Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Flatirons and Wrinkles

Flatirons - Boulder, Colorado 
April 2, 2016

The final stop of our extended weekend in Colorado was a brief jaunt into Boulder.  Although Fort Collins and Boulder are only located an hour or so away from each other, little to none of Rob and Jess's day-to-day takes them from the former to the latter.  Truth be told, the stop in Boulder was a bone thrown to this old man.  And it is one that I greatly appreciated.

Although it was a lifetime ago that I called CU-Boulder home, I have never been able to shake the dust of the place off of my shoes.  I hope to never do so.  If a place has ever touched you in such a way, then you know what I mean.  If no place has yet never touched you in such a way, then I hope at some point in your life some place does so.  It changes you.  

Boulder, Colorado is a city of approximately 100,000 people.  The area immediately adjacent to the CU campus is known as "the Hill".   Prior to walking around there on Saturday afternoon, I cannot recall the last time I had been in that neighborhood.  It is -as I imagine that a lot of neighborhoods around universities are - transient in the sense that the businesses that comprise it come and go.  The Hill is now what it was thirty years ago - an eclectic mix of businesses - although the businesses on the Hill now are not those that were there once upon a lifetime ago.  

In spite of all of the changes in the composition of the neighborhood, there are some things that have remained constant.  One of them is "Albums on the Hill".  It is an absolute gem of a store where a lifetime ago Alex Schreiber and I used to spend countless hours perusing their incredible collection of used albums.  Among the treasures I unearthed there as an undergrad were vinyl copies of what were (at that time) all of Springsteen's LPs.  I still have them.


Rob had never been inside of the store - a glaring oversight on my part given the number of times that he and I have been in Boulder together - until Saturday.  He and I spent ten or fifteen minutes roaming around it, and chatted a bit with the owner on our way out the door.  Rob was surprised to learn the man who owns the store now is the same man who has owned it since it opened in 1987. The owner, Andy Schneidkraut, was surprised to learn that I had been a loyal customer of his way back when.  

Home in New Jersey on Sunday, I reflected a bit on our brief Boulder sojourn.  It made me smile.  But it also made me a bit sad.  As human beings go, I am no prize.  Consequently I am a man of few friends -an arrangement that works to the benefit of the world as much as it does to mine.  I have done more than my fair share of lousy things to other human beings in my half-century on the planet - and not all of them inadvertently.  Yet, I cannot fathom for the life of me what it is that I must have done that severed my connection to Schneedz.  At some point along the way I either did something to him that wronged him or failed to do something that he had been counting upon me to do for him, which failure injured him.  I know not what it is or when it occurred.  

If I ever see him again, I shall tell him that I am sorry...

...for whatever it is. 


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