Posted by: guinness222 | May 15, 2008

"When I was seventeen,…it was a very good year……"

Well you get the idea, yes sir (and ladies) from the lips of ol’ blue eyes himself, newest face to grace a United States Postage Stamp,…Frank Sinatra. Aaaahhhh but when you get to be my age it’s not a song, but a “trigger” of my own “very good years”.
Got home last evening, went to the mailbox (one of life’s little pleasures!) and lo and behold there was a new issue of the quarterly magazine my old highschool puts out. The school opened in 1957 as an all boys Catholic “Prep” High School. (“Prep” means it’s sole mission was to prepare boys for College. It was named Catholic Memorial High School, and my folks enrolled me in the second class the following year, 1958. Well as most of you know I went to college for a little while after high school, quit, went to work for a couple years, and finally joined the Navy for four years, got married, had children, and decided to go back to school nights for the next six years to get my degree. (Bio in 50 words or less, ..ho-hum!)
Anyhow I sat down with my glass of Jacobs Creek Shiraz and started thumbing through it. (Flashback coming,…standby!) Until about three or four years ago I simply went on with my life, and the school it’s life, but one “dark and stormy night, as the rain was driven against the panes of glass” (little melodrama to set the stage) I “googled” the old high school, and there it was! As I drilled down into the pages I found one of those “Where are you now?” links. Being dark and stormy outside I decided to fill it in and hit send. Next morning was a reply from the Web Guru letting me know I was now on the Alumni list, the mailing list and the quarterly magazine list. Then the donation pledge stuff, the “48th” re-union stuff etc. etc. all started coming. Now the magazine I enjoyed getting looking up my old classmates etc. Seeing what had become of all those guys I knew 40 some odd years ago in the “acne age”. I must say, quite a collection of sucessful folks in fact. One the Mayor of Boston, a truck load of lawyers, priests, insurance guys, doctors , dentists etc. The class clown of my class was now on the Board of Directors of the School and three of his sons have already been through the school and graduated! The new athletic complex was an old quarry when I went there, the Gym is now named after the schools first athletic director, former Chicago White Sox Baseball player, AND New York Knick’s Basketball player, and MY old Phys Ed teacher, “Push ups, not roll abouts, put your muscle into it!”
But unfortunately as you age the road begins to end for many, particularly classmates, people you ate, partied, played ball, or otherwise got to know in depth over the four years of high school. And I guess there is sort of a morbid curiosity, and even a sort of sick “made the cut again” smugness when your names not there. (Love Robin Williams comment on death, “It’s God’s way of saying, your tables ready now sir”)
When you read thier names in the “In Memorium” section you see the skinny kid that never had his tie on right, or the “jock” who pushed the skinny kid around after school. You see the “wiseass” who as soon as school was out would run outside and defiantly comb his hair back into a “DA” (“duck’s ass” to 50’s and 60’s folks, a sort of statement of “attitude”) The guys all hanging out at “Maria’s” sub shop with Maria at at least three hundred pounds propped on a stool behind the cash register with the same expressionless look, knowing the school bell would go off soon and she was done for the day. “Joe” her husband, toothless, always in the same old grey sweater and beat to shit fedora, weighing in at no more than 100 lbs, making the subs, wrapping them and shoving them down the counter to Maria whose dulcid “Two Dollars” was the end of the line. We must have broke records in terms of the number of kids we could squeeze into a 15 foot by 12 foot “Sub shop”. It was either that or the dreaded “Cafeteria food”.
Long way around memory lane but I’m still on this side of the grass, but looks as if about 50% of my old classmates aren’t with us any more. (sigh)
And now back to reality…………..Life is great, people are fantastic, and business is super! (Can’t think of any other convienent lies to tell at this moment.
So I leave you for this blog issue with the thought of the day. Why is it the choices get more difficult as you get older, seems like this “wisdom” shit is grossly over-rated, and when you think you finally got it all together,….you’re outta here.


  1. My answer to the question? God has a warped sense of humour. Give the youth the energy to do whatever they want and they waste it, give the wisdom to the older folks but not the energy to do it.

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