The BS Moose

In the summer of 1973, I had just finished the fifth grade, we moved to a large brick home on Vernon Terrace. It the nicest home we’d ever lived in that was ours, very similar to our quarters at Fort Belvoir, an Army base on the Potomac River, not far from Mount Vernon. In the front yard of Vernon Terrace were a cherry tree that put out blossoms like those around the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial, a Norway spruce, and a little driveway that descended into a basement garage that no car could fit in. In the back yard grew a large oak tree, whose leaves and acorns I raked up every fall. We soon fenced in the a backyard the so the Irish Setter, Holly, and the German Shepherd, Kraut, could run around. Along the perimeter of most of the property were hedges of hemlock and boxwood. The house, built in 1924 (meaning that there was often only one electrical outlet per room), had three stories and a basement. With fewer, but larger rooms, hardwood floors and high ceilings, the house had a welcome, steady, tranquil feeling. Our family had been through some bad years, and this house, this home, was just the thing we needed.

Although we had moved from another part of Alexandria, I did not change schools. Starting in the fourth grade, I had been going to St. Stephen’s, first when we lived at Fort Belvoir, then while briefly off post at another home, then when we came to Vernon Terrace. Living in the same home and staying at the same school were a welcome change for an Army kid. I’d stay in the same home and at the same school until graduation in 1980.

A few kids from St. Stephen’s lived in my new neighborhood, but I was close to only one, Bill, who lived on Randall Court. Bill had lived in the same house all his life. He showed me around the neighborhood that first day we moved in: I still remember that first evening, the type of summer night found only in the South: a humid texture in the air that felt almost sexual, even to, or perhaps especially to, an eleven year old; there were some bugs and crickets, and the feeling that something wonderful might happen.

After seventh grade, Bill left St. Stephen’s and transferred to a boarding school, but by then I had made other friends in the neighborhood, one of whom was Matt, who went to the local public school. Matt lived just around the corner, on a different street but with the same house number as ours, so sometimes we got mail for Matt’s family, and sometimes they got our mail. Matt’s father, Alfred, worked for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and his mother, Kathryn, was a nurse at Mt. Vernon Hospital. She was on duty in the emergency room, some years later, after I got hit by a car, and went to the hospital to have shards of the windshield taken out of the palm of my left hand.

I’m sure Matt’s parents, along with my mom, were the only Democrats in our neighborhood. Other dads were lobbyists and lawyers, worked at the Heritage Foundation, had been Nixon lackeys, and across the street from our home was the local home of a senator from Mississippi. Matt, like me, was the youngest, and had four older siblings; one older brother was a charismatic preacher, another an architect, a third had been a lumberjack, then gone to work for the border patrol, and last there was also an older sister, just a few years older than us, who studied art; I was hopelessly, remotely, in love with her. The brothers had all raced bicycles for a while, and in their basement were a least twenty bikes.

By the time we reached high school Matt was going to Groveton, where I would have gone had I not been at St. Stephen’s. Through Matt I met Greg, also our age, who also went to Groveton, but he lived down Fort Hunt Road a couple miles, in a neighborhood called Villamay. Greg’s parents were divorced, and while I have no memory of his mother, I do remember quite well his father, Howard. Howard had been a high school business teacher, then later founded one of the most successful real estate companies in northern Virginia. Howard always asked me about how things were going, and would also ask about my mom (he knew that she was a real estate, although at another company). When your own dad died a while back, you always appreciate the interest of your buddy’s dads. Like Matt, Greg had a sister, but she was younger, and I remembered her as just a kid, maybe twelve years old. Many years later, on a visit back East from California, I was at a bar in Old Town, when a tall, lovely woman, looking faintly familiar, with nice cheek bones and his same funny smile, introduced herself as Greg’s sister.

It was through Matt and Greg that I became associated with the BS Moose. The BS Moose were mostly in the same grade, the future graduating class of 1980, and all came from Groveton. The Moose were mostly male, and its membership cut across economic lines. I don’t know where the term came from—maybe it was a parody of the Moose Lodge.

The cast of characters, like all of this, is imperfectly remembered.

Sarah, the never forgotten first girlfriend, was pretty, athletic, and smart; I’ve still got the Steely Dan greatest hits double album she gave me as a birthday present.

George was the first to get a car, a Dodge Dart, the first to get married, and played goalie on the soccer team, along with Matt and Greg.

Scott also played soccer, was quiet, and I would have expected him to become a computer coder. John lived near Greg, and I think his mother had an interior design firm and his father owned an electrical contracting firm.

David’s father was a doctor, and turned out to have been my pediatrician when I was young. Eric played soccer and was a good looking guy, but somehow he earned the nickname of male airhead. That said, I think he, like a lot of the Moose, was a National Honors Student (or scholar?) and after graduation went to SMU.

Jim, who looked somewhat Neanderthalish, also played soccer, and was often seen at parties talking to the preppiest girl around, Helen.

Colin, who was quite smart (I think he went to MIT), supposedly lived in my neighborhood, but I swear I never, ever saw him there.

Karen felt sort of like your sister, although I think Matt and David dated her (not at the same time), and she had a younger brother, Rick, whom people often disliked, earning him the name Rick the Dick.

Sherry, who had what we guessed to have the loveliest breasts, lived in an oddly located house that may have once been in a neighborhood, but was now a busier street surrounded by apartment buildings.

Scott was a year or two younger and played basketball; his mother had been a model, and we could tell his younger sister was going to be gorgeous, and were waiting for her to grow up. Scott told us to stay away.

John was from Brazil, also year or two younger, and with Scott as his partner, did a near perfect rendition of Abbot and Costello’s comedy routine Who’s on first?1Two thoughts struck me as I wrote this ...continue

Tom, huge, always seemed to be wearing a letter jacket and always in need of a shave, but was generally friendly, and he had a pretty, tall younger sister named Kim.

Allyson, a year younger, had such a wide smile that at parties we asked her to demonstrate this oddity by putting her fist in her mouth. Her friend was Jenny, who dated Scott for a while. Irene you wanted to keep talking to, just because she was interesting and because she was good looking.

Another David, I think usually referred to as Selzmar, was a year younger, played soccer, and when baked or drunk, was given to making smart observations on the music of Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

There were others, more on the fringe, the fringe meaning either whom I hung out with and whom I remember. One guy named Myrone, who now in my mind strikes me as a sort of R. Crumb, and might have been the originator of the BS Moose. There was a Fred, or Fortney, or maybe Fred Fortnoy. The roll call goes on: Lisa, Brian, Alicia, Joe, Hillary, Baby face Ed, Mary Ellen, Jennifer, Jon (who may have had a brother a couple years ahead of me at St. Stephen’s). To be sure not all were of the BS Moose, but in the clown filled funhouse of my memory, they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

~

The epicenter of the BS Moose was Groveton High School: all Moose lived south and west of Alexandria, the main routes, starting with those closest to the Potomac River were the George Washington Parkway, Fort Hunt Road, Route 1, and South King’s Highway. Neighborhoods had their own character: Belle Haven was old money (aside from the above noted exceptions), generally conservative; Villamay was the nouveau riche and arrivistes, while Hollin Hills, with its modern homes and higher concentration of Volvos, was home to the more progressive, intellectual, Jewish-liberal wing of the Moose. Some families had more money than others, but best I can recall, it didn’t matter. The group was united by the neutral force of geography. At St. Stephen’s it was different: there were kids from all over the Washington, D.C. area, sent there by parents with a particular set of expectations. And it wasn’t that I disliked my St. Stephens’s classmates; most were good guys, and the school itself, I recognized this ever so dimly even at the time, was an important part of my life. But at St. Stephen’s I didn’t fit in to any of the cliques, and through Matt and Greg, I was a sort of honorary BS Moose.

The main Moose activities were drinking beer, going to parties, driving around, listening to music, and meeting girls. Yet the Moose were no slackers: I think nearly all went to college, most played sports all three seasons, worked summer jobs. It was a funny time: we were the tail of baby-boom, and in 1980, the year of our graduation, the great forty-five years of unprecedented prosperity would begin to end, but we couldn’t know that. Viet-Nam and the draft had been issues for older siblings, and MTV, personal computers, and all the rest of it were in the future. I think we all assumed that we were moving towards some variation of our parents’ lives. Maybe we did.

Cars were freedom. George had the Dodge that hauled us around, and I think John had some big American car. Matt would occasionally get his dad’s awesome Ford F100 truck, or the LeSabre. I lucked into an old British sports car, a Jensen, two seater, red, convertible that was great when it ran, and when it didn’t, was expensive to get running again. But the finest car was the one that Greg got for a birthday present, a classic gorgeous Mercedes 280-SL, two seater, deep green with a tan leather interior. But Howard had made a huge mistake: it was pearls to swine. You don’t ever give a teenager that kind of car. On prom night senior year, Greg, driving drunk, rolled the car. He and his date, Ellen, were okay. Greg said that Ellen, with her blond hair and white prom dress, streaked with blood from minor scraps in the accident, looked like Sissey Spacek from the movie Carrie. The car was totaled. The lesson was learned: Greg’s replacement car was a generic Ford from Howard’s fleet of cars for his real estate agents.

Driving around was an acceptable way to spend an afternoon. It helped if there was a particular destination, but it wasn’t required. It was the suburban teenager’s version of going fishing: you might look like you’re doing something, but you really aren’t. I remember one late winter day, it was still cold, but clear and sunny, and the Jensen was running, so Matt and I put down the top, cranked up the heat, and drove around until sunset. I think gas was about 77 cents a gallon back then, although I needed a slightly higher octane, 93 or so, for the engine, and this gas was sold only at Sunoco, where it ran about 81 cents.

The amount of beer we drank was stunning. New Year’s Eve, 1979, we each bought a case of beer, Molson, and loaded in the trunk of the car, before heading out to the evenings parties, where there would be more alcohol. Beer was to us what guns are to the NRA: God. The beer was usually American, although once in a while we drank Heineken Dark Ale, and thought ourselves worldly. We didn’t drink hard liquor; at the time in Virginia you could only buy beer and wine if you looked 18, and besides, if you drank whiskey at the rate we drank beer, you’d pass out too early in the evening. Wine we drank once in a while, but as I recall the Almaden, Metuse, and Blue Nun were mostly swill. Kegs were to be finished, if not at the party, then the next day. One afternoon, after a particular party, we stuffed a keg, still some beer in there swishing around, into the trunk of my Volvo (the Jensen was gone), and parked at the back of a school, not enough out of site. When a police car pulled up, Matt, Greg, and the rest ran into the woods. What was I to do?

The policeman stopped the car a few yards away, asked me to come over, and gave me a balloon breath test. He looked at it for a moment, looked at me, looked off into the woods, then he turned to me. “Well,” he said, “you’re kind of right on the line with the results here. And you’re also drinking alcohol on school property. But…you seem like you’re okay, so here’s what you’re going to do. After I drive away, and your friends come back, you’re going to leave here immediately, and I’m never going to see you again. Do we understand each other?” We did.

To drink to the point of passing out was acceptable, but to drink to the point of vomiting was to risk humiliation. We drove drunk so often I am amazed that no one died, let alone got stopped by the police. If someone was too wasted, it might have cross out minds to make sure nothing bad happened, assuming we weren’t too wasted ourselves. One night at a party, Nicky, the best dressed of them all, and who appeared to recognized early on that he was gay, got too drunk (as opposed to just drunk), and in a sort of Exorcist type fit, started doing the worm on the floor while saying to my then girlfriend, “Sarah, I want to have your baby, I want to have your baby.” We got him in to someone’s car, I think John’s, pulled up in front of his home; John and I took him on each side, laid him on the front doorstep, rang the doorbell, then ran back to the car.

We were practical and resourceful in procuring beer. Wednesdays I’d check the Giant food store insert in the morning paper, to see what beer was going on sale that weekend. Then there was the problem of age and being carded. Fortunately, the Virginia driver’s license was printed on a piece of paper, and with an Exacto knife, food coloring, the right typewriter (can’t remember if it was pica or elite), and an eye for detail, you could modify your birth year. Another time, somehow, Matt obtained some blank hunter’s license forms. Hunting licenses. None of us had ever hunted. We filled these out, taped in our photos, even went to the trouble to laminate them, and would present these when carded at the Korean food store. When a hard blizzard hit the area in the winter of ‘78 and closed schools and roads for nearly a week, I put on a backpack, hiked up Beacon Hill to the 7-11, filled it up with beer, and hiked back.

~

At Groveton, unlike St. Stephen’s, there were girls. Of course that’s not quite fair: there was a sister school St. Agnes, but I never quite recovered from the trauma and torture that was known as Junior Assembly, or JA. JA was some medieval tradition that had somehow survived both the Renaissance and Enlightenment, the discovery of a helio-centric solar system and vaccines. During JA, sixth graders from St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes were forced to spend Saturday afternoons in dance class, learning to waltz, to cha-cha, to suffer the iron maiden, to endure the rack. We’d get some instruction, dance or pretend to, then during a break, we’d have to walk the last girl we danced with to her seat, go get her a coke, put a napkin underneath it, present it to her, then go get our own drink and then sit on our own separate side of the auditorium. Bill, always more mature, was much more into it than I was; he seemed to know all the girls. Me? I was baffled as to why the girls were growing so tall and curved kinda funny. I remember one Saturday afternoon, when the carpool arrived to take me to JA. I had completely forgotten about it, and my mom was not there that day to remind me. Bill came looking for me in our back yard. I think I was playing with my little plastic army men, using model airplane glue and matches as a sort of napalm. I told Bill to go ahead without me. Later my mother got a call from the Very Concerned Junior Assembly Star Chamber, inquiring why I had not been there.

Years later, in high school, I received an invitation to a similar event, one that should have gone out with Reconstruction: some sort of debutante, cotillion, coming out in a not gay way….event. I wish I still had the paperwork from the invitation, surely the format and wording were unchanged since 1833. Of course I was no one’s date, but fresh meat and a high ratio of beaus to debutantes were needed, and they must have found my name on that damn JA list. The invitation went into the garbage, and I’m sure instead I did something meaningful and important with the Moose, like get really drunk.

The Groveton girls were in no way associated with any of this.

The adult in me looks back at the dumb-fuck that I was, and cringes and complains, but there’s nothing to be done about that. Really, it was just fine: Sarah in the passenger seat, in that Jensen, spring day, on the Parkway; I can never, ever complain about anything. I dated other Groveton girls, and it was all good, but only once did I err: God help me, I went out once with a freshman. She was pretty, and I’m not sure if I was a junior or senior, I hope the former, only to seem like less of a pervert. The only consolation was that it was short lived. At a party not long after that first date, I found her making out with Matt—thanks buddy, for getting me out of that one!

Indeed, over the years we dated each other, and in some ways it was like a TV sitcom in it’s seventh or eight season, when the writers are out of ideas, and resort to everyone sleeping with everyone else. Matt dated Sherry and maybe Karen and I think a girl named Gigi (a name easy to say when you are drunk). After me Sarah dated, I think Colin, then maybe guy a year behind, Brooks? Greg had a good run with some sisters, pretty and blond, first Cathy, then a younger sister Ellen (see above). There was one more sister, still younger, we were waiting for Greg to ask her out. John dated Leigh and Eric went out with Jennifer.

Of course it wasn’t perfect. There were fights, cruelty, disappointment, pettiness. But when you’re young it’s easier to bounce back, and believe the myth that the future might be better. Time’s on your side.

~

In the fall we went to football games and in winter to basketball games; I think Groveton’s football team was average, but they had a very good basketball team. Usually during a game, one of the guys would stand up and suddenly yell out, “Is everybody ready?” The group responded “Yeah.” Then began a brilliant call and response, only partially remembered, and I wish I knew who came up with it, and wish I could remember the rest. It went something like this:

Dude: Is everybody ready?
Crowd: Yeah
Dude: It’s on my head!
Crowd: Oh yeah!
Johnny Walker Red!
Oh yeah!
It’s in my ear!
Oh yeah!
A keg of beer!
Oh yeah!
It’s on my back!
Oh yeah!
Johnny Walker Black!
Oh yeah!

And so on. To hard drinking teenagers, this was poetic genius.

Afterwards we went to wherever the party was, often a home where the parents had gone away for the weekend. Other times we might venture into Old Town, Alexandria, to drink the schooners of awful beer at the Fish Market. But mostly we preferred to stay in our neck of the woods. Other times we went to concerts, and our tastes were typical: Van Halen, Boston, Rush, the Cars, and the array of Southern rock bands: the Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special.

Longer weekends, holidays, summers, we went places. Over a winter break Matt, Greg, and I went skiing at place in West Virginia, I think Snowshoe. The mountain was configured contrarian, where you parked at the top of the mountain, and skied down. We drove there from Alexandria, skied all day, then on the last run the chair lift broke down. As we waited for the chair lift to be repaired, I noted that my feet were wet, and getting cold. About an hour an later we finally got on the chair lift. After a tiring long drive to where out hotel was, I sat with my foot in a tub of hot water, but a couple of toes stayed white for a long time. They’ve been sensitive to cold ever since.

One summer, in July, we drove to Florida. Greg’s dad had a home in Siesta Key, and my sister, so trusting, took the Jensen for few weeks and loaned us her convertible Volkswagen. What was she thinking? We drove straight through to get there, and spent a week doing what we did: drinking beer and going out. Florida in July was nasty, hot, and humid. Swimming in the Gulf provided no relief. Later I reconsidered Florida, after I learned to sail, and after I started reading John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee private eye series.

~

On the first day of Spring of our senior year I had a party. My mother agreed to vacate the house for the evening, with the promise that the next morning, I would deliver her newspapers. For a number of years my mother delivered The Washington Post in our neighborhood. I have no idea how she got that into her head to do that. However, since I, too, had experience delivered papers (in middle school I delivered The Washington Star, an afternoon paper which had gone out of business), I agreed to make sure the next morning the papers were delivered.

My mother also required that someone keep an eye on things, and that job fell to my older brother, Keith. He, in turn, roped in two of his friends, who were a sort of microcosm of the Moose: Rick cleaned carpets with my brother, and another high school classmate of Keith’s from Hayfield High, Alan, who had been studying medicine at Johns Hopkins, was now at the U.S. Navel Academy. The three stayed on duty the entire night, hanging out in the foyer of our home, quite stoned.

I doubt we provided any food, but at the start of the party I had two kegs of beer, obtained from the Coast Guard Station Alexandria, on Telegraph Road. Someone in the Moose had arranged for a band, and a cool looking guy named Noah and his band showed up for the party. There were some electric guitars, a full drum set, and set of conga drums. I had hoped for good weather, so we could hold the party in our back yard, but the gods were not smiling, and it was cold and rainy, and everything and everyone were inside.

The turnout was huge. The house was full. The band was rock’n. At some point the police came by because of the neighbor’s complaints about either the noise, all the cars, or both. It was understandable to staid, uptight Belle Haven: there was a full complement of people from Groveton, plus, happily, a bunch of people from St. Stephen’s showed up. But soon we ran out of beer, but there was good news: some enterprising person had been collecting a dollar per person at the front door, maybe my brother, so with a brown paper grocery bag full of ones, I left the house to Keith’s safe-keeping, went back to the Coast Guard Station Alexandria, and returned with three more kegs of beer. By the end of the night those were gone, too.

My next memory is that it’s about 5:00 in the morning; some people are passed out here and there, and I’m working to get papers delivered, and maybe some of the Moose helped. It all would have gone fine, the papers were delivered to the proper addresses, except there was one problem: it was a windy March morning, and we had not thought to weigh down the papers with a stone or similar, so the papers had blown away. A number of people called to complain, and of course my mother had to buy replacement papers for her route, and I had to pay her back.

But it was an epic party.

~

That first summer after graduation a bunch of us went on a several week if-it’s-Tuesday-it-must-be-Milan trip to Europe. We never actually went to Milan, but instead: Rome, Florence, Venice, Innsbruck, Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, then London. A couple of teachers from Groveton, Paul and Camille, were the trip leaders. Upon landing in Rome and after checking into our hotel, Matt and I went across the street to a market in search of cold beer. There was no cold beer there, nor anywhere else in Italy. Nor was there any chilled wine, so we bought a couple of bottles of red wine, filled the bathroom sink we the what we hoped was cold water but actually warm, and tried to chill the wine.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but Rome, Europe felt unusual and attractive, yet also a bit suspect, like a good looking, distant fourth cousin, whom you wonder if it’s okay to date. The women wore tight jeans, walked arm in arm, seemed very chic, and their faces were angular, watchful, and closed in a way that American faces were not. Days were spent sight-seeing, and evenings we were drinking. After three days in Rome we went by bus to Florence, where by climbing out on to the half balcony of our pension, we had a great view of Brunelleschi’s dome. In Venice, one night was set aside for a ride though the canals, and for some reason, none of the girls wanted to share a gondola with us. Matt, Greg, Ed and I piled into one, and passed around various bottles of wine. Ed, who had dared to wear sandals with black socks, shorts, a teal colored Hawaiian shirt, and a porkpie hat, sang to us his version of “Put Your Head on my Shoulder”. The next day we did not fare well as the bus drove north into the Dolomites, but we were saved by a lunch stop in Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the cool mountain air, where there was a fortifying lunch of schnitzel and fries, and finally cold beer. That night we stayed in a traditional hotel in Innsbruck where the shower water pressure was something more than a drizzle, the beds were hard, and at a dinner, again, more cold beer. The trip continued its alternating pattern of culture and consumption: the beer steins and hefe-weizen glasses we bought Munich somehow survived the trip back; we took an overnight train from Munich to Paris, so wonderful.

~

That fall, for the first time, we were all some place else. Matt and one or two others went to Virginia Tech, Greg, Sarah, and others went to the University of Virginia. Other destinations were Wake Forest, Duke, Smith College, and the University of Richmond. I went north to Vermont.

We kept in touch in a manner that seems hopelessly archaic: we wrote letters to each other. I still have them: they’re stored in a bag in a fire-proof safe, along with all others letters I ever received. Stored along with the letters is the Groveton year book for 1980; I think was called the Tiger Paw. John, the Brazilian, got me a copy. My sister had told me that among the schools in Fairfax County, Groveton was known for the quality of its yearbooks. She was right: I can still see its cover with a cascade of blues and yellows, and inside the black and white photography was thoughtful, and the layout was excellent.

~

For the entire summer after the first year at the university, Matt and I lived in a small town in Wyoming. I later felt bad because in our summer planning we had excluded Greg, and I think he wished he had come along. Matt’s architect older brother offered us the extra bedrooms in his small home, outside of town at the foot of the Wind River Range. It was a Spartan summer: I slept on the floor in my sleeping bag in a back bedroom, a few carpet squares for padding. The room was unfurnished, but in a moment of cowboy ikebana, I cut some sage brush and arranged it into a beer bottle, asymmetrically, of course. I worked for the local veterinarian, building fences on his small ranch outside town, mucking stalls, stacking hay bales, and disposing of dead animals, usually at the town dump. It was my first experience in the West as an adult, and I loved it: the panoramas and vistas, being able to see for miles, the aridity, the harsh beauty.

After the start of the second year at university the ties loosened more. I’d see Matt or Greg once in a while, but we were drifting apart. Somewhere in those days was one fine late Indian Summer moment: a double date with Bill, who I think took Rachel, who had gone to T.C. Williams, and I took out Irene; we went to dinner somewhere in D.C. and then saw a production of the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers at Arena Stage. Just lovely.

After another school year I stayed in Vermont that summer, then went off to a year in Germany. Soon other events took over my life, and after graduation I moved West.

~

Sometime in the late 1980’s Groveton High School closed. Changing demographics meant that between Groveton, Fort Hunt, and Mount Vernon, there were too many high schools for too few students. Sometime later it re-opened, but under a new name, West Potomac High School. In 1991 St. Stephen’s merged with St. Agnes.

Matt’s parents eventually sold their home and retired to Belfair, Washington. I visited them, probably the Spring of 1992, driving north from the Bay Area, stopping for lunch in Ashland, an Oregon refugee center for fleeing Californians, then spending several days with friends in Hood River. Alfred and Kathryn had a large, fine home, and had even bought a beautiful Chris Craft boat.

In 1997 my mother sold the house on Vernon Terrace, and moved to Frederick, Maryland, to be a granny-nanny for my brothers’s two sons. As it happens, she moved to another street with Terrace in the name, this time Rockwell Terrace.

~

I don’t know where any of the BS Moose are today. I don’t look up past on social media, and given where I’ve lived since then, it’s unlikely I’d cross tracks with any of them. I hope they are well. I think about them often: Sarah, Matt, and all the rest, and especially Greg.

You can’t go back, but we were lucky enough to be able to do it once.

When I think back about those days
All I can do is sit and smile
That’s when a sport was a sport
And groovin’ was groovin’
And dancin’ meant everything
We were young and we were improvin’
Laughin’ laughin’ with our friends
Holding hands meant somethin’ then
Outside the club Cherry Bomb Fish Market
Our hearts were really pumpin’

—John Mellancamp, ‘Cherry Bomb’

 

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

—William Shakespeare, ‘Sonnet 30’

 

Not all of them, but some of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. Two thoughts struck me as I wrote this sentence. The first is that it’s hard to imagine anything happening today at any sort of high school party, but I realize I’m being old. Second is how well the dialog Abbott and Costello routine capture the essence of so many meeting between marketing and engineering.

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