Saturday, October 13, 2012

Making My Way Back to the Old Town

Some nice goings-on at the Alma mater (high school version) today and this evening.  Today is W-H's annual "Fall Fair/Homecoming".  Back in the day, when I prowled the campus as a student this was my favorite day of the year.   As an alum who lives within a twenty minute drive of the campus, it is the one time a year that I try to make it to campus.  As of right now, a jaunt over there late this afternoon is still in the plans although whether the Missus makes the trip with me is still open to negotiation.  Candidly I cannot blame her for her somewhat middling level of enthusiasm.  Spending several hours in the company of people who are strangers to you and who are - for the most part - barely more than strangers to the spouse whose company you are keeping is no one's idea of an ideal Saturday evening. 

A few years ago W-H added a very nice, well-planned Alumni event to the Fall Fair program.  This year's event will feature two alums being inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.  One of the two HOF inductees, Roger Wood, graduated from W-H the year after I did.  We played on a number of teams together, beginning when he was a 7th grader and I was an 8th grader.  When I found out that Roger was among this year's inductees I smiled thinking about our 7th/8th grade football team.  Head coach Link Keur - astutely realizing that a football team with two #1 quarterbacks really has no #1 quarterback - made a decision early on in pre-season camp to list Wood, R. ahead of Kenny, A. on his depth chart.  He never wavered from that decision all season.  A lifetime later, one of us is being inducted into the Athletic HOF.  The other shall be an attendee at the ceremony.  If Link Keur is not the brightest coach I ever played for, then he is at the very least assured of a spot on the medal platform. 

In addition to inducting two new members into the Athletic Hall-of-Fame, this year's Alumni event will also honor two people as recipients of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award.  One of the two honorees (a Distinguished Alumna as it were) is Mary McCormack, Class of  '87, who is one of the ubertalented and successful McCormack family.  If you have seen "Private Parts" or an episode of "The West Wing" or more recently "In Plain Sight", then you have seen Mary's work.  And if you have not, then after pushing the boulder from in front of the hole where you have been entombed the past two decades, find your way to a computer and enter the word "NETFLIX" in a Google search. 

For no reason other than this is not my week to baby-sit the McCormack family I know not whether Mary's big sister and (hopefully) soon-to-be Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Bridget shall be in attendance this evening.  With days to the election dwindling down to a precious few, it may not be possible for her to be in New Jersey on a Saturday night.   I reckon that at some point between now and when my head and my pillow dole out their nightly helping of Peaches and Herb I shall know the answer to that question. 

The weather dudes and dudettes have promised a beautiful October day for the good folks who give up copious amounts of time and sweat equity to bring this annual event to life at W-H.  I hope that Mother Nature honors that promise.  While it long ago ceased being a part of my day-to-day, W-H remains now what it was then:  a place where a lot of good people strive to do good work. 

The faces change but the mission remains the same.  Same as it ever was....
I made my way back to the old town
And everything looked the same
The shops and the schools and the factories were there
But somehow the faces had changed
So I went for a walk in the high streets
Took my coat off and rolled up my sleeves
I thought of my father and his father before him
And how I was the first one to leave.

-AK




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