certainly good for the soul. Happy that I took this one. 

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