Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Book of Daniel

Well now the years have gone and I've grown
From that seed you've sown...
- Walk Like A Man 
Bruce Springsteen

My son, Rob, has been blessed with the good fortune of having a lifelong friend with whom his relationship morphed from one of mere friendship and into brotherhood too many years ago for me to accurately recollect.  Today, in beautiful southern California, Rob shall stand beside his brother, Dan Byrnes, as his Best Man as Dan and his life's great love, Lissette, shall exchange their vows and begin their life together.    It was slightly more than two years ago, on a gorgeous early summer's afternoon that Dan stood beside Rob on Bradshaw Beach as his Best Man when Rob and Jess wed.  

Margaret and I have had the pleasure of knowing Dan for most of his life.  The fact that he has grown into the man that he has become is of no surprise whatsoever, inasmuch as we have known his parents, Joe and Lucy, and his sister, Christina, for as long as we have known him.  Theirs is a family that reinforces one's faith in the adage regarding apples and trees.  Two extraordinarily good folks brought two children into this world and raised each of them to become an extraordinarily good person in his/her own right.  

As a person who by choice (both mine and the world's) keeps the world at arm's length, I have long marveled at the unbreakable bond Rob and Dan enjoy.  It is a friendship that has made each a better man.  And it shall continue to do so as each moves headlong into the next phase of his life.

There are far too few opportunities in my day-to-day - and I suspect in yours as well - for me to be genuinely silly.  Some of my favorite genuinely silly moments have been spent in Joe's company, whether we were swapping lead vocals and air guitar licks during a rousing evening of "Rock Band" in our backyard on Delaware Avenue or tailgating at a Springsteen concert.  Dan is every inch his father's son.  I am a person who uses a lot of words. I cannot employ any that compliment Dan any better than those. 

Work-related craziness has kept the Missus and me here on the East Coast this weekend.  We shall toast the bride and groom in spirit, if not in person.  Thinking of Dan's wedding today made me think back to when he and Rob were Boy Scouts.  Each summer, their troop used to spend a week camping someplace in Pennsylvania.  Up until one of them was old enough to drive, Joe and I used to ride up together to the campground every summer to pick them up.  It was one of my favorite days of the summer.  The boys would stow their stuff in the back of the car and then collapse into the back seat, properly exhausted from a week's worth of survival training in the woods.  As soon as the car exited the campground and we were on the way home, they would begin to regale Joe and I with tales of the week that was.  By the time we made it home, all four of us would have laughed ourselves hoarse. 

One of my favorite photographs is one from Jess and Rob's wedding reception, taken while the DJ was playing "Born to Run".  Having seen the wedding video, which includes an excerpt from our performance, I assure you that you are being done a terrific service by not being subjected to hearing our four-part disharmony here.  It matters not how we sounded, unless you were standing within earshot I suppose.  We were having one hell of a good time. 

Congratulations to Dan and to his bride, Lissette.  May the life you make together be one of love, one of happiness, and above all else, one of peace.  

May he always remember the lessons his father taught him, including those of paramount importance...



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