Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too Much, Too Fast...

Over the past week I've been overloaded with material for blogging. At least three things are more than blogworthy. One is exciting from a personal standpoint, one whimsical from a hystorical standpoint and one is just something that struck my brain the other night during a sleepless period.
Exciting - After almost sixty years I have been contacted by my best high school buddies. For four years the four of us would meet every morning on the bus for school. Now this wasn't one of those Big Yellow school buses that you see packed with kids wearing Nikis and IPod earbugs. No this was a standard CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) commuter bus. We all lived more than an hour from school and were fortunate enough (in spite of what we tell our kids and grandkids) that we didn't have to walk barefoot in the snow for twenty miles, each way. Although we did have to walk a fair distance to the bus stop. The journey involved a long bus ride followed by either a Streetcar or El ride to the hallowed halls of Dumbach Hall, Loyola Academy. The great percentage of students at LA were from the wealthier North Shore section of Chicagoland. Our little gang haled from much humbler stock on the far western area of the city. After graduation our little crew split off to various parts of the country. Rich became a lifetime Navy man (a dentist I believe) a resides with his wife of over fifty years, Sylvia (his high school sweetheart) in Maryland. George, another military lifer, (I understand that he was wounded in Vietnam) is with wife, Anne in Florida. Jerry and his wife, who I did actually cross paths with back in the early sixties when I produced some materials for him at IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) lives on the lake front in downtown Chicago writing, as he puts it, fiction and poetry. Ken rounds out the group. A retired Northern Trust VP lives with his wife, in of all places, Palatine Illinois. For those of you who don't know. Palatine was our last Illinois residence. I'm sure that this isn't very exciting to the rest of you but it has been just another one of those thrills that has been made possible by these little computing machines. So far in the past year or two I have renewed friendships with no less than dozen people. Being back in contact with them kind of gives me the opportunity to experience things that were happening in other places while I was living in my little world. All in all it's been a wonderful week of reminiscing about those days of DA haircuts and engineer boots, pegged pants and one button roll suit coats. Having malts for breakfast at the corner drugstore and pitching pennies on neighborhood sidewalk at lunchtime. We got a little rowdy on the bus from time to time and had our own renegade intramural basketball team. We didn't win much but we did provide some laughs for the audience (faculty members not included). We were Happy Days. I'm sure a lot of "remember when" stories are going to be filling cyberspace for quite a while and I'm going to enjoy every word.
Hopefully, in the future, I'll have a few pictures of the old "PP" (to the Jesuits that was "the Prowling Panthers" to us it meant something else) to share. Thanks for listening. I'll be back tomorrow with a real Hystorical Wisconsin story.